Life, Writing

Happy Birthday to Me!

Dear Friend,

I feel like it has been forever since I’ve been able to sit down to write. In reality, it’s only been 2 weeks, but these weeks have flown by. All I can say is that the huge event at work that our department has spent over a year planning was this past weekend. It was intense–every day felt like 2 or 3 days smashed together, with only a few hours of sleep between them. But I am finally home, have had a couple days to rest, and had a lovely celebration of my birthday.

As I turn 25 years old today, I’m feeling a bit introspective about my life. Honestly, I’ve spent a few days feeling this way and thinking about how my life has changed in only a few years. Five years ago when I entered my 20’s, I was a senior in college, dating my now-husband for a little over a year, and I had no idea of where my life would lead. Honestly, it’s a testament to God’s faithfulness that I am where I am today with a loving husband and a job that I enjoy.

But these past five years have been filled with a lot of uncertainty. When I lived in Syracuse, I was uncertain if the job I had was one that I really enjoyed. I was uncertain of how I was going to pay off the credit card debt I was acquiring or if I wanted to stay in that area. When I quit my job, I was uncertain about whether that was the right move, despite never being guaranteed hours or a steady income. Finally, when I worked full-time at Victoria’s Secret, Iuncertainrtian about whether to find an apartment in Buffalo and continue at VS, or look for jobs in Cleveland where my boyfriend lived.

But as I look back at each of those moments, I know God was directing my steps. I felt relief when I quit my job and hope for the future; I was disappointed when my application for the apartment in Buffalo wasn’t accepted, but I took my current job in West Nyack not even a few months later and moved out here. At that time I was heartbroken to think that my boyfriend and I would be even farther apart and I prayed and asked God what His solution for our future would be. Not 2 months later my boyfriend got a job in the city and moved from Cleveland to Brooklyn, a simple hour and a half away.

When I feel down about my current situation–how we don’t think we’ll be able to afford a house in the area, how at times I feel incredibly unfulfilled and complacent with my job, how I get frustrated and confused as to why my husband works such long hours–I have to remind myself that God is in control. Looking back over the past 5 years, I know I am not the same person as I was at 20. At 25, I know that in another 5 years the Lord will have changed me completely again. It’s a little intimidating, but exciting to know that He is molding me and refining me every step of the way.

I’ll share a secret with you. My sister (what a sweetheart) insisted on driving a half hour away to get me the Chocolate Outrage cake from Carousel Cakes that I really wanted for my birthday. And who can have a cake without candles? As I blew out my candles, I made my wish. My wish was to be writing full-time by this point next year. Now, that is a scary wish and God may not see fit to answer it, but even if it’s not in my timing, I will contiue to pray for that opportunity until the Lord answers “yes.” He has confirmed that He does want writing to be my calling. So I will work to make it a reality, all the while trusting that His timing is good.

I’ll leave you with one more anecdote (and this doesn’t really have to do with the topic). This past year, I have truly learned that there is no friend like family. My sister has truly become my best friend and confidant, more than I think we ever have been before (and we’ve always been close). Go out and spend time with your family today, and choose them over friends. Your family has your back through thick and thin, and relationships with them should be cultivated first and foremost. Just a thought for you today.

Stay elegant, and party hardy on your birthday. 😉

Rachael ❤