Quarter Century

Last week I turned 25 years old.

You guys: I have lived through an entire quarter of a century.
(Insert party hats & a fireworks show in your head, please.)

I guess it’s time to put on my big girl pants, huh?

Now, usually I’m pretty “whatever” about my birthdays. I’ve never felt older all of a sudden or anything like that, you know? I’ve never been overly celebratory about it nor have I felt the need to be sad about seeing the years pass. I never understood why people got depressed about getting older. I actually genuinely aspire to be one of those old ladies who flaunt their white hair & brags about how many years they have seen & live long enough to talk about the ‘old days’. To age gracefully is seriously one of my life goals. But typically, my birthday comes & goes & I give very little thought to it.

This year was different, though.

There are moments in life that you just know are pivotal. Sometimes they’re loud, chaotic, & obvious moments, like a major event or traumatic experience. But sometimes, those pivotal moments in your life come in the shape of spontaneous epiphanies while you drive to work or soft whispers late at night while everyone else is asleep. Sometimes, you change in an instant & in the most subtle of ways. A tiny shift in your heart & mind, & suddenly you feel just a little more alive & a little more on the right track than you were before.

I sensed a shift like that in my soul in the weeks approaching my 25th birthday this year. It was one of those moments in which I found myself examining who I was & who I wanted to be & actually finding peace in the outcome.

“What is it that you want to see realized in your life, Alexa?”

The question lingered in my thoughts for weeks.

I could answer this a million different ways &, because of that, it’s a question I don’t ask often. I think I over-complicate/over-analyze it & push myself to frustration. My response has always fallen so pathetically short to what I really wanted to express, even to myself!

Let me demonstrate.

Here is just a small, embarrassing glimpse into my past responses:

Age 15: be married with a kid on the way by age twenty-five & be living in New York City writing for a magazine or something. (Okay, calm down “The Devil Wears Prada”. In case you didn’t know, none of those three things have come to pass. *insert hysterical laughter at myself*)

Age 20: be traveling as a missionary on & off to different countries all over the world. (Again, just in case you’re unsure, that too has not come to pass.)

Um, yeah. I really shot for the moon, didn't I?

We could talk about a career or relationship status or where I want to build a family. We could talk about places I want to travel to or bucket list items I want to check off. We could even talk about ministry & what I’d like to be able to do to further the Kingdom of God. And although I do have hopes & dreams & visions for all of those things, none of them are exactly where my focus is right now.
Nor is it necessarily where I think it should be.

“What is it that you want to see realized in your life, Alexa?”

This time, the answer came sweetly sweeping into my spirit & I responded:

What do I want to see realized in my life?
I’ll tell ya.

I long to see God’s restorative reconciliation in the practical, daily, enduring pieces of my life; not just in thought, theology, or theory. I want to see the evidence of reconciliation in real relationships, between me & God AND between me & people. In the laughter & tears, openness & grace, I want to see a renewed excitement to know & walk alongside one another.

I long to see the evidence of God’s goodness & grace, His promises & trustworthiness. Not just as words, but visible transformation & measurable changes.

I want my life to sing a melody that others want to repeat, one that invites the multitudes to join in on the harmony. One in which every lyric expresses the heart of the Father, the love of the Son, & the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

I long for a relationship with Jesus that translates into the way I speak, think, act, & love.
To encounter Him will, by default, change the way I encounter others---I want that to be true about my life.

& I believe it will be. One day, moment, & person at a time, “I will live to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13, ESV). & if you're bold enough to go after it, I believe you will too.

So, let me ask you: “What is it that you want to see realized in your life?”

Cheers to 25 & all that follows it.

Alexa | Joy

Alexa JoyComment