This year is the year of my 40th birthday. For more than a few reasons, I am very excited about what 2023 has in store for me. Although the last four years of my life have been THEE most fruitful and productive times of my life, they have also been the hardest seasons I have ever navigated.
Since 2019, I have been on a journey of deeper healing. Four years ago, I started unearthing my voice and started discovering what God intended for me to do with my words, my influence, and my storytelling. Some of you may remember that this blog got a facelift around that time and I started offering more creative writings and short stories along with my blogs on life and faith.
2019 was also the year of the panic attack that sent me running for therapy for the first time in my life. The next thirteen months of my life were filled with moments of sheer terror (anxiety really tried to end my life) as well as moments of triumphant victories. I fought my battles in therapy, prayer, community, and deliverance and I won. Conquering paralyzing anxiety attacks gave me the confidence I needed to step out into even deeper waters. I embraced my calling as a woman who leads other women into new life, healing, and wholeness, and began taking up more space online and in person.
As I learned my voice, I stepped into a deeper understanding of my identity. I started moving through the world just like the women I had always admired from afar – polished but natural, joyful, confident, fashionable, and outgoing. Because it turns out that we are equals. My old mindset had me convinced that beautiful, confident, godly women were somehow better than me. But in my healing, I realized that we had the same resources; I was simply neglecting mine. So, I began to show up in the world as my best self. I dared to do the things I had always put off as “someday” goals.
It has been a beautiful time of growth.
This does not mean there were no setbacks.
Our first home suffered a traumatizing attack of gun violence.
We moved three times within eighteen months before finally closing on our dream home.
I was navigating a career crisis (someone stole my identity and hijacked my law license) while also having the most fruitful time of my life.
It is dawning on me that the enemy intended for those years to be years of bondage for me but the Lord determined that I would experience increase and breakthrough even as I was in the fight of my life.
It reminds me of Jeremiah 29:4-14 where the Lord told the children of Israel to settle down in Babylon where they were being held captive because He would increase them in that land until He brings them back to their native home. Even though it felt like anxiety had me paralyzed in that season, I was not crippled to the point of ineffectiveness. The Lord kept sending me lifelines – people to remind me that my battle with fear and anxiety was temporary and would soon dissipate.
For me, my 40th year of life represents a new chapter in a book that feels brand new as well. I am entering my fourth decade more healed, more clear, and more excited about life than ever. I can clearly remember being 33 or 34 and absolutely petrified that I would leave my thirties with no accomplishments, no goals achieved, and nothing to show for all the long held dreams in my heart.
By God’s grace, that is not my story.
My thirties have been the best decade of my life. I have served God faithfully in this decade. I married the love of my life and birth our children in this decade. I lost friends but gained lifelong sisters in this decade. I encountered healing, deliverance, and astronomical personal growth in this decade. My standing is sure and steady for the long haul because my thirties have prepared me well. Nothing has been wasted in my thirties.
My twenties were a mixed bag, with the majority of those years spent in bondage to sin. I did not escape the clutches of hell until I turned 26.
Now, less than seven months from my next milestone and over thirteen years since I gave God a full yes, I can honestly declare that my best years are ahead of me.
In 2023, by God’s grace, I will finish my next book. I will mentor and disciple women. I will give birth to business ideas, and I will make an impact for God’s kingdom here on earth.
I will disciple my children and continue to love my husband unabashedly.
My identity has been unleashed over the last four years. I plan to take new ground as I discover more fully who God had in mind when He created me.
In 2023, I pray to be more of who I am.
I pray the same for you.