For overly-introspective people such as myself, turning 25 can feel a bit terrifying.
I've been a dreamer and free spirit my whole life. I was sure that by the time I was 25 I'd be doing something hugely important. I'm the type of person who is destined for an extremely-adventurous life, I decided. And I was most definitely certain I would've escaped the mires of Floridian suburbs by now. My values may vary drastically from most people my age, but I’m still a millennial through and through…and millennials don’t jive too well with mundanity and doing the same thing for a long time.
It’s weird when you reach the point in your life when you don’t have any more future plans. By the time we were 23, my husband and I marked off everything on the Growing Up Checklist, and here we are with nothing other than “Keep Plodding” on the radar. That’s a weird place to be at 25. And it doesn’t feel too much like an adventure.
But then sometimes, sweet and aromatic whiffs of truth remind me that I’m living quite an adventure indeed.
Almost six years ago I made a promise to a young man that I would love him and be his wife no matter what. We're in a lifelong relational commitment with no “deal-breakers.” Two distinct people have willingly decided to become one. Our passion is dependent on our promise, not the other way around. Learning to love and be loved unconditionally is a pretty huge adventure.
Three times life has been created inside my body and grown into a person who has a mind, a will, a soul. I get to raise up these three people (and hopefully more someday) and show them a love that extends beyond the capacity I thought I had. Day and night, every day, I get to teach them about the world and the universe and eternity. I have the opportunity to invite them to care for people and show the world all the things it’s yearning to see. I get to raise a young man to be a humble servant. I get to raise young women who are fearless, brave, and beautiful on the inside. And, looking to generations to come, I get to invest in these little people who will hopefully invest in more people who will then invest in other people…I really can’t underestimate the value of my job here. So that’s quite a meaningful career.
I get to join a family that is so much bigger than my biological family could ever be…I get to be a member of a church. Loving and serving and encouraging one another, actually walking with each other through job changes and births and miscarriages and joys and difficulties, is totally invigorating.
Cooking and cleaning is the bane of my existence and it feels like an insult to my intelligence. The fact that laundry doesn't do itself just grates on me and boggles my mind with its fruitlessness. But I’m learning that being hospitable is more important than being President. Our culture is determined not primarily by institutions or positions but by people, and I want to know, love, and learn from people. Inviting people not just into my home but into my life is electrifying!
Someday I plan to adopt, and it’s pretty amazing to think that I very possibly have children right now--maybe all over the world—who I will one day get to welcome into my own family. I will get to give them my last name and love them with a love they haven’t yet known. And I'll get to be changed by them. All those thoughts are thrilling to me.
And, most epically, I was in a kingdom of darkness, evil, and confusion and all of a sudden I have been transferred to a kingdom of light and truth and goodness and justice and love and joy. This isn’t flowery rhetoric or wishful thinking; I really believe this. It’s thrilling to know that I am not only loved but treasured by the God of the universe. And that I can know Him! Reflection on who God is and how He loves the world (and me!) is a line of thought that just doesn’t terminate or get exhausted. Knowing God is not just joy and security and hope, but it’s intellectually stimulating.
So, yeah, I’m 25. Three back-to-back pregnancies were unkind to my body and I’m most likely “past my prime” as far as physical beauty goes. One year of college and working at Chick-fil-A are the only things I have on my resume.
But it’s pretty wonderful that the things that really matter in life (and eternity) can’t be named as positions or listed on a piece of paper. I’m super grateful that there’s a beauty for which I can aspire that runs a lot deeper than my stretch-marked skin. I’m learning faithfulness. I’m learning love. So, as much as I’m tempted to find myself in a “quarter-life crisis” underwhelmed by all I’ve accomplished so far, I’m grateful and I’m content.
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Psalm 37:3
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My name is Hope.
I'm 26, married to a former skater dude, and raising little people ages 6, 4, 3, and squishy-baby. I like lime green and sarsaparilla, and I wear my Crocs until they melt. (Florida problems.)
Quick links to some of my posts:
Articles I've Written on Other Sites:
Youth Ministry's Family Blindspot - Christianity Today