October 4, 2017

welcome to your twenties

september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twentiesseptember 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twentiesseptember 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twentiesseptember 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twentiesseptember 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties september 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twentiesseptember 3rd 2017 // welcome to your twenties  
life works in strange ways. one minute, you can be gloriously happy, and then you have three months of so much difficulty you can't see the light at the end. one minute you are fully trusting, and the next, you've lost sight of who you are, and Whose you are.

the other day, when i was mulling over being twenty, i took a little trip back through my past, something i don't ever like to do, and in hindsight, i was shocked to notice that, over the past ten years, the image that i see is mostly dark. really, really, really dark.

people say teenage years are hard, and i'm not gonna disagree. teenage years are hard. you learn so much, you're forced to learn so much, not necessarily by anyone in particular, but society as a whole does this to you, and it's not necessarily bad, but it opens up a lot of opportunity for mistakes and hardships and difficulties and pointless tragedy.

the mental picture i had of this last decade was the shade of a tree. mostly dark, but speckled with small patches of light. and as upset as that made me feel, i realised that within all of that, was so much growth. i cannot remember the girl i was at 11, at 13, at 15, not really even at 17, and not because i don't mentally remember (although i don't remember much, honestly), but because i cannot emotionally connect myself with the person i was. it's like i've done eight 180 degree turns within the past decade, and i've lived that many different lives.

through that, there's been so much that i've learned, but the biggest of these are the following:

trusting the Lord is the only way. the only way. i will truthfully and no longer ashamedly admit that i would never have made it to my 20th (or even my 19th or 18th) birthday without the love and faithfulness of Christ. His presence by my side has been the only thing that has remained constant, even, and especially, when i have not.

in order to truly love others, you have to learn to love yourself. while i am still learning to allow myself to believe that there are people, many people, out there who love me as i am, no strings attached, i have finally found the confidence within myself to love and appreciate the person i am, the whole person i am, not just bits and pieces. yes. i have bad days, yes, i have days where i wish the minutes and the hours would go by faster, but i have many more days which are filled with me being able to love myself in a way that strengthens the love that i have for others, and it has been the most beautiful thing. instead of filling my time focusing on what i don't love about myself, i am able to spend that time focusing on what i love about others, and telling them, and talking to them, and growing, and being a part of community.

not everyone is meant to be in your life for forever, but also you don't just run away from people when you are hurting under the umbrella that 'not everyone is meant to be in your life for forever'. these go so hand in hand, and it's been both so good and so difficult at the same time, but God's timing and placement is so real, and so good, even when it hurts. when you can trust God's plan, you will be able to get through those difficult times with real joy. you will be able to let go of the people that are toxic and hold onto the people who are hurting you, because you know that their presence in your life is still good.

you have to experience things to learn from them and to grow. it can be so scary to put yourself out there, but you can't experience real growth if you don't. beauty comes from pain, growth comes from pain, good things come from pain. you have to be able to trust the process and learn to live within the moments while being able to say, 'not everything is okay, and that's okay'.

ask for forgiveness, take responsibility, don't hold grudges. we mess up. it happens, it's going to happen, but don't cover that up. it will make you bitter, and in a world full of bitterness, it is of far more worth for you to be a radiant light. take responsibility that you messed up, humble yourself, ask for forgiveness, and let go. it's so very refreshing.

loving people is what i am meant to do. earlier this year i did a short bible study about what God's vision for my life is...and having never thought about that, i was pretty intrigued. the first few weeks, i was confused, i had no idea what it could be, but it got me thinking, and by the end of it, i had a solid idea of what that was, and although the aspects of it are very much separate as of now, God has been using the current season i'm in to grow the biggest part of it, that i am called to love people and to show them the light of Christ.

i don't know what the next year holds, i don't know what the next decade holds, but God knows that i am ready for it. ready and excited. it's been a ride so far, and i feel like, yeah, it can get worse, but if God is on my side, and i keep Him in the place where He is meant to be, first and foremost, i can get through the worst of it. He is with me, always, and that's all i need to know.

xo, rn
read my instagram birthday post here.

photo credits:
@matt_lesac
@the_odd_shot
@daniellivingstone
@panik_
@thekoolaidman
@gooey.grams
@lizpetersonliz
follow along on my personal instagram, @imrachelnicole

4 comments:

  1. THESE PHOTOS. DANG. You're so beautiful and they are so creative.

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. thank you so much, hailey! i've worked with some super talented people for sure!

    xx.rn

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are so beautiful! Your blog is gorgeous:) I look forward to reading more of your posts :)

    ~Rayleigh
    AccelerateTheJesusMovement.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete

yes, you have a beautiful soul.