This is 23.

As I crest the third week of my twenty third year, it occurs to me that I have a good amount of wisdom to share with the internet. Twenty-three years worth, actually.

But I feel highly unqualified, seeing as 23 currently looks like me, sitting in my bed at 7 p.m., in snowflake pajamas.

In all seriousness though, this past year has given me incredible opportunities for growth. Some, I have welcomed with open arms. Others, I have stubbornly fought. Yet, by the grace of God, I have emerged as a more mature, compassionate, and godly woman.

I will always remember 22 as the first year of my harvest– the time I had been waiting on for over five years. Finally, I was reaping the rewards of my hard work as a student, athlete, writer, friend, and individual recovering from an eating disorder. In simple terms: Life started to click.

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I was blessed with a special group of friends and teammates who joined me in weekly Bible study for a second year. I finally broke some PRs in cross country and track. I wrestled with concepts like my self-worth and fear. I even semi-kinda learned how to cook!

The temptation is to look back and see my own achievements, to grab hold of them and brandish them as trophies on my shelf. The temptation is to see the good, claim the good, and hoard the good. That’s why I’m choosing to do the exact opposite.

It was all God! All the joy, the triumph through trials, the new job, the friends: All God. And because it’s all God, I don’t have to hold it tightly. Rather, I hold these things loosely because I see their value, and the greater value of the giver. That’s a lot easier to say when I’m walking through a valley, and last year was an excellent lesson in Christ-focused living, amidst prosperity.

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That’s not to say things were perfect though. And when I was met with opposition, I often faltered. But as I look back on the rough points– relationships, injury, stress, fear– I see God working to grow and stretch me, to weed out my stubborn and sinful nature. And for that: I am incredibly grateful.

God has been good to me for 22 years, and He will be good for all of eternity. I don’t have a lot of wisdom to share, as a 23-year-old, but I do know that much. And it’s wisdom worth sharing.

Love,

Hannah

 

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