My Favorite part of being 25


A year ago during my 25th birthday party, one of my friends asked me if I had a favorite moment during my 24th year of life. After a few minutes of going through that past year, I was able to remember that I had one moment in particular that happened during 1st Year of BSSM. Eric Johnson, one of the lead pastors at Bethel, had come to speak to the 1st Year class in the Civic Auditorium in Redding, California, and he shared how 2018 had been the worst year of his life. Throughout his sermon, I could feel and understand the turmoil and introspection he went through. It was pain and his journey healing from it. I remember earlier that exact day thinking our minds are powerful. We give ourselves so much power. This thought describes 2018, for me. 

After Eric had finished speaking, he did an alter call for repentance and stepping into learning how to let go and, because it was 1st Year, everyone went up-- including me. SO many people had gotten up that there wasn't enough room to go any further than standing in the aisles. I knew that I couldn't stay long because I had an Advanced Ministry Track (AMT), which was the last class session of the trimester and I really did not want to miss it, but my heart was heavy. Since there was so much of us that had stood up, Eric told us to sit where we were standing and he led us into an encounter to do one thing: to let go. I processed 2018 with the Holy Spirit and he revealed things that I had pushed aside and covered up. 

While sitting there on the floor letting Jesus do what He was doing inside of me. (SIDE NOTE: As I'm sitting her writing this, I feel the weightiness of His glory and the intentionality of His heart.) After a good amount of time, some people were being ministered to, others were leaving because the session had gone past the class time. I didn't know what time it was, so I decided to make my way to class. I arrived to the classroom, which was in the same building and I found a free seat and waited for class to start, but I couldn't stop thinking about what God was doing inside my heart. After a few minutes, one of my friends from my RG came in. I heard my name and I looked up and the moment my friend saw my face, he walked straight to me and hugged me. I started crying and he asked me what was wrong and I said, "This is the last session and I don't want to miss out. but what Eric was talking about today really hit me hard." To which he responded, "If God wants to be with you right now, I don't think you're missing out." I nodded realizing that I had to leave class in order to press into what God wanted me to face. 

So I took my friends advice and decided to leave. I walked out of the Civic and noticed that there were still people in the main auditorium. I made my way to my car, and sat there. I cried and cried and I realized that I had to forgive myself. I had to go through moments with the Holy Spirit that He wanted me to acknowledge in order to submit my heart, mind, and soul to, but it was painful. To admit that I had control over myself and allowed MYSELF to think and live a certain way wasn't easy. I had convinced myself of the thoughts and lies that I had assumed was right about who I was. I HATED, H-A-T-E-D, HATED myself. I wanted to throw everything I was out the window. I was scared, disappointment, hurt, and broken. And that's when His love came in-- or the realization that He was there the entire time. I sat in my car letting Christ redeem and fill all of me that needed to be repaired. That day was one of the most hardest moment of my life. To have compassion and grace for myself...

That was my favorite moment being 24-- I forgave myself. I decided to let Jesus define who I am and repent for thinking otherwise. He calls me daughter and beloved. 

Now being 26(!!!) on February 4th, I ask myself what was my favorite moment being 25?

It took me awhile because 2020 seemed to be a liftetime, but my favorite moment being 25 were the moments I spent with Jesus. Very often I would think and dream of going to a secluded cabin in the mountains or along the coast just to be alone with Him. His presence is and always will be my favorite parts. Please know the importance of spending time communing with Him in our day-to-day tasks is important-- in the mundane, such as making dinner, brushing my teeth, driving, cooking-- making room and spending time with Him is where I long to be, but setting those specific moments dedicated to looking at His face and praising Him is so necessary!! TO KNOW HIM!

A few days come to mind. I think of the day I decided to redo 2nd Year, how I picked up my passion for reading again, learning what it means to be human, or going after things that make me come alive. But one day in particular was the first day that 2nd Year BSSM got to worship together under the tents for the first time in 2021. Last year, when most of everything was closed, I started to miss corporate worship. I felt that each voice in the room was a single drop of water that when put together, it becomes a waterfall-- roaring and shaking the air. That is what happened when we came together (with masks and maintaining 6-feet-apart, of course). Hearing and being in the room with others who are hungry for the Lord made me think This is what we're made for. We are made for community and communion with our King Jesus. He is holy and worthy. There is a fire in my heart for more of our King and He is faithful to answer the cry of our hearts! 

A lot has happened this past year and, with every year I grow older, my greatest wish is that I grow tethered and deeply more in love with my love, best friend, and Heavenly Father. I hope it's filled with more connection with other sons and daughters, new experiences, a living and fresh breath of God, and deeper revelation of a renewed mind, love, peace, and power! There is still so much more that I'm learning and I am so excited for what this additional year on my life will hold. Often times, when I let the reality of being 26 sink into my mind and heart, all that stirs is hope and excitement, which is kinda scary, but I just hope that I take and step into those risks! In other words, pray for me! Here's to 26 and thank you for reading!

With All That I Am,

-MJ

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