1st Quarter Down & I’m In the Lead

Guess what today is?!

My BIRTHDAY!

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Yes, I am officially 25 (twenty-fine, if you will) years old – celebrating my “first quarter” of life. As I reflect on my 24th year of gracing this planet with my presence (allow me to be extra, please and thank you), I can’t help but get a little teary-eyed because of how much God has done for me and through me in just 365 days. As much as I wanted this to be a “24 Things I’ve Learned in my 24th Year” or a “24 Blessings I’ve Gained in my 24th Year” type of post, it overwhelmed me to try to narrow it all down to just 24 things. Instead, I’ve just decided to let God flow through this post. I said a quick prayer before beginning to type, so just go with me – not sure what this will be about exactly, haha. 

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of how powerful my 24th year was is my spiritual growth.

Y’all.

When I say God has STRETCHED me this year, I mean daily yoga with God whether I liked it or not! I went from being scared of my gifts and talents to having God push me into them. He was like, “you gone grow and serve me TUHDAY, okurrt?” I accomplished this by dedicating more time to mentoring and pouring into others (even praying on these opportunities), starting ADM up again, launching the Writing Studio, joining my church’s choir (don’t ask me to sing, thanks), etc. These are examples of the things that I literally ran away from knowing that God called me to honor Him through my writing, my relationships with His children, and even my voice (again, I’m not going to sing in front of you, haha). 

One common theme this year was, “God is going to upgrade you!”

I kept hearing that in different sermons, podcasts, and even conversations with various people. I kept praying and claiming this and God came through with the upgrades, honey! I started a new job, started monetizing my passion projects, noticed lots of improvements in my mental health, and overall, I leveled up my mindset. It wasn’t easy – I faced bouts of depression, anxiety, doubt, and fear. BUT GOD. He brought me through, forward, and UPWARD. 

Not only did I witness upgrades in my life, but I started to notice family and friends getting new job opportunities, grad school acceptances, new relationships, you name it! My whole team is WINNING. (Shout out to my support system for being great and journeying with me!) 

Because of the upgrade in my professional life, I even felt fueled again to continue the things I was once passionate about. I started writing more and dedicating more time to breathing life into my creativity. Things that once died inside of me felt alive again! 

Now, I have to take a moment to brag on God.

This past year was a veryyyy bumpy road, and sometimes I questioned if this was going to be a good year or not. I felt very low at times and started to doubt God. We had some genuine conversations, which even led to me telling Him straight up how unfair I thought He was being. Asking Him why He would “play” me and let me go through certain things that I just felt I didn’t need to experience. After He checked me lol, He revealed to me that all things are working together for my GOOD. Although I can’t always see it, I know for a fact that He is going to use every hurt and disappointment to fuel my ministry and purpose on this planet. I’ve learned that even though I may not know why life happens the way it does and what He is going to do, I should still give Him my “yes” and trust Him to order my steps. 

[Praise Break]

I guess that’s it – that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year. Just give God your “yes” and let Him handle the rest. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s worth it once you see how He transforms your life. So, if there is one thing that I could say changed my life at the age of 24, it would be having a deeper connection with God. Encountering Him on this level is what elevated 24-year-old me, and it’s what will carry me forward for the rest of my life! 

In this new year, I’m claiming new creations in my life (SN: the number 8 is symbolic of new creations and new beginnings). I pray that God takes me to higher levels and allows me to experience more of the life that He created for me. 25 feels great already. It feels refreshing, limitless, and restoring. It feels like peace and prosperity. It feels like a huge turning point that will shape not only my life but the lives of the generations that will come from me. 

Thank you, God, for another year. Cheers to 25!

-m. 

Whether you just had a birthday or not, what has this current year taught you about life? 

Photographer: Jennifer J.