What My Early 20’s Taught Me

I am sure as I go through life this statement will continue to follow me, I don’t know as much as I thought I did.

When I was a teenager into my early 20’s my mind was so made up on so many different things. I thought I knew it all. I knew the black and white of right and wrong, I thought I knew what my life was going to look like, what I thought about different people and topics.

My early 20’s have humbled me. 

The irony is I write this in a coffeeshop called Humble. Think God was trying to tell me something!? Ha Over the course of my life my perfectionist mentality has created this sense of pride in my heart that is damaging and not loving. It was lacking in grace and putting my own life on a pedi-stool. I put my identity in everything BUT Jesus. I put it in the fact that I was a Pastor’s daughter. I used the knowledge that I was able to glean from my amazing parents and used it as a source of pride. Internally thoughts of knowing it all. Having all the answers. Praise Jesus for His patience and grace. Or I would have been stuck in those ways. Over the last three years my only answer to most questions is “I don’t know”.

Where are you going to live? What job are you going to do? What’s your 5 year plan? When are you going to get married? Are you going to move? Where are you going to go to church? What are you doing in this season? Why is this happening? Why did that happen? — I Don’t Know

I am so thankful for the pain and hardships that have happened over the last few years. I have been living in circumstances I used to look down upon others for.  Because of that Jesus has shown my heart grace, in turn,making my heart soften towards grace. Where my heart used to turn to judgment its inclined towards understanding.

From my first job to now I’ve run from customer service jobs. I used to look down upon it and try to escape it. Still though, God has not let me leave yet. I’ve begun to look at others around me in that environment and learn no one was better or less than another. I’ve had to fight my pride when I get yelled at by a random stranger. When I’ve have shown a customer kindness and have to hear them slander my name and character. When I get talked down to like I am not competent. That identity I placed in my intelligence gets wounded.  Learning I may not be able to change how I get treated, but I can focus on my response and how I treat others.

From always being confident about church and what I was called to do, to struggling to serve and fighting the pain of hurt from the church; I have been humbled. I used to look down when someone would tell me they weren’t going to church but loved Jesus. The idea couldn’t make sense in my mind. Yet, now I can understand. The fear of pain, the fear of being hurt again. I couldn’t think outside the box before, now Jesus have taught my heart to be understanding. To relate.

Being stripped of ministry and serving taught my heart that I do not earn love. God’s love and forgiveness is not received by doing, but freely given. Having to go through seasons of not serving humbled my pride. I could not use that to make me appear like I had it all together anymore. I couldn’t put my identity in how well or how often I served. I used the church service to be my identity. Now I see the beauty in serving where God has called you. Maybe your ministry is not in the church, but in your everyday. What a humbling new idea for this 20 something to grasp.

My early 20’s have taught me I am not called to live a conventional life. That it is ok that my life doesn’t look like others. I didn’t live that Christian dream of marrying young and running straight into ministry together. I don’t have the typical 9-5 salaried life or have it all figured out. I learned that living life is a hot mess at times.

My early 20’s have taught me I do not have it all together, and am still no where near there, and that is ok! I have learned that breaking through pride is by having faith. Faith that I do not have control, but trust who is in control.

With Love,

Carissa

“Life is best served with a hot cup of coffee and a whole lot of grace!”

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