In honor of my 20th birthday tomorrow, I thought it would be super relevant to talk about growing up and a few things I've learned over my almost 20 years of life.Here are just a few things I've learned...
1.) We are not meant to do life alone.
Galatians 6:2 tells us to bear each other's burdens, and doing so fulfills God's will. I cannot count how many people have come alongside me over my life and bore my burdens. I cannot thank everyone who has fulfilled God's will and walked life with me, no matter how messy it gets. (I cannot thank YOU, yes you, enough for walking with me! Reading this blog is walking with me and I appreciate it endlessly. 💗) We were never made to do life alone. Heck, that's why God created man AND woman. That's why He created those things called family and friends. I've learned that it's never a sign of weakness to reach out for help, advice or prayer. You're never meant to do anything alone. And more than anything, we're always meant to do life with Jesus.
2.) Change isn’t as painful when God walks us through it.
I've gone through a lot of change within the last 5-10 years of my life. I've always been the type of person who hated change. (Anyone with me?!) But God started to wreck my need to control everything and replaced it with change. That's not to say that it didn't suck, but what I've learned is that when we're in tune with the Holy Spirit and constantly submitting to His will, change isn't as painful. Change is more bearable and it's easier to see the good in change when we are walking with God.
3.) Prayer is more powerful than we could ever imagine.
Ages 18 and 19 were a big year for me in the "prayer department". I had always grown up praying, but I never truly made it apart of my life and realized it's power. These last two years, God has grown me up in my attitude towards prayer. He has been teaching me the true meaning of Ephesians 6:18 and praying on all occassions.God hears us. He answers us. Sometimes in ways that we don't expect, but He always answers us. Prayer is simply a conversation that is necessary and so needed.
4.) I still have a lot of growing up to do.
I think God will be reminding me of this every year, no matter how old I get. Sometimes, a birthday rolls around and I think, "Hey, I'm older! Smarter! Wiser!" Maybe that's the case in the world's standards, but I still have a lot of growing up to do in Christ.That may sound like a bad thing — but it's truly a gift. How wonderful is it that Christ never lets us go, despite our shortcomings and mistakes? How wonderful is it that He offers grace and an opportunity to try again and learn some more?
Those were just a few thoughts I had on growing up. I wanted to end with a passage that the Lord brought to me when I was preparing for this post."You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. BUT that is not the way that YOU have learned Christ -- assuming that you have heard of Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 6:17-24)
So as I embark on my 20th year of life, I'm excited to see how God grows me up. I'm excited to see how He shapes me into the woman He wants me to be. I'm excited for the challenges and the growth in store. Even if it isn't your birthday, you still have the opportunity to put on the new self and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind (vs 23-24). If you take anything away from this post, let it be this: God is in the business of renewing lives and changing hearts. Look for Him and what He has done in your life and thank Him for it. There's so much growing up we all have in store, but it'll be so beautiful when the growing up is done with God.