25 Things in 25 Years

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Today I turned 25. Excuse me, WHAT? 25 years that I've been on planet Earth. 300 months. 15,600 weeks. 109,200 days. WHAT?

 I'm trying to avoid my inevitable quarter life crisis so let's move on.

A couple years ago I made a post on my 23rd birthday and I included a number of things that I learned from that year. I love looking back on these old posts, so I figure it might be fun to make this a yearly thing. We'll see how it goes, since I'm not necessarily the most consistent with this stuff. But here we go --

25 things for the 25 years of life that I've spent on this earth.

1. I learned that it's super fun to take a solo road trip to New England. It's great to find a new appreciation for going on adventures on your own.
2. I learned more about how I work with some of the best people who've ever existed.
3. I learned truth behind the statement, "things that are worth it are hard".
4. I learned that you can't always confidently say "there's no chance of that happening".
5. I learned more about how God has redeemed/is redeeming my false beliefs.
6. I learned more about my personal capacity and the importance of what needs to be said "yes" to and what needs to be said "no" to [and I'm still learning that balance].
7. I learned that it's so critical to make time for my own creativity. God has crafted me in a specific way and I want to make the best use of the interests He's given me and the way He has wired me.
8. I learned the importance of remembrance -- a theme that has continued to come up in my life over the course of this year, and I get so excited when I discover more about what it means & how so many areas of life come back to that importance - specifically remembrance of the Gospel.
9. I learned that it's okay to revisit things that didn't work in the past and to not be afraid to revisit those things. 
10. I learned + realized just how much the Lord has answered my prayers for close girlfriends + deep friendships. If you're feeling isolated in the area of friendships, keep praying. They'll come. ♡
11. I learned that it's actually possible for me to take ideas + dreams out of my head, put pen to paper, and make things happen. + I look forward to how some of these ideas will play out! 
12. I learned to be less obsessive about weight + food and how unhealthy it was for me to constantly check for a number on the scale rather than simply eating intuitively based on what my body needs and using food for nutrients + fuel. [TBH, I'm no health + fitness guru like what you see on social media. Let's be honest, I ate a ton of toffee the other day. Buuuut I'm learning.]
13. I learned more about vulnerability, and how very good transparency is. The number of people who know absolutely everything there is to know about me has increased, and I've seen how God meets me as I'm honest + open about my brokenness.
14. I learned how to have a new appreciation for God's Word, and have been more diligent in my time spent with Him. I've seen more connections in the Truth it contains and get excited as I discover that it really is all one story pointing to Jesus. I've also gained more of a love to teach the Word.
15. I learned that sometimes success simply looks like obedience.
16. I learned new + specific ways that God is using my own story and own brokenness to work in the lives of others. Those things that I thought were pointless and had only brought heartache. Jesus is making beauty from ashes.
17. I learned how to find my voice - how to express thoughts, feelings, and opinions without the fear that they aren't valid.
18. I learned a newfound desire and passion to fight against the schemes of Hell. To caution against what is not of the Lord and remind people of the truth. I've uncovered more about the lies + wounds that have weighed me down for so long, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I'm fighting back.
19. I learned more about what actually matters in life. I can get so distracted with my own agendas and plans, but the truth still stands: God + His Word are eternal. People are eternal. And souls spend eternity somewhere. What am I doing about that?
20. I learned more about God's kindness and the way that He intricately orchestrates things.
21. I learned to pray more honestly, more vulnerably, and to trust the Lord with big things.
22. I learned more about what a privilege it is to be entrusted with the Gospel, the message of reconciliation, and what a gift it is to intimately know the God who saves souls - the God who is the ultimate Rescuer.
23. I've learned over and over what a joy it is to weekly meet with college women who desire to better know Christ. Women who faithfully come during busy afternoons or week nights with Bibles in hand, ready to learn. Not something you see every day from this age group. What a privilege.
24. I learned that I'm more in need of grace + healing than I ever thought. And that it's okay to cry over woundedness and willfully admit when things are not okay. And it's a very good thing to bring people in your life who are able to aid in bringing about healing.
25. I learned that what all older adults say is true. The older you get, the more you see the brokenness of the world. The more you see hardships. The more you realize how messed up people are. The more you experience pain from others' selfish choices. The more you realize the reality of what childhood seemed to shield you from. BUT. That doesn't mean all hope is lost. That doesn't mean I crumble down into despair. You can choose to live in naivety or ignorance as a way to protect yourself from hard things, and you can choose to let those hard things corrode your outlook. But what I'm learning is that you can accept the tension of having both: the mess & hardships and the joy & celebration. It's the hard times that make the good times sweeter and more beautiful. Childhood shielded me from the harsh reality of real life, and now I'm awake to those hard realities, but I've simultaneously experienced that Christ is my shield through them all. I can't avoid heartbreaking moments, but I have a God who walks with me through them, and Who reveals more of Himself through those moments. I learned more about what it means to "count it all joy".

 

There are many other things I could say. Many more reasons as to why I'm thankful for this 25th year. Many more ways to elaborate on the things I've listed here. But these are some of the main themes, and I'm thankful for the experiences that led to each of these points. Whaddya say, should I do this every year?!

 

Jocelyn Hepler