27. Equal parts exciting and terrifying.
Exciting because I have loved every year of my 20’s so far. They have been full of adventure, awesome friendships, countless laughs, two convocations, new traditions, travelling, finding and marrying David, buying our first home, and starting a career that I love. I am excited about ‘27’ because I know that it will hold more opportunities for fun, growth, love, friendship and new experiences! (**Thank-you to everyone who has invested into my life this year and who has helped to make it one of my favourite years yet!)
But ‘27’ is also terrifying. Terrifying because ‘27’ is a little too close to ‘30’ for comfort. While I have definitely enjoyed my 20’s so far, they haven’t been perfect; I haven’t been perfect! I’ve chosen anger over patience, reading blogs over reading scripture, and watching Little People Big World over calling up/visiting my grandmas. I’ve been selfish with my time, energy and resources, acting as though they were mine to divvy out in the first place. I’ve said I’d pray for things and haven’t followed through. I’ve neglected to create or seize opportunities to build relationships with my neighbors. I’ve forgotten whose I am and have turned to things and words of affirmation for value. This is not the person I want to be at ‘30’.
I was listening to a sermon about preparing for the future- Pack Your Bags by Andy Stanley- on my way to work a few weeks ago and so many of the ideas in his message hit home for me! In it, Andy says, “Regardless of what else you’re packing for the next phase of life, you’re packing YOU. Wherever you go, there you are. In our minds we trick ourselves into thinking that ‘once I’m married’, ‘once I get into school’, ‘once I’m richer’…, ‘once I have kids’... we’ll be better people. We think a new view, and a new ‘do’ will mean a new ‘you’. But we are still the same!”
If I want to be a different person by ‘30’, then it’s going to require some preparation and hard work! I can’t just know the type of person that I want to be, I can’t just want to be that person, I have to work hard to make changes to become that person!
The scripture Andy references in his sermon is James 1:22-24: “Do not merely listen to (or read) the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, immediately forgets what he looks like”.
When we look into the mirror every morning after waking up, we stare at it and make adjustments to ourselves until we look presentable! We don’t just look into the mirror, say “ew”, get dressed and then head out the door! That would be crazy! A mirror requires a response. But for some reason, we often look into the spiritual mirror, see areas that need work and choose to do nothing about what we see even though we know that fixing our hair/make-up/outfit has far less to do with the direction and quality of our life than getting our behavior right!
Andy’s sermon ends with a challenge to spend as much time evaluating our spiritual lives- by gazing intently into God’s perfect law (Matthew 22:37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind …and love your neighbor as yourself”)- as we do our physical appearance!
So my challenge for ‘27’? To spend more time meditating on God’s perfect law. To start each day thinking about how I can love the lord my God with all my heart and all of my soul and all of my mind, and love my neighbor as myself and to daily look for, acknowledge and commit to improving the areas of my life where I am not loving God or people well! I want to enter ‘28’ (and eventually ‘30’) as someone who, when I gaze into the mirror, more closely resembles Jesus Christ!
Here are some highlights from '26':
Hi! I'm Mrs. Julia Dawe,