When I stop to think of the things, people, places and opportunities I’m thankful for the list runs pretty deep, but as we’re scrolling through the traditional Thanksgiving posts this season, I wanted to hone in on one area that I’m so very thankful for: my 20s.
Yes, I’m thankful for a 10-year span of my life. Here’s why:
- It’s the perfect time to explore, to dream, to become. Yes, I get it. This sounds pretty cliché. But honestly, it’s the downright truth. For many in this demographic of twenty-somethings, we’re not married and don’t have kids yet—or are newlyweds with our firstborns on the way—and are still getting our feet wet in our first or second career. This gives us the freedom to pick up and move, change professional paths, travel, try new things, and go on spontaneous adventures we otherwise wouldn’t do.
- The idea of “growing up” becomes a little more real. This may seem like a strange thing to be thankful for, but doing those things that my parents always did for me makes me feel empowered, strong and confident. Like, for example, finding a doctor, picking out your first apartment, buying your first piece of furniture, paying bills, and trying new recipes. Adulthood becomes real and the journey can be a lot of fun—I mean, who said couch shopping had to be boring, right?
- The possibilities are endless. Our 20s are the beginning of a chapter, the dawn of a new day. Fresh possibilities can be seen from every angle: relationships, career, location, hobbies—whatever you can think of can change, adapt, become. Perhaps that’s what is the most exciting about this decade of our stories: it’s an adventurous time, a time to embrace the journey of becoming who God made us to be and a time to dream about what we want the future to look like.
Stepping from 19 to 20 may not seem monumental to some, but as I reflect on the first three years of my 20s, I see the threads of a story slightly different than the first 19 years of my life weaving together. I see a girl becoming a woman, discovering those things that make up who she is and who she wants to be. I see change and growth and possibility. I see failure and success and victory. I see a new chapter, God doing a brand new thing. I love what Isaiah 43:16-19 says,
This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—they lie down and then can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.
God is doing a new thing in these years. He is doing a new thing in this very day. We simply have to embrace it and step into the journey of becoming who He made us to be.
While you’re loading up on turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie today, take a few minutes to think about where you are in your own story: what are you thankful for? And how are you embracing the journey? For me, I’m thankful for the adventure of these years—the opportunity to embrace becoming Emily. And that’s pretty cool if you ask me.