23 Lessons From My 23rd Year

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On my 23rd birthday, I jokingly told my friends that I suddenly felt so much older and wiser. I wanted to share my wisdom with them, but I said it was just something one couldn’t understand until they hit the ripe age of 23! So the first day of being 23 wasn’t actually filled with much wisdom, but looking back at this year was a different story.

Little did I know what my Michael Jordan year had in store for me: a year of adventure, of trial and error, of taking risks and learning to love boldly.

Now I’m turning 24, and I’m still far from old and wise. But I want to share with you some things I’ve learned.

Individually, they’re good things to know. But there’s a bigger picture. As a whole, these things have pushed me to know God more, and to love people better. And that’s what this life on earth is all about, right?

Here you go. 23 life lessons from a 23 year old.

  1. Grace upon grace is a real thing. Learn it and live in it. Give the stuff away like it’s parade candy. Walk around in it like you’re drenched from head to toe, leaving puddles everywhere you walk.

  2. Drink more water. Don’t wait to learn this one the hard way.

  3. Adventure can be found in the mundane. You’ve just got to keep your ears and eyes open to hear God and see his Kingdom around you.

  4. Do hard things. Get out of bed early. Get on your knees and pray. Fast from something that consumes your thoughts and time. Challenge yourself. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing hard things that will make you better.

  5. God don’t make no accidents. You are chosen. Believe that truth and let it define your attitude, let it fill you with courage to love people and hope to persevere through the dark times. Let your chosen-ness define who you are, how you live your life, and how you love people.

  6. Don’t get comfortable. Nothing happens when you’re comfortable. When you get comfortable, you stop dreaming, you stop seeking. Keep growing.

  7. It’s okay to be messy sometimes. Especially when you’re painting or cooking.

  8. Be authentic. Be real. Be genuine. Always.

  9. The Kingdom of God does not look like a room full of people that look like you. Build relationships with people different from you. Experience new cultures. Learn a new language. Your mind and heart will be opened in a new way, you will experience God in ways you didn’t know were possible.

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  10. Take risks. But use wisdom. (I’m still figuring this one out).

  11. Surround yourself with people who dream and do, people who push you to love God and love others more and more. If you want to be a world changer, be friends with world changers.

  12. Write down your prayers. Then look back and see how God answers them. It will humble you to your knees and want nothing more but to praise Him…and then continue praying radical prayers.

  13. God is sovereign. Your feelings don’t determine or change the characteristics of God. God is good all the time, all the time God is good.

  14. A hot shower is such a luxury, not a necessity. And a cold shower builds character. But wow, hot showers are good for the soul.

  15. You don’t need to speak the same language to show people love.

  16. Stop letting fear win. Choose hope. Seriously. Fear is a controlling jerk, don’t let him whisper lies in your ear. Hope will shut him right up.

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  17. Never stop exploring. Try new foods. Take a wrong turn. Climb a mountain. It’s a big world out there. Be bigger than the box you were put into.

  18. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. I’m talking an obnoxious, crying, belly laugh so hard your abs are sore the next day. We all need those every now and then.

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  19. Smile more. Even when it’s hard. Because it’s going to be okay. Other people need to know it’s going to be okay for them too. A smile spreads joy. Joy needs to be spread more. Join that movement.

  20. Make your bed every morning. It feels good to accomplish something first thing in the morning. And what’s better than crawling into a nicely made bed at the end of a long day? Not much.

  21. We all want to be known. Ask people their name. If they’re wearing a name tag, call them by their name. It feels good to be known.

  22. Don’t expect, just accept. The world is a big place, and people will do things differently than you would. It’s not weird. It’s not wrong. It’s just different.

  23. We are at war, spiritually. Don’t leave the house without your armor.

There you have it. 23 has come and gone. I can’t wait to see what 24 has in store for me!

What about you? Whether it was 2 or 22 years ago, is there anything you wish you could tell your 23-year-old self?

 


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