Girl, You Wouldn’t Recognize Me Now

For the podcast on this post, click here.

This next birthday is coming sooner than I’d like it to, it will be my 40th birthday. I remember in my 20s thinking 40 was so far away, it seemed as though I would never reach it, but, here it is. Lately, I’ve been reading letters people write to their younger selves (it’s a thing-google it). Originally, I thought I would create one as a blog post and read it on the podcast but the more I thought about it the more I realized I only had one thing to say to my younger self…

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now.

In my 20’s I was naive, in fact, I suppose you could say, I was flat out stupid about a lot of things. I had this plan for my life all worked out and I was convinced everything would fit into it just perfectly. Go to college, get degree, marry husband, have kids, travel the world…you know, the typical thing.

It’s easy to look back at your life and get filled with regret or feel as though you have failed in one way or another. I had one of those moments recently, I thought about bad business deals and failed relationships and it didn’t take too long before I just felt like I had wasted years of my life making mistakes.

But, I haven’t.

I have spent years of my life learning and becoming. I have spent years becoming who I am right now at this very moment and I will spend years continuing to become the person Christ has called me to be for the rest of my life. And, the only way for that to be possible, is through derailed plans, mistakes and misguided steps. That’s the only way it all happens, that’s the only way we step out of our plan and walk into God’s plan for our lives.

I used to be pretty quiet (shocking, I know), I fell in line, I kept my head down and I did whatever was expected of me but somewhere between the bad business deals, the failed marriage and the anxiety, I became someone else (for the better). I went from weak to strong, from quiet to assertive, I went from not knowing to learning continually and figuring things out.

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now.

In my 20’s, fear and intimidation could be used to control me. Those things don’t even faze me today. In my 20’s, everyone knew everything and I felt so stupid but today, I hold two degrees and I learn something new every single day realizing learning is a never ending process. In my 20’s, I wanted everyone to like me and I got my feelings hurt every single time I was excluded or looked over. Today, I don’t care if you like me or not.

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now.

In my 30’s things went south, the marriage I thought would last forever was gone and the business I had built from my little house as a stay at home mom had blown up in my face. I spent years in legal battles, surviving an obsessed stalker and rebuilding my career. My body protested stress with panic attacks, celiac disease and 1001 other miscellaneous weird things that told me nothing other than I was aging and I couldn’t hold the stress of the world on my shoulders. Somewhere in there, I also remarried and now have a husband and five boys on this journey with me but, I’m not the same.

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now.

In there was the growth. In the trenches, in the darkness when the enemy thought he had me. The enemy saw me cry, he saw me on the ground crying out to the Lord, he saw me being rushed to a hospital after passing out again, he saw me crying to attorneys to help stop the fallout. The enemy saw me but here’s what he didn’t see…

He didn’t see the other guy in the fire.

The enemy didn’t see the one holding me, the one wiping my tears away, the one lifting me up and teaching me how to walk again but this time, to walk with my head held high, full of strength knowing that for every single Goliath I face, God is raising up a David inside of me. The enemy didn’t see me coming because I was in the becoming, I was becoming who Christ has called me to be in the valley not on the mountaintop.  The enemy thought I would fall away, cower down in weakness and waste my life wishing but, he didn’t know who he was messing with…

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now.

I’m not the same girl I used to be. I am no longer controlled by fear and endless anxiety, I’m no longer intimidated or bullied into silence. I’m not 20 years old anymore and praise God because the journey from 20 to 40 is nothing but growth, nothing but realizing the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead lives inside of you and that just doesn’t happen overnight. (Rms. 8:11).

SO…what would I say to my 20 year old self?

Girl, you wouldn’t recognize me now and you know what? I pray that when I am 60, I’m saying that same thing to my 40 year old self. I pray I never stop growing, I never stop changing and as I walk in the freedom of the Lord, I pray God continues to do radical things in my life and in the life of my children that only further blows my plans out of the water. Because at the end of the day, living life according to a plan is pretty boring stuff, right?

Here’s to 40, my friends, and here’s to growing, to looking back and realizing “I may not be where I need to be but thank God I’m not where I was!” (Joyce Meyer)

For the podcast on this post, click here.

Girl You Wouldn't Recognize Me Now

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