Rachel Jenae

10 Days

10 days.

In 10 days I enter into the next decade of life. Yep, that’s right, I turn 30. Eeek!

If you know me at all you know I can be somewhat overly sentimental and this case is no different. For the last year I’ve thought and prayed asking God to give me vision for the next decade of my life. I’ve also thought a lot about the last ten years and what God’s taught me and brought me through. Ten years ago I was in my 4th semester at John Brown University, head over heels for a boy, enjoying amazing friends, intramural sports and a really fun college life that was ultimately all about me. Little did I know, three months later I would be smacked in the face with God’s confirmation that it was time to move to Dallas and attend bible school. A month later I moved to the outskirts of Houston to work for the summer. Then three months later I moved to Dallas, which changed everything.

I was 20, outspoken, on fire for Jesus, dealing with my own submission and rebellious issues and transitioning to the largest city I’d ever lived in. My legs shook violently the first time I ever drove north on I35 through downtown Dallas. I got my first waitressing job, which led me to spilling a lot of things on lots of people. I learned lasting friendships can stretch past distance and time apart. I made new friends that will forever impact my life. I went on my first overseas mission trip. I got malaria. I went back to a university. I ran cross country (why? still not sure). I graduated. I worked at a church. I went on many more mission trips. I dealt with major fear issues in my own heart and mind. I saw God root in me a tenacity to never give up no matter what things look like. I saw God provide through every up and down of life. I saw dreams awakening in my heart I had never known. I made a million mistakes. I saw life prayers be answered. I learned. I learned a lot. Things my heart had longed for for years came. I experienced a season of joy like never before. I took a couple corporate jobs. I learned a lot more. I realized my desire to achieve and the strengths and weaknesses of it. I stumbled through some hard friendships. I learned a lot about people. I learned a lot about following God into the unknown and not trying to figure it out, but simply follow. I tried to learn how to love Him more, but ended up learning a lot more about how He loved me. I realized a lot of my own striving. I then also realized my place as simply God’s daughter. I moved a lot. A LOT. I wished I could travel a lot more.

It’s impossible to remember it all and to summarize it even if I could. I just keep hearing God whisper in altogether cheering voice, “You made! You made it through your 20’s!!! Do you have any idea how many people drop off and give up in their 20’s?!”

And with that I cried again. His goodness through the last 10 years is overwhelming to recall. His faithfulness through each season is astounding and the way He lavished on my weak and messy heart, makes me love Him all the more. How had we come this far? Then the other questions began rolling in as if I could actually analyze the temperature of my own heart and compare it to ten years ago.

“Are you running faster or slower?”

“Are you going deeper or wider?”

“Is your heart more in love with Him today than 10 years ago, or is it dull and wearied by life?”

“Are you giving more of your life away, or holding onto it more?”

“Is the core of who you, rooted in His love, strong enough to not just make it through another 10 years, but to be burning more for Him at the end of the next 10, through whatever may come…or not come?”

“Are you living in such a way that you will be energized and not depleted to be able to finish the next decade strong? Not competing with others, but living obedient to everything God says and calls YOU to?”

Coming into this year God’s been reminding me of things He doesn’t want me to forget. Things I can’t afford to forget. Tools I’ll need. Nuggets that will encourage me through the next ten. I have a feeling that my 30’s may be the most humbling decade of my life. Realizing my own immaturity. My own pride. Realizing the invisible gap between what I thought I knew then and what I realize everyone older knew but couldn’t explain, even if they’d tried. I didn’t have the frame of reference to understand. It happens with everyone in every generation and it’s a very humbling thing to realize but a wiser thing to never forget.  It’s the simple fact that you only know what you know, so talk less and listen more. Realize your limited understanding and don’t always have an answer.

Sigh. Amidst all the fun humbling things,,, I am excited about my 30’s. I’m expectant. For some reason 30’s have always been something I’ve looked forward to. I quit wearing a mental watch long ago of what the world said I needed to accomplish or have by this age. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my days of struggling with not be married or not having done this or that, but the truth of it is those things will come in their God appointed time and knowing I have such a limited understanding of most things anyways, much less the existence of time and why God does what He does, I decided it was a pointless endeavor to live my life by. I love my life. It is rich and full of incredible people and challenges every day and life is much more enjoyable, and my relationship with God much more of a relationship, when I don’t make requirements and demands on Him to do things by my timeline. Instead I live to trust His overwhelming goodness and let go of my preconceived, brainwashed by the world idea of what my life should look like. The adventure of life is much more fun that way.

And with that, I say…

10 more days. Bring it on!

 

 

 

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