This past Tuesday I celebrated my 27th birthday. I must admit, I really didn't want to celebrate my birthday. Even though intellectually I know that 27 is young and the bulk of my life is ahead of me, there was a part of me that kept thinking of the things I had hoped to accomplish but haven't. When I was in my early 20's, I would have thought I would be married and possibly a mother by now. I thought I'd be done with school. I thought that my car would be paid off. I thought that I would own a home or at least have an idea of where I would be living in five years. And I never thought that I would be in seminary.
A friend on campus suggested that as I say goodbye to another year, I should look back and list 26 things I couldn't have done if I had lived out those early-twenties plans.
As I began to make the list, I realized that I have, in fact, had an amazing year, easily filling more then 26 slots. My friends suggestion helped me celebrate that I now live in Chicago, am being paid to do work that I love, and have a new network of friends. This past year, I have fallen in love and had my heart broken. I have visited New Orleans, Atlanta, Gettysburg, Columbus, Louisville, and El Salvador. I have preached 19 sermons, wrote 67 blog posts, and have had 3 articles go viral. I have heard "I love you" more times then I can even fathom, and laughed a billion times more then that. It truly has been a really great year.
None of these things would have happened had I denied my call to ministry. God has been the force that has allowed my life to blossom in ways I never imagined. I also never would have realized what a great year 26 was if I hadn't been brought to LSTC. It was by being in this community that 27 started off great - having a homemade breakfast prepared by a neighboring student, sharing cake with friends, and being reminded to re-frame how I see my blessings.
I live a life of extraordinary blessings. I can't wait to see what 27 brings!