I’ve found it easier to accept your age if you start saying it even before you’re there. I found myself saying I was 28, five months ago. So, now that I am, I am already used to the idea. However, getting older has never been hard for me. I’m like wine, the older the better. Ha ha.
Anyway, I am embracing the year of 28. The year of 28 as a married woman. The year of 28 as a career woman. The year of 28 as a writer. Most importantly, the year of 28 as a Christian.
It is time to step up in my walk with God, and it’s especially necessary. At 28, I shouldn’t have the same relationship with God that I had at 18. My prayer life should be deeper. My Bible studying should be more engaged. In other words, God should have more of me with every year, with every day.
So this year, my desire is to focus more on God and less on me. My career, marriage, writing, whatever it is, will automatically be better with my focus on God’s will in those areas. I’ll be better with my focus on God.
I declare 28 to be great as I focus on God’s fate for my life. Here we go.
I don’t think we can overemphasize the love of God. He really loves us. I can’t fully explain it, but He does. He doesn’t have to. He could just make us be whatever He wants us to be and feel however He wants to about it. But in His infinite wisdom and love He created choice. He created the choice to love us and the choice for us to love Him in return.
Think about it. God is perfect. And that’s the best we can do to describe Him because He is so much more than just that. And He deals with us. He created us. He uses us to create things. And we’re not perfect.
We don’t acknowledge God very often. Some people never will. But He still loves us. He still chooses to use us. Isn’t that love?
AND, He sent His Son to die for us. He saw our sin and imperfection and how empty Heaven would be without us there and decided He didn’t want that. So He sent His Son to die for our sins, past, present, and future.
His sent His Son from Heaven to earth. Perfection to imperfection. Purity to impurity. And why?
Because through His Son He would be able to further relate to us. And to a God that is Love, it’s more important for Him to be able to relate than dictate.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
It seems like things are happening to you. Doesn’t it? Why did this happen to me, we say often. But here’s a thought.
What if it’s not happening to you, but happening for you?
What if that relationship isn’t working out, for you? What if you didn’t get that job because it wasn’t the right fit for you? What if you can’t get that new house because it’s not for you?
God is love. God blesses the godly. He surrounds them with His love. So I believe that out of His love, certain things just aren’t in the cards for us because He is protecting us. I believe certain things aren’t for us because He has something better. And I believe that in His divinely wise love, He keeps the things that aren’t for us, away from us.
It’s easy to ask, why would God do this to me? But it’s not so second nature to ask, why is God doing this for me? How is God expressing His love for me in this situation?
God loves us and everything He does is out of love. So when we don’t get what we want, it is just as much out of love as it is when we do receive it. So the question isn’t why does God do this to me? It’s not why is that happening to me? It’s not even why is God doing this for me?
So when we really think about God’s love, and His actions always expressing that love, the real question at hand is the same one King David had:
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and prayed, “Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?
2 Samuel 7:18 (NLT)
What makes being in a relationship hard? I think an underlying problem is having to share. I’ve been trying to figure out what makes it so hard to wrap my brain around marriage. The obvious is true, simply put, it’s a HUGE change. But when I sat and thought about it, God boiled it down to even simpler terms.
We have never truly learned how to share. And sharing has never seemed quite as fun as having it all for yourself. Sharing is scary. We have to trust someone with our stuff! We have to believe they will take care of it or that they’ll appreciate our sacrifice in offering it.
And since we never really learned to share, it’s hard to wrap our mind around sharing in marriage. Sharing money? Sharing my space? Sharing my feelings? Sharing is too vulnerable and we would rather voluntarily suffer than have to share.
But what about the other end of the spectrum? When we move from “I have to” to “I get to” it doesn’t seem so bad. And I can’t help but believe that we need to change our perspective about love, things, and money. Media paints a pretty ugly picture of marriage. It’s all about what you have to do. While that is a part of marriage it’s not all of marriage.
The movie “What Love Is,” explains this idea so great. A single friend is trying to convince his married buddy about how “whipped” he is in marriage. The married friend goes on to say it’s all about perspective. “You see it as I have to pick up my wife from the airport. I see it as I get to pick up my wife from the airport.”
I understand marriage will certainly not always be rainbows and roses. But I pray to understand it won’t be all hailstorms and thorns either. It’s the second biggest decision you can make (salvation being the first). It’s so big because it’s so good. And it will be a lot of work, but who wouldn’t want to work hard at something that’s worth it?
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) For we walk by faith, not by sight.
I’m pretty sure walking by faith is supposed to be encouraging news. Yet, we can hear that statement and find ourselves scared. What? You mean I don’t see what’s coming or the solution? I just have to believe that God is taking care of it? Yes!
See, our relationship is built on faith in God. Our salvation is built on the faith that we believe in God’s master plan for Jews and Gentiles to be saved through the life and death of Jesus Christ. The foundation of what we have with God is faith built. So it shouldn’t be that big of an issue to walk by faith.
Half of what we see everyday we wouldn’t believe if someone had told us in advance. For many of us, no one could have convinced us that we would have accomplished the things that we have in our lifetime. So to walk by faith shouldn’t be so jarring. As Christians, it’s what you do.
You faithfully believe. You faithfully obey. And you faithfully wait. And God always, always faithfully does His part. It’s a formula that has been proven time and time again to work.
Where does the time go? We say that a lot, but seriously, where does the time really go?
It’s crazy to think about how much can change in just a year. Your job can change, your relationship status, your goals, and so much more. And if you’re not careful, all these new changes can occur almost without you even realizing it. That’s almost what happened to me.
I finally took a minute to think about where I was last year at this time. I was in a completely different place. I was different mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In some ways I was better, and in some ways I was just different.
I have to admit, I enjoy looking at the “memories” app on Facebook. It reminds of the place I was in at one point in my life. On those tough days I look back at that memory tab and I’m reminded of so many things. I’m reminded of quotes that I posted. Those posts hold me accountable for my today.
Truth be told, I think that tab has changed my attitude recently. When I’m reminded of how I tried to encourage people a year ago, I can’t help but take a dose of my own medicine. And you know what, I need it. Sometimes I need two tablespoons instead of one. And as nasty as that medicine can be, it sure does work.
We don’t realize it, but sometimes the only elixir we really need, is a taste of our medicine.
Can you believe God actually created us with the purpose of having a relationship with us? I know. It’s crazy, right? But He did. It’s really too hard to grasp.
God wants a relationship with me. Imperfect, disobedient, silly me. How could that be?
God longs for me to spend time with Him. How is this possible? An almighty God actually gets excited when I put everything aside and spend time with Him. He actually waits for me to turn over my burdens to Him so He can handle it. He actually looks forward to hearing from me everyday.
I don’t think about that enough. I don’t think about the fact that God is indescribably good, and I am only good because He created me. I don’t acknowledge the fact that in His ultimate grace and mercy He can’t help but love me even though I am, well, me. I want to be good enough for God to love. I want to be the best writer I can be for God to love. I want to be the best daughter for God to love. I want to be the best most perfect everything for God to love.
And I can’t be. I will never be. I can never be good enough for God to love, and I can never be bad enough for Him to stop loving me.
So in a world where I can want to be anything, the best thing I will ever be, is God’s. And that’s far more than I deserve.