Happy Monday! I am just in an excellent mood about this week, because I had a great weekend with my family celebrating my birthday, plus my actual birthday is on Wednesday! I had planned to go to dinner with my friends, but two of them told me they were taking it over, so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but I’m excited! Especially considering last year I didn’t have friends on my birthday so I just went to work and then got Taco Cabana for dinner. It wasn’t as sad as it sounds, I promise.
A few of my favorite bloggers have occasional “coffee date” blog posts, and I just love them! I think it’s a great way to share things I typically wouldn’t, and give you all a chance to get to know a little more about me! I’m not sure what this will look like long term, it will probably be different each time. But variety is the spice of life!
Since my birthday is coming up, this time I’ll be looking back on 23 a bit, but mostly looking ahead to my 24th year. I have this thing about reflecting on the time that passes between important events, I think it’s good to take a look at how things are going every once in a while and see what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want to change.
For me, it seemed the “theme” of 23 was “you can do it”. It wasn’t necessarily a difficult year, I was just faced with a lot of new situations that at times I wasn’t sure if I could handle. At work it was promotions, difficult co-workers, moving into a supervisory role, and lots of problem solving. Personally, it was making big decisions about money, finding a church where I could be filled spiritually, having my first boyfriend and then breaking up with my first boyfriend, balancing work and social commitments, and investing more time and energy into friendships than I ever had before. There were so many times that I wasn’t sure if I could do it, and a lot of things I knew I needed to do but didn’t want to do. But the Lord was so faithful to me this year! He showed me that He placed me here, hours away from my family, for a purpose and that He’s not just going to leave me hanging. He taught me over and over that He has great things for me here and in my life in general, although they might not be the great things I ask for. He has taught me to praise Him even more for the victories, and to seek Him more in the defeats and the lonely times. And I’m so thankful for that.
As I look ahead, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen this next year. Nothing big like graduating, starting a job, getting married, or anything else super exciting is in my immediate future, so it could be easy for me to have a negative attitude. And frankly, I have lately. It’s not my favorite thing to admit, but this isn’t what I thought my life would look like when I turned 24. Don’t get me wrong- there’s a lot of things I love about my life right now. But very few of my friends from high school and college are in a similar place in life, and sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s easy for me to feel stuck and impatient, but the Lord has been teaching me lately that that’s not how He’s called me to live. He has been teaching me so much about being completely satisfied in Him; not satisfied based on my emotions, not satisfied based on what’s going on at work, not satisfied based on my circumstances, and definitely not satisfied based on what clothes I can buy to make myself feel better about not having any weekend plans.
This has not been an easy lesson, and I’m still working on it every day. I’m doing the Bible study “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore with the girls from my small group at church, and the topic of finding satisfaction in anything other than God came up about the second or third week. I was like “this is me, this is my life, this is such a problem, this is holding me back”, and then Beth prompted me to take a minute to discuss that with God and I suddenly changed my tune. “Not today, I don’t have time, I’m going to be late for work.” Well, that never works, so the topic kept coming up, in that Bible study, in church, and in small group. Finally, on week six, when I met with my friends to discuss the Bible study as we do every week, I was confronted with a lot of truth that I’d been needing. We talked about how we’re always searching for something to fill a void, but that void should be filled by Jesus. And when we continue to search for earthly things (friends, boys, clothes, money, success, a busy schedule) to fill that emptiness, we give up the only thing that can actually fill us up and make us whole. Beth Moore said that “God gives us His spirit without limit. There is more than enough to fill us with”. A quote in my workbook for this study says “The life that Jesus gives is no tame and stagnant thing. It is much more than merely the entrance into a new state, that of being saved instead of lost. It is the ABUNDANT life, and the living Spirit within people is evidence of this.” (quote from the New International Commentary on the New Testament)
The thing that I have been wanting, and the thing that most of us want, is a life that is full. Full of joy, adventure, love, friendship, and satisfaction. What I had forgotten was that as a believer, I already have that. Jesus has promised me an abundant life in Him. Not a perfect, ideal life, but a life that is full of all of the things I listed above. This coming year, I am looking forward to taking advantage of and living the abundant life that I have. And that starts with being satisfied in Jesus.
Thank you for reading,
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