This blog post was originally posted on tumblr.
I remember waking up on my 24th birthday thinking to myself, “There is no way I’m going to survive this year.” 24 was hard. I found myself defeated for most of it. But I also found that you can’t taste victory until you face defeat. Unfortunately for me, 24 was the year the Enemy would bruise my heel. Unfortunately for him, 25 (and onwards) will be the years I will crush his head. Sorry, not sorry, Devil. Don’t say God didn’t warn you. He definitely prophesied it. Har har har.
The cool thing about God is that He always exceeds our expectations. I merely wished to survive. God made sure I thrived. There are kingdom principles that will never make any earthly sense to me. God has a way of redeeming stuff and working things out for good. 24 was not easy, but it was good. And since I am no longer young and energetic enough to spend my birthday partying it up, I will sit here and write a blog like an old person about things my Heavenly Father has taught me.
- Uncertainty is an opportune time to renew your mind. It is harder to renew my mind when I think I know something. It is easier for God to renew my mind when my mind doesn’t know what to think. Uncertainty is transformative when we fill the gap in our mind with His thoughts instead of our own. Feeling uncertain? Yay. You’re well on your way to transformation.
- Love is the goal. Everything else is a fruit of love. Want to grow in prophecy? Grow in love. Want to grow in healing? Grow in love. Want to grow in word of knowledge? Grow in love. Your impact will only ever be as great as your love.
- Laughter leads to intimacy. Two things have brought me into greater intimacy with the Lord. (1) Crying to the Father. (2) Laughing with the Father. I love that intimacy isn’t just the intense moments of heart-checks, but also the moments when God says something silly or I do something dumb, and we both just laugh out loud about it.
- Silence and presence can coexist. Many times, I’d call up my best friend to cry and she’d just sit silently on the other end of the line for hours. I learned that it’s the same with the Father. His silence doesn’t mean He’s absent. Oftentimes when I cry out to Him, He doesn’t say anything because like a best friend, He knows that sometimes His quiet presence will speak louder comfort than words.
- Do not eat spicy rice cakes and work out immediately after. You will regret every single delicious bite you took. It is not worth the heartburn. I repeat, it is not worth it!
- The trick is not to get God to speak. The trick is to understand how God speaks to you. It took this year for me to learn some of the ways God speaks to me, like through random objects. One of the most profound words God gave me was through a traffic light. A TRAFFIC LIGHT!!! Had I not learned to keep my eyes open to hear Him speak, I would’ve easily continued on in life feeling like God doesn’t speak to me, and would’ve missed out on an incredible word!
- You’ll get answers to who you are when you make it about Him. I found that when my prayers started with me asking God about myself (i.e. I’m hurt! I’m sad! Do you care?!), I eventually got too defeated to stick around long enough to focus on Him. But when I began my prayers focusing on Him (i.e. You are good, You are love, You are holy), He would reveal not only who He was, but who I am in light of those things. And it was impossible to feel defeated in prayer times like this.
- If someone hurts you, thank them. Behind every hurt is a lie. Your offender most likely triggered a lie that you didn’t know was there. Their offense against you is an opportunity for promotion in the kingdom. Steward the hurt in a way that will bring you to greater freedom. Your offender is never the enemy. They will help jumpstart you on a journey to discovering truth, and that is the sweetest revenge you can have against the Enemy.
- Heaven’s grading system is based on obedience, not results. The cool thing about God is that He cares less about the outcome, and more about the heart. There’s room to make mistakes! If your YES to Him is 100%, but you completely flop in the attempt, you still get a standing ovation.
- There’s freedom in knowing you don’t bring that much to the table. There’s no such thing as pressure in the kingdom. When I felt like I needed to be right, I was scared to do things. When I realized I had been made right, I felt so free to do things.
- Acne isn’t just for adolescents. Le sigh. For those of you who thought you got through your teen years without acne, don’t celebrate too soon. Goodbye clear skin. Hello acne. I’M 25 YEARS OLD. GO AWAY.
- Ask God what He thinks about you. Making this a daily habit has changed my life tremendously. When I know who I am, the Enemy stops wasting energy trying to deceive me.
- Your job is to inspire. The Holy Spirit’s job is to transform. This helped me let go of having to make all the right decisions, have all the right answers or know all the right stuff. And it gave me space to just know my God and inspire people through my relationship with Him. Leave the big stuff to the Holy Spirit.
- Ministry is mostly repainting a picture of who God is. I realized that most people just have a distorted image of God, which explains a lot of the poor decisions they make. The point is not to counsel them into making better decisions. The point is to repaint a more accurate picture of the Father for them. When they see Him for who He really is, they’ll begin to make good decisions because He is good!
- Before you water a plant, make sure to double check to see if it’s real or not.This is not a profound analogy. Thank you, Anna for the birthday plant. I now know that I’ve been watering a fake plant for quite some time.
- It is impossible to be hurt or offended when you know love. God met me with love. It was crazy. Since that moment, I have found it impossible to be hurt or offended by someone I love. I can hurt for them, but I am not hurt by them. Love really keeps no record of wrongs. It’s crazy how true this really is.
- Learning God’s voice is not just knowing what He says, but familiarizing yourself with His tone. For example, the Enemy and the Lord will both reveal sin. The Enemy will speak in an accusing tone that will lead to shame and condemnation. The Lord will speak in a kind tone that will lead to repentance. Discerning the tone will help you know whether or not to pay attention to the voice, no matter how “true” it may be seem.
- The call to following Jesus is heavy but it is not burdensome. His yoke is easy. His burden is light. If following Jesus feels too weighty, it is most likely that the weight is you still carrying your old man. Jesus commanded us to deny ourselves and pick up the cross. Something tells me Jesus figured we were much heavier than the cross, so He made sure to notify us not to bring ourselves on the journey. He knew it would only ever weigh us down.
- It really is possible to pay off your student loans. You just have to be okay with never ever seeing a paycheck, ever. But THANK YOU, LORD. I am almost done and debt-free!
- Find people who believe in you and for you. These are gems everyone needs to find and never lose. Surround yourself with individuals who have a vision for you and refuse you to settle for anything less. They are what will bridge you from being good to great.
- The best way to fight the Devil is to ignore him. My greatest battles against the Enemy are not the ones where I warred into the night against him. My greatest battles against the Enemy have been the ones where I didn’t even give him one second of my attention. He is an attention seeker, and I win the moment I refuse to give him any.
- You can fall deeply in love in your singleness. I love that God is jealous for me, and it was in my singleness that I realized how much He was willing to fight for me to know and understand love fully. He refused to sell me short of the love that He paid for. It was in this revelation that I fell deeply in love with Him, with myself, and with others.
- Hunger is contagious. The greatest thing you can do in an environment seemingly complacent is to remain steadfast in your hunger. The main reason people don’t hunger for more is because they don’t know there’s more to hunger for. Your hunger is an invitation for them to go after what they never knew was there.
- God doesn’t give love as a gift. He gives Himself because He is love. It made a big difference when I learned that love was not a feeling but a person. Because even on days that felt crummy, I knew He was with me and that was more than enough.
- I am a daughter. This is the identity that Jesus restored to me. I am no longer a servant, a sinner or a slave. I am a daughter who serves because I am loved, and no longer a servant who serves to be loved.
You are my hero if you made it to the very end.