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I’m in the middle of writing an article on loneliness as a means to drive us deeper into God’s heart and was just struck by the passage this nugget came from. The context is distress and anguish, feeling the grip of death’s crushing pull. Maybe you can relate. But the author of this psalm lifts his eyes above his circumstances and prays for deliverance. He meditates on the character of God; how He is gracious, righteous, and merciful. He remembers what God has done; how He preserves the simple and rescued him when he was flat on his back, hopeless and alone. Then comes verse seven. Circumstances haven’t changed for the author but, then again, God’s worthiness to be worshipped has never been contingent on ideal circumstances. No matter what our lives might look like right now, no matter how uncomfortable or excruciating our circumstances might be, if we have been redeemed by Jesus, we have every reason to “return to our rest;” for the the Lord INDEED has dealt bountifully with us. And He is worthy of our praise and confidence right here. •••• [Also, 1) this is not a staged photo and 2) you should go read all of Psalm 116 for yourself.]
Happy birthday to the best big sister! 🥳 You are as genuine and intentional as they get; you love deep and feel big, and I’m so thankful for your heart and life. 💜 Additionally, I’d like to know how much you were paid to hug me in this photo.
“Do not despair, dear heart, but come to the Lord with all your jagged wounds, black bruises, and running sores. He alone can heal, and He delights to do it. It is our Lord’s office to bind up the brokenhearted, and He is gloriously at home at it.” -Charles Spurgeon
“Theologians who limit the means of grace to overtly redemptive religious practices miss something about the God who speaks without words in the theater of His creation.” -David Powlison

Follow me as I follow Jesus

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years


I’ve been 25 for a whole week now and even though my insurance has gone down a few cents, it’s been a challenge (emotionally) to land in this milestone of being a quarter century old.

In the days weeks leading up to the birthday, I began to look around me at what other people had done with their life by age 25 (particularly my sister, who was married and had two babies at that point) and started comparing myself with them [note to self: That’s never a good idea]. As I shared this struggle with a few people, the Lord used a dear, sweet friend to speak truth into my heart and, wow, has God used it.

Maybe you need to hear it too.

“I know exactly how it feels to compare yourself to everyone around you and say, “Why not me?” It is kinda silly but at the same time it’s a very easy thing to do…provided your eyes are on what everyone around you is doing. The command to look onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:1-2) is God’s gracious way of keeping our eyes well above our circumstances and on the One who has ordained the circumstances in which we find ourselves.” -Kofi Adu-Boahen

There it is. The ever-present command to look and live.

In an attempt to stop comparing myself with others and shift my gaze to our holy and victorious Lord, the day after my birthday I compiled a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned in these 25 years and thought I would share them with you. What are some things you’ve learned in your time on this earth? I would love to hear them. Let’s learn from each other.


25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

(other than the first one, these are in no particular order)

1.  Above all, Christ is gloriously and radiantly beautiful and more satisfying than anything this cheap world offers.

2.  Sports are awesome to play but athletics don’t last forever and neither does fame.

3.  Better is wisdom than gold, even fine gold. Even Olympic gold.

4.  You can waste time trying to be perfect. Instead, strive for excellence.

5.  Your parents are on your team. They aren’t against you, they’re for you.

6.  Feelings do not equal truth.

7.  Even in my best, most put together moments, I am in desperate need of a Savior.

8.  If in doubt, don’t. [My dad’s mantra… one of them.]

9.  Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love is only possible because Christ first set His love on us.

10.  I need the Gospel every day [all day er’ day].

11.  “Be hard on sin, easy on forgiveness.” -Michael Durham

12.  Every moment you are faced with the choice to either speak life or death. Both are in the power of the tongue. Choose life. (Prov. 18:21)

13.  Not everyone you meet will be your best friend or even your friend at all, and that’s OK.

14.  Choose your friends wisely. You will become like them. (2 Cor. 15:23, Prov. 13:20)

15.  Read. And then read some more. Fill your brain and heart with words that matter.

“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never
be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.”
-Charles Spurgeon

16.  College is wonderful, exciting, blissful and thrilling. But it is about more than the adventures. Be sensitive to what God is trying to teach you more than the professors.

17.  Compromise is seductive but you’ll always regret it. Stand firm.

18.  Be more consumed with being a friend than becoming one. Seek to understand not to be understood.

19.  True beauty comes only from a life fully devoted to following Christ.

20.  The sorrows of those who run after another god multiply. (Psalm 16:4a)

21.  Intentionally seek wisdom and understanding and to develop your character.

22.  Don’t look to a man (or woman) to do for you what only Christ can.

23.  Don’t compare the story God is writing in your life to what He is writing in someone else’s. You may try to write your own story and make your own plans but remain open to God’s sovereign leadership—His plans will stand. (Prov. 19:21)

24.  Make it your goal to out-serve everyone around you to the glory of God, because He first served you.

25.  My life is not about me. (1 Cor. 6:19b-20)


26.  You can’t make everyone happy. Instead of trying to please everyone, concern yourself with honoring the only One who truly matters.

27.  Embrace the current season of your life and the opportunities it brings. This season, this year of your life, will never come again so, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” -Jim Elliot

8 comments on “25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

  1. whittmadden says:

    Wow what a great list! So many things there that I am still learning! So blessed to see Gods work in and through you.

    1. Thank you, Whitty! It’s mutual. I’m glad you’re my brother.

  2. An encouragement as always, dear sister. Already been said but blessed to see God working in you greater contentment and love for Christ 🙂

    1. Thank you, sir, and for allowing me to quote you (even without permission…). Thanks for praying for that very thing! Grateful for you.

  3. kellymccuddy says:

    Wow! These are some solid, solid truths. This is such an encouragement and reminder that abiding in Jesus is worth it. Wherever you are, be all there- too true. Thank you for sharing your wisdom

    1. Wow, Kelly! Thank you for those sweet, encouraging words. So grateful! Praise Him for His revealed mind and for His help in learning and re-learning His ways!

  4. Lauren Gray says:

    Great list Sophie. Happy belated birthday 🙂

    1. Thanks, sweet lady!! 🙂

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