To be honest, I don’t really think turning 22 is that big of a deal except for the fact that I now have a year to be able to sing TSwift’s “22” and actually have the lyrics be somewhat accurate. By the way, who wants to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes with me tonight?
But seriously, there’s not that much about 22 to get excited for. It’s not the year where you can start driving, be viewed as a legal adult, or even begin drinking (though let’s be honest, how many of you reading this actually waited until you were 21 to have your first drink? No shame/judgement!). If anything, 22 seems like the beginning of the downwards spiral of just getting old and being called “ma’am” by tweens or whatever the heck they’re calling themselves now…
Honestly, I look into the mirror sometimes and see a 5 year old crashing from a sugar rush staring back at me from the mirror most days instead of a 22, soon to be graduating from college and thrust into the “real world”, adult. Like seriously, if the fact that I wanted a Batman onsie for my birthday, my TWENTY-SECOND birthday, doesn’t say I’m not ready nor should I be allowed to enter the “real world” I don’t know what does (Sadly, mom didn’t get me the onsie. Epic sad face). Obviously, if you haven’t already figured out by now, I’m having “epic” first world oh-my-gosh-I’m-graduating-from-college-in-10-weeks-but-I-don’t-have-a-job-yet problems. Woe. Is. Me. Cue the world’s tiniest violin.
Ok, I promise, this post is not going to be me complaining about my early quarter life crisis. I promise. (Just stick with me through this tangential train of thought turned blog post. Which is what you have been doing if you’ve been keeping up with this blog.) But yeah, turning 22 was pretty anti-climatic even for a Tuesday birthday (didn’t even have cake), and yet within this first week of the double 2s, I’ve been really blessed by the lessons God has been giving me.
As a graduating senior in college, I want to do all things/be all things for the people that I am leaving behind but honestly, that’s really stupid and most importantly, emotionally draining. Oh, don’t get me wrong. In no way am I just giving up on people or suddenly dropping all my responsibilities to be a recluse in my dorm room (I don’t have enough snacks to do that, sadly). However, as one of my staff workers told me the other day (I hope I get these right, they said a lot of really good things. I should have been taking notes.), there are things I can and cannot control in regards to my last few weeks on campus and in life in general:
- I CAN control what I do or do not say.
- I CAN control what I do or do not do.
- I CAN NOT control what others do or do not say and/or do.
- I CAN control whether I will continue to let my feelings and beliefs be swayed by things/people I can not control.
- I CAN choose to forgive someone, especially – and sometimes most importantly – forgiveness for myself and find Shalom (or peace) whether or not things go the way I initially hope they would
These things all seem really simple and honestly, none of this is new to me. But just like when I was was 15, 18, 21, and now 22, they’re not always easy to remember and they’re even harder to do. They require giving up a lot of pride, in myself and my own ability. They require me to rely a lot on God. They require me to really believe and take comfort in the knowledge that whatever is God’s will is infinitely better than what I could have done or imagined.
I think a lot of times we – myself included – try to create these long term plans, whether it’s for a year, 4 years, or the rest of our lives. And sometimes, we’re able to hit some of the key points in our plans but sometimes, God is like “Sorry, kid. That’s not what I have plan for you,”. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that it doesn’t initially suck, that what you wanted is not what you’ll get. And that’s fine. It’s fine to mourn that possibility that will probably never happen. To even be angry with God and let Him know that. But as I mentioned before, what’s most important is whether or not you will CONTINUE to mourn, letting that sadness control your actions and miss the awesome opportunities and people God does provide for you. I have definitely been guilty of that and knowing myself well enough, there will probably be more than a few times where I’ll mourn for longer than I should throughout the rest of my life. It’s not the best thing but that’s fine, because red swollen eyes, tear stained cheeks, and snotty noses is still beautiful to God and He doesn’t love us any less for it and I’m grateful for that.
But let’s be honest, I rather mourn, put those few bitter-sweet feelings and experiences in a box, say my farewells, and see where God leads me next. And who knows, maybe the path that God initially drew me from, He leads me back but stronger and more equipped than I was before.
So…HERE’S TO FEELING TWENTY-TWO Ooooo (sorry, had to do it) and not being too old to find and seek comfort in the Lord. Amen.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” ~Psalm 55:22