That’s a quarter of a century old. That’s the age I foresaw myself definitely being married when I was in high school- that clearly worked out well.
I thought by 25 I would be putting down payments on houses and picking out baby names. I thought that I would be a well-known journalist and getting paid crazy amounts of money.
Needless to be say my expectations haven’t been met. I am not married, I am not even dating anyone. I don’t have money and I am certainly in no position to put down payments on a house. But despite all my failed expectations, I find 25 much richer and fuller than I could have ever imagined.
You see at 20 success looked like marriage and money, but at 25 I have found that success is something a little more enigmatic.
Success is not found in the destination, it is found in the journey- in a million tiny moments when we choose to love, believe or persevere.
It’s found when you go out of your way to show kindness to the stranger on the side of the road or that family member who needs a kind word.
When you put all your effort into something and still fail tremendously, success is found in picking yourself back up.
It’s found when you choose to believe the best of the world despite the violence and pain that you see in the news everyday.
Success is found in truly believing that you make the world a better place and then doing it.
So on Wednesday night on a beautiful deck overlooking the lake, as my friends sung happy birthday to me and the lights twinkled- I knew I had found success.
Not success by the world’s standards but success on my own, or perhaps, even God’s.
At 25 I have traveled the world over to love people. I have screwed up big time. I’ve had the courage to chase down my dreams, fail and then try again. I’ve loved with all my heart and had that love returned to me by friends and strangers.
The world seemed overwhelming beautiful to me at that second. As if all of the moments that had led me here were swirling together and colliding in the air around me as I blew out the candles.
Twenty-five doesn’t look like anything that I thought it would, no, it’s way more beautiful living with this open heart of mine.
May the next 25 be full of similar success, chock full of adventures and love. May the years roll on by, each year marking a deeper intimacy with God and the family around me.
May I leave a legacy of love, that you could follow like a trail of breadcrumbs to wherever the Lord has called me.