23 Things I Learned in My 22nd Year

I mean WOW

There are many words I could use to describe my T-Swift year (22, for those that are very confused…), but all I can think of to describe it is “WOW.” 

My 22nd year was one for the books, for sure. This last year was one of personal growth — thanks to the Holy Spirit and the Enneagram — shoutout to all of my 6’s! 22 was a year of intense sanctification — something that is often painful, but always so worth it. This year I was privileged to watch God do some incredible things — both in myself and in the hearts and lives of people around me — and I never want to grow tired of something so special. 

I’m a firm believer in sharing what you’ve been through, the good, the bad, and the ugly, because more often than not someone else will go through similar things or be able to relate to your story!

So in honor of my T-Swift year coming to a close and my Jordan year beginning, I thought it was only fitting to share 23 things I learned this past year! Here goes nothing…

  1. God is good, all the time.  “Even when life looks completely different than we think it should, God is still good. His goodness greatly surpasses each and every temporary discomfort, and for that I am so thankful.” – Gretchen Saffles
  2. I am, and will always be, completely and totally dependent on the Lord. Always. And thank goodness — it’s tiring (and impossible) to do everything on your own. There is freedom in surrender. 
  3. The fastest way to kill something special is to compare it to something else. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  4. TREAT YO-SELF. It’s okay to splurge every now and then. Eating ice cream or cake won’t kill you. 
  5. “If no one is following you, you aren’t actually leading… You’re just taking a walk.” – John Maxwell
  6. Perfection is the enemy of progress. We are often in a constant pursuit of a perfection that doesn’t exist apart from Jesus Christ. Aim for excellence over perfection — they are very different things. 
  7. I’m 23 going on 83. It’s not a phase, but a lifestyle that I’m completely okay with. Being a “grandma” in my 20’s is one of my favorite things about myself. Living slowly, sipping on coffee, baby snuggles, and enjoying all of the littlest things in life fills my heart with so much joy. 
  8. BE STILL OFTEN. We seem to be so good at talking to God that we forget to slow down and quiet ourselves enough to actually listen to Him. He usually has a lot to say if we just stop talking and listen… 
  9. Tennessee Football may never get back to the glory days of ’98 and my boy Peyton Manning, but that’s okay because I love my Vols! I didn’t choose this life, I was born into it. 
  10. Embrace uncertainty — it keeps you on your knees. 
  11. God never called me to be important or comfortable, He called me to be a “good and faithful servant.” 
  12. I desperately need God to consume me more than my life currently does. And so do you… 
  13. It’s okay to be vulnerable, authentic, and transparent — in fact, I highly encourage it. I’m  a firm believer in sharing your story — the good, the bad, and the ugly — because you never know who it could impact. 
  14. Life is too short to not take the gospel seriously and too short to take yourself too seriously. Having fun and loving Jesus can happen simultaneously. 
  15. God’s grace is sufficient, even when _____. (Fill in the blank with LITERALLY anything and it will still be true.)
  16. San Francisco became one of my favorite places in the world — only because some of my favorite people moved there. (Shoutout to Chris, Jordan, and June — you can follow their story by clicking here.)
  17. The blood of Christ saved my soul, but the Word of God saved my mind. I dare you to read the Bible… It might just change your life. 
  18. People will always disappoint you, but God is the only constant who will never let you down. “If lesser loves ever satisfied us, we would never have a need for a Savior like Jesus.” – Lysa TerKeurst
  19. If I have a wrong understanding of who God is, I will always have a wrong view of my circumstances. Perspective is everything. 
  20. God is NOT dissatisfied with me… Something that I am still trying to wrap my little mind around. Because Jesus was the propitiation — a payment that satisfies —  I now get to live out of His perfect righteousness. God delights in me and sings over me! And if you have surrendered to His Lordship, that means the same is true for YOU. 
  21. Worrying about what others think of me is the fastest way to forget what God says about me. You can’t please people, but you can please God. (See #20.)
  22. Sometimes you just have to throw your hair up, put on some gangster rap, dance it out, and get stuff done. (You’re probably judging me now… See #21.)
  23. God is NOT done with me yet. And thank goodness, because the best is truly yet to come. 

These are just 23 little things I learned in my 22nd year. 22 was truly a year of deepening my relationship with Jesus and I will forever be thankful for it. I hope you can take some of the things I learned and allow them to encourage you as you walk through your own journey. Thanks for celebrating my 23rd birthday with me! 

Xoxo, 

AJ. 

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