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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

25thingsIvelearned

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)

BONUS:

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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