A Proclamation to the Final Year: This is 29
Today, I turn 29. T W E N T Y – N I N E.
The days leading up to this, I felt a deep need to reflect, so I made room for that last Friday. I paused and reflected on the journey the last 8 years of the twenties have been. As my heart swells with gratitude, I also feel the need to grieve certain parts of the last 8 years---to feel all the lows and hard spaces, to acknowledge what they exposed as well as birthed in me. That won’t happen in a day and I’m okay with that.
This new year is here like every other birthday, yet decidedly not like every other birthday. 27, felt huge and significant and 28 felt steady and grounding. Yet, 29 while it feels huge and steady, it also feels----final.
In many ways it is. 29 closes out a decade while ushering in a new one. Yeah, that is 29. The year of finality.
It’s weighty. It’s potent. I feel it in every part of me. 29 closes out some of the most transformative years of my life. My twenties have been filled with challenging faith, deep love, inexplicable risk, dark valleys, tangible fear and the steadiness of the mundane. My twenties have been filled with going low, with hoping against all hope, and wrestling with my beliefs. My twenties have been filled with huge life moments and vulnerable process.
I get emotional thinking about it---seeing where Jesus stood in each moment. The moments of forging ahead though fear hovered then covered me like a thick cloak. The moments of crying out with no words from the agony of the process. The moments of crippling doubt and confusion. The moments of confirmed promises and bursts of hope. The moments of dreams lived out and intimacy. I can see where he was standing, sitting, and holding me. I am thankful. I am thankful for what my twenties have shown me, taught me, and given me.
As I enter this last year of the 20s, I know more deeply what it means to show up and press in even though every part of me doesn’t want to. I know more deeply how much God really does carry you when you are weak. I know more deeply the beauty of community and the power of gratitude. I know more deeply the cost of choosing to live life a certain way. I know more deeply the sweetness of His presence and how encountering Him can be so simple yet marking.
With that said, I take a moment to acknowledge the years that have led up to this moment. I acknowledge what they have instilled in me and I look at 29 with a lot of hope. This year is huge. Not in the way that 27 and 28 were, no, the hugeness of this year feels so sacred and intimate. I want to lean into that.
So, to my last tango of the 20s, I own you. I embrace you. I choose you:
This is 29. The year of me as me. That’s what you feel like. My late teens through the twenties has been an ongoing journey of finding myself, discovering my voice, living it out and 29---you feel like the year it really shows.
This is 29. The year of loving the skin I’m in. Embracing every blemish and scar, every stretch mark, the periodically bum left knee, the annoying back roll. It’s loving every inch of who I am. Owning the bigness of my personality and the strength of my voice.
This is 29. The year of deep trust. Trusting myself. Trusting God. Trusting the hearts, I get to do life with. Discovering the beauty and power of such trust.
This is 29. The year of sitting with it until. Whatever “it” is. Sitting with the dreams I feel are dead and gone until they breathe life again. Sitting with the flaws I can’t help but point out until I can look at them tenderly, without scorn. Sitting with the fear and doubt that often creeps up until I see, hear, and know the truth instead. Sitting until.
This is 29. A culmination of the last eight years and its experiences. 29, as you wrap up a significant chapter of my life, you are also the launching pad for the next decade. so, I lean into that reality. While you end, you also begin, and I choose to treat each day of this new year as such. Each day in this 29th year is an invitation to honor who I’ve become and make room for who I am becoming. Each day in this 29th year is an opportunity to cultivate and invest in the culture and tone I desire for my 30s.
So, I raise a toast. To this final curtain call. I raise a toast. To this last symphony. I raise a toast to my 20s with an extra nod to this final year.
Let’s begin the end to begin again.