As I embark on year 40 of my life, I look back on what would I tell my 20-year-old self? Here are two things I’ve learned in the last two decades.
20 to 40 is a vastly diverse time of life, and one of the most incredible seasons of life. Enjoy that; it’s a gift. Life has its own ups and downs, and there will be challenges. Embrace joy and positive expectations. It’s really the original design of God. He designed us for joy, love and hope. Looking forward with great expectation, here are some of the things 40-year-old Wendy would tell 20-year-old Wendy as she started a church, had three kids, persevered through many storms and made lasting kingdom relationships.
The outfit doesn’t make the woman; the woman makes the outfit!
Culture is constantly telling us as women we need more, better, newer or more expensive. From our bags, to our shoes the message is constantly “If you get this, you will be this.” That’s not true. Accessories or clothing only accentuate who you really are. They do not alter your character or suddenly transform your personality. I love fashion and I enjoy killing a great outfit, but it’s just that; I AM making it a great outfit. I’m making it great from the inside out. That’s why some girls can have on sweats and a ponytail and you still want to be them. It’s not their outfit, it’s their persona. People are attracted to confidence. And here’s the beauty of the story, your confidence doesn’t come from whether you fit a social stereotype, your confidence is found in the grace of God. The grace of God enables you to love who He created you to be, to recognize the beauty and creativity of your unique personality and calling, to embrace your curves and your curls, and to recognize the genius of who you are in Jesus!
Don’t rush it!
Sometimes when we are younger we have the tendency to wish we were older, or when we’ve just started a church we wish it was established and the foundation laid. Every season of life is meant to be embraced. You never get to do this again. You never get to pour into leaders one on one like this again. You never get to wear all the hats in the church again. Soon you’ll have staff, pastors and volunteers and you’ll never have your hand on the pulse of the church like you do now. Don’t wish the season away. Don’t live wishing it is tomorrow. Embrace your season; embrace your time. You only get to do this once. Learn now to embrace every portion of your life and live it to the fullest. Discover your calling in Jesus. Discover who you are and what your expression will be as a pastor or pastor’s wife. Go for it. Dream big and enjoy life.
While this is obviously not the summation of my experience, I hope these thoughts help you as you plant and build God’s house.