Updated: Oct 7, 2021
As my 35th year of life is coming to a close, I wanted to document at least 25 truths I've learned that I wish I would have known at 25.
PEOPLE WILL DISAPPOINT YOU...AND YOU WILL DISAPPOINT PEOPLE
We're all human. People are going to let you down and whether intentionally or unintentionally you're going to do the same. Don't be naïve to think you're not capable of hurting others.
GOD CAN HANDLE YOUR EMOTIONS
He can handle your disappointment, your anger, your frustration, your sadness- any feelings you experience he can handle it. Don't be afraid to share those feelings. He cares so take them all to Him.
DON'T MINIMIZE YOUR BURDENS
If you do you'll never think they're important enough to give them to God; you'll never lay them down. You'll say things like "Oh, it's nothing"; "Oh I'll be fine"; "It's nothing compared to what you're going through". That type of language minimizes your burdens. They're heavy and it's ok to say that.
DON'T TRIVIALIZE SOMEONE ELSE'S BURDENS
It's hard enough to share openly and honestly with someone. Don't make it harder by trivializing what someone else is going through. You may have already overcome that obstacle. You may not understand the obstacle. No matter the case, the burden is theirs and it's hard for them at that moment.
DON'T DOUBT GOD BECAUSE HE DOESN'T RESPOND IN THE WAY YOU WANT
Just because God doesn't respond in the way you want, don't doubt Him. He loves you more than you could ever know and always has your best interest in heart- even when it doesn't appear or feel that way.
MAINTAIN A TEACHABLE SPIRIT
You can learn something from anyone, anywhere.
Yeah, fail. Failure is evidence that you attempted and tried. Anyone who tells you failure isn't necessary hasn't accomplished anything great.
Forgiveness is for you- whether you get an apology or not. Sure, that person did some loser type stuff. Yes, it was hurtful, but don't let their actions steal your ability to move on; kill your dreams; or destroy your chance to live peacefully. It's also crucial to ask God for forgiveness.
It's crazy that it's taken you this long to realize it, but you're beautiful. Your moles, your mouth, your hair, your hips and butt- all the things you disliked about your body and were criticized for- are elements of what make you special. The reality is that you can't look at sunsets and mountains and say how amazing and beautiful they are and then look in the mirror and be disgusted- as if God didn't create both. God doesn't produce junk. #YouCute
DON'T TRY TO MAKE YOUR BOUNDARIES SOMEONE ELSE'S
If you decide not to do something because it's a weak area for you or because it doesn't work for you- that's fine. But don't put that boundary on someone else who made not need or want that same restriction.
SET YOUR BOUNDARIES BEFORE YOU NEED THEM
It is almost impossible to create boundaries in the middle of temptation. Set them before you need them.
YOU NEED FRIENDS- NOT FANS OR FOLLOWERS
Find people who will hold you accountable and will be there when you need them. You need friends- not fans or followers. The latter is not helpful in difficult situations. The latter will not pray for you. The latter will not push you to pursue goals. The latter will not tell you in love when you're wrong and to do better. You can have a million fans and followers and have no one to turn to when you need help. That's why you need friends.
MONEY DOESN'T MAKE YOU HAPPY
Despite popular belief, money doesn't make you happy. It's cool to have when you make it, but don't love or chase money because whoever loves money will never have enough and will never be satisfied.
LOVE IS MORE THAN A FEELING
Love is hard work. Don't be deceived into thinking love is simply a feeling or emotion. Love stretches you and requires certain things of you- things that are not easy. Love requires selflessness, patience, honor, truth, and humility- among other things.
FIND THE GOOD
It's easy to focus on the negative. It takes a certain level of maturity to focus on or point out the good.
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
You'll never know if you don't ask and you can't be mad at people who ask and you don't. Period.
FORGIVENESS DOESN'T = AVAILABILITY
Forgiveness is important and should be done often. However, it's important to understand that forgiving someone doesn't mean that they gain the same access or availability to you that they once had.
YOUR RESPONSE DEMONSTRATES WHAT YOU BELIEVE
How you respond to people will be the true test of what you believe. Sure you'll mess up from time to time, but generally how you respond to others is an indicator of what you believe. How you respond to that hateful coworker; that friend that betrays you; that relative that lies demonstrates if you put into action everything you say.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES
For real, for real- vegetables are awesome. Eat more of them.
TRUE GRATITUDE DOESN'T HAVE CONTINGENCIES
Your thankfulness to God shouldn't be contingent on what other people have or don't have. True gratitude isn't dependent upon whether you're doing better than someone else.
YOU MAKE TIME FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO
As a consequence of saying 'yes' to something, you'll say 'no' to something else. As years pass and you get busier and busier, your time will become even more valuable. So make time for what's important to you. Don't be afraid to say 'no' to things and don't be scared to allot time to take care of yourself.
REAL FRIENDS WITHSTAND SEASONS
There really are seasons in life. The seasons of your life may not match your friends and that's ok. If you're really friends your relationship will withstand those seasons.
DON'T LIVE YOUR LIFE FULL OF REGRET, GUILT, & SHAME
You're going to mess up. It's inevitable, but don't allow someone to try to make you feel guilt and shame for something God has already forgiven you for. No one should have that type of authority or power in your life. Jesus didn't die so that you could live a life of regret, guilt, and shame. And if Jesus didn't want you to live that way, don't start for someone whose opinion means far less.
You will find so much comfort and solace in this verse. It will mean so much more than you could ever imagine it would. Just wait.
EVERYDAY IS A GIFT