Twenty-four.

Twenty-four is a weird age because my friends and I are all in different places.

We are single, dating, engaged, or married. We are purchasing homes, renting tiny apartments, or living in our parents’ basement. We are pursuing degrees, realizing dreams, working at dead-end jobs, or unemployed. We are saving money, living paycheck to paycheck, or accumulating debt. We are walking with God or walking away from the religion our parents forced on us.

We are figuring ourselves out. We are making choices about relationships. We are deciding whether we’ll leave something good for the possibility of something great. We are battling fears of commitment, or fears of being alone. We are falling in love with others, or falling in love with who we are in the world as individuals.

We are deciding what the rest of our lives will look like.

And me? I’m reaching. I am reaching for the courage to dream a little bigger. I am reaching for friends who think that God is awesome and life is beautiful. I am letting go of relationships that make me feel like less than I am. I am shifting memories to the back of my mind and making room for better ones. I am embracing the parts of myself that I love and confronting the parts of myself that need improvement.

I am realizing that I don’t want the next few years to be easy. I want them to be filled with beauty and breaking and everything else it takes to have an extraordinary life. I want whatever it takes to become a woman whose life is centered on Jesus. I want whatever it takes to become a wife who never stops finding new ways to fall in love with her husband. I want whatever it takes to become a mom who sets up a tent in the backyard and stays up late roasting marshmallows with her kids so they look back at their childhood and see happy things. I want whatever it takes to become a friend that other people can count on, no matter what.

I love being twenty-four because it means that the days ahead will be filled with love and courage and growth… I’m ready for it.

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  1. #1 by Tay on July 14, 2011 - 6:23 pm

    Wow. You are such an amazing woman. Your passion for living life all for Jesus is so inspirational. I want to have your same passion when I grow up! :)

    • #2 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:04 am

      Aww, thank you so much Tay! You put a big smile on my face :) Just make sure you always do the things you love, not necessarily the things everyone else wants you to do, and you’ll have plenty of passion in your life.

  2. #3 by K on July 14, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    “I want them to be filled with beauty and breaking and everything else it takes to have an extraordinary life.” LOVE that. Your blog makes my heart smile every time I read it. You’re such a beautiful person, Jaclyn. And you remind me that life is worth rejoicing about—even on the hard days, even on the broken days. Every day is a gift. :) I’m sure He has great plans for your 24th year.

    • #4 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:06 am

      K, I have been so blessed by you & your comments over the past several months. Thank you for being so kind & lovely. <3

  3. #5 by Catherine on July 14, 2011 - 7:15 pm

    This is so beautiful. “We are battling fears of commitment, or fears of being alone.” So true! Good luck with your journey!

    • #6 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:07 am

      Thank you so much, Catherine! I hope you have a lovely weekend :)

  4. #7 by Heather on July 14, 2011 - 10:02 pm

    Jaclyn, you speak directly to me. Even if you do not know it.

    • #8 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:07 am

      You do the same for me, darling. <3

  5. #9 by on July 15, 2011 - 1:07 pm

    Oh, JJRay, how I admire your spirit. You know what! I think the first step is writing it down. Well done. I once wanted those things too, in a far away world called the loveliness of youth. So full of life. It’s so exciting to have your ENTIRE life ahead of you. Alot of your wishes have been given to me and I’m thankful for them. I just wish I was doing a better job at fulfilling those desires I had. Does that make sense? I hope so. Still, be specific with your goals and dreams. I hear they come true!

    xo

    Julie

    • #10 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:09 am

      I agree that writing down your dreams and goals is the first step! That’s why I have a whole journal dedicated to dreams :) Julie, you encourage & inspire me more than you know. Thank you. <3

      • #11 by on July 21, 2011 - 4:38 am

        Happy 24 years and 5 days!

  6. #12 by Annette on July 15, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    I love your zest for life and your selflessness when it comes to others. You are truly one great lady. You’re only 24, my how you will blossom in years to come.

    • #13 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:09 am

      Oh Annette, you’re too kind. Thank you so much for the compliments. I think you’re terrific as well. <3

  7. #14 by countingducks on July 15, 2011 - 2:52 pm

    I love these aspirations. You are right on the money here. Lovely to read

    • #15 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:10 am

      Thank you!! I hope you have a beautiful day :)

  8. #16 by shelbyisrad on July 16, 2011 - 8:40 am

    I feel like my comments are always so repetitive but Jaclyn dear you make my heart smile. <3

    • #17 by Jaclyn Rae on July 16, 2011 - 9:10 am

      Not at all! I ALWAYS love hearing from you, Shelby dearest. <3

  9. #18 by spiritmovesdance on July 16, 2011 - 7:09 pm

    Beautiful!
    I remember 24…it was HARD. There was a LOT of change.
    …but it was so very VERY worth it.
    “I am realizing that I don’t want the next few years to be easy. I want them to be filled with beauty and breaking and everything else it takes to have an extraordinary life.” <– This right here? This is amazing. You are amazing. I hope that 24 is everything you want and more.

    • #19 by Jaclyn Rae on July 21, 2011 - 9:43 am

      Thank you so much for stopping by my blog & for leaving such encouraging words. You’re lovely! <3

  10. #20 by Carol on July 17, 2011 - 2:45 am

    Love, love,love this. Your heart is so beautiful. Sorry I’ve been absent from your blog, but just know that you are always in my heart and my prayers :)

    • #21 by Jaclyn Rae on July 21, 2011 - 9:44 am

      You’re in my heart & prayers too, Carol. Love you lots & lots! <3

  11. #22 by Julie on July 17, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    I love your vision and have no doubt that you will be and achieve all that you intend to and dream of.

  12. #24 by changered on July 21, 2011 - 10:19 pm

    I think you write wonderfully. I think this is because you write directly from the heart.
    Love this post & love your blog! Keep posting :)

    • #25 by Jaclyn Rae on July 22, 2011 - 12:30 pm

      Aww, thank you so much! I hope you have a lovely day :)

  13. #26 by happydancecat on July 22, 2011 - 5:11 am

    That was such a beautiful post, Jaclyn Rae – I can relate to almost every word (not that much changes when you turn 25!) Easiness is definitely overrated. It’s in the fears, the challenges and the tough decisions that the true rewards come. And everyone has a very different path to getting where they are meant to be. Keep growing and keep writing!

    Cat

    P.S. I love that photo – is it you?

    • #27 by Jaclyn Rae on July 22, 2011 - 12:31 pm

      Thank you, Cat! It’s nice to know someone can relate. That photo is not of me but I love it too. :)

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