34

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I’m 34. Is there a cute pop song for 34? Switchfoot had some great coming of age songs. I think Jon Foreman stopped making those songs when he turned 25. Is 25 the beginning of the end of youth?

What should one have accomplished by this age? I don’t own a home. I don’t own a car. I’m not debt-free. I don’t have a full-time job. I have no husband. I have no children. These are things my culture values. I don’t have them.

I measure accomplishment differently. I’ve had different experiences. Different life lessons. I’ve earned my gray hair by different means.

These are the adventures through which God has given me wisdom and instilled some semblance of maturity:

2 countries lived in

10 countries visited

10 homes

14 roommates

4 years of undergrad

9 years of seminary

3 years as the Associate Youth Pastor of East Lake

3 years full time at All American Imaging

3 years of teaching at the Black Forest Academy

3 years of fundraising for a long term mission to Dresden

(Publix employee and Westwood youth pastor mixed in there)

Things I can’t count:

Friends

Students I have known and loved

Ikea furniture I have purchased and assembled

Life has been grand. No matter what I don’t have, I could never complain. I didn’t really pursue the American dream, so I didn’t achieve it. Instead, I received opportunity. I have had an opportunity for education, for travel, and for friendship.

What’s next? I can never know for sure. I’m eagerly waiting for my funding to come through for a move to Germany. The project I am joining is long term. I know that is where God has called me. As much as I love where I am and what I am doing, I must go.

If I can stay in one place longer than 3 years, I will achieve something new. In the past, God has used previous pieces of my life to prepare me for the next part of my journey. I hope and believe that this next part of the journey will recall ALL of my life lessons and experience.

I look forward to what is ahead and how God intends to shape me. 34 isn’t an exciting number, but this will be an exciting year. God is stretching me and making me into something new. I look forward to seeing how I’ve changed by age 35. Maybe I’ll write my own cute pop song.

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