Me @ 29

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I promise I’m starting to have two birthdays a year. Something is going on here cause I’m not quite sure I’ve been alive long enough to be 29 years old today. However this may have happened, I have decided to accept it, mainly because it’s my only choice, but still…today, I accept the fact that I am starting the last year of my 20s. Selah.

Twenty-nine almost feels as awkward as nineteen. The difference is, I have a much clearer picture of who I am and where I’m headed, which I’m thankful for. I’m quite sure this will only get clearer and clearer as I age.

Anyway, its time for a slight recap of 28. Lets see, I made some really great new friends that are looking like they’re gonna be keepers for a long while, perhaps even lifers (I hope!). My sister and I started INVADE and had four unexpectedly powerful and cool events!

I got promoted to a position at work that I STILL, 6 months later, don’t feel qualified for…still wondering “are they sure on this one?” Lol Seriously though, it’s been an amazing transition and a big challenge and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and for the responsibilities they’ve entrusted me with.

But I guess the biggest change that happened at 28 was…wow, definitely didn’t expect to go here…I never pre-meditate these birthday posts, I just go where they lead…alrighty! Here we go…

The biggest change that happened at 28 was my decision to stop attending my dad’s church.

Probably one of the toughest decisions I’ve made in life, to date. It took a whole lot of prayer and I did not move without first receiving instruction and direction from God plus the go ahead from wise counsel. Oh man, I can’t believe I’m sharing this. Lol

It all started with prayer. I was longing for community, really wanting a place where I wouldn’t be so distracted, where I could just blend in for a bit and disappear from the spotlight in a sense. And so for 4 months I attended my dad’s church while attending another church low-key. Sitting in the balcony at the other church, talking to nobody even though I knew a few people there…just really making sure I was staying in step with God, His way, and His timing of it all.

I was really struggling with questions like:

  • “Am I ‘allowed’ to leave my Dad’s church?”
  • “Am I called to his church automatically just because I’m his daughter?”
  • “Do I have a choice here?”
  • “How will this look? Are people going to think he’s not a good pastor or father if I choose to go somewhere else?”
  • “Will this hurt my family or the church in any way?”
  • “What about all the kids that I call my little brothers and sisters that I know look up to me? And my mentees who I check in with every Sunday?”
  • “Do I have to wait until I get married to go to a different church?”

The questions were endless.

When God gave me the green light on attending the new church, I talked to my parents about it and then met with the church’s pastor and wife, then they called my parents and sealed the deal in a sense! When I tell you every step of that whole process, even choosing my new church home, was divinely orchestrated. I’m so thankful.

So I visited the church for 4 months, did the talks with the parents and pastor, then 3 months after that, officially joined the church. Wow, just realized that was a 7-month process…the number for completion (and my birth date). Pretty dope. I dig it.

If there’s one thing I learned at 28, it’s the importance of walking step-by-step with the Holy Spirit, obeying His promptings, and following His lead. 

The transition has been absolutely beautiful. I am at peace and I know, without doubt, I am where I’m supposed to be for now. Since February, God has released me to start serving in my new church, which I’m super thankful and excited about. It’s been great getting involved and helping out where asked or needed.

I’m thankful.

I’m also thankful for the support of my parents.

Whether they fully understand my move or not, they have both loved and supported me still.

Now, honestly, there have been some hard parts to this process:

  1.  Missing out on that BOMB free breakfast I used to get every Sunday! Haha! I’d be taking left over’s home for Monday! I love breakfast (even tho I don’t like food…go figure).
  2. Recognizing my thoughts of “entitlement” that I didn’t realize existed. Surprisingly, I actually missed the attention I’ve always known and received. My dad has been a pastor since before I was born, so being a Pastor’s Kid is literally all I know. Going from being known by everyone to being in a place where the majority of people have no clue who you are, was a big adjustment. Really helped me see the sense of entitlement I’d inadvertently developed. Seeing that in myself wasn’t pretty and getting over that has been an ongoing process. 

But the hardest thing in this process has been

3. Missing the people at my Dad’s church. They are ALL I’ve known as far as church family. They are the ones who have watched me go from elementary school to working adult. They’ve supported me through every life transition. Even today, my sister brought me a birthday card from the church. I genuinely, with all my heart, love those people and miss them dearly. I miss the kids I’ve known since they were in their mom’s wombs, some of which are heading to or coming out of high school now! Geez!! It’s tough. So for any of my St. John people reading this, know that I absolutely love you and miss seeing you every week!

I also want to thank you for allowing me this space and time to grow and figure out my own journey apart from my parents’ shadows. Thank you for respecting my family, for still respecting and loving my parents and for not being malicious during this transition. If people are talking, I don’t have a clue, cause I’m not hearing it; so for that I say, “thank you.” Thank you for shielding my siblings and me from any foolish talk or gossip that may be happening in smaller circles. I will say we have been blessed to not experience a lot of craziness that a lot of my PK friends have experienced from church members, and for that I’m thankful. You guys are such a great church family, for real, for real!

This is a crucial time in my personal life journey and I know I’m in position to be more easily molded into who God has created me to be. I want to get and become, all He has designed for me to get and be, not just because I will benefit, but because I know other people are connected to me. The decisions I make affect more people than I will ever meet in this life and the same goes for you.

Our lives are all connected.

If I chose to live how I want, I would never reach and impact all the lives I’m supposed to reach with the message of the gospel. I am here to love God and love people and I want to love and reach every single person God wants me to reach.

Ok, so this got really long for a birthday post! I’ll wrap it up here.

To sum up 28, I would say I got to know Holy Spirit in a super personal, life changing way which has totally changed the way I live, process, and handle life. It has been an amazing journey so far.

Looking ahead to 29, I’m not exactly sure what to anticipate because I didn’t anticipate most, actually ANY of the things that went down at 28. So for 29, my hope and prayer is that I’ll continue to walk with Holy Spirit, operating in the gifts of the spirit. That I’ll be more bold and courageous; reaching everyone I’m supposed to with one of the most powerful messages on earth;

God loves YOU, individually, specifically, especially.

Hmm…may have to use that in a message one day! Haha!

We shall see where His spirit leads.  I’m ready and excited for the journey. New year. Let’s go God! We’ve only begun. Which leads me to my theme song for this 29th year of life!

“Live While We’re Young” by JohnnySwim. Take a listen:

Thank you for all the birthday love!! I genuinely appreciate it all!!!!!!

Peep the links below for previous bday posts:
Me @ 28
Me @ 27
Me @ 26
Me @ 25
Me @ 24
Me @ 23
Me @ 22

  • Arial J.
    July 8, 2014

    First off – Happy Belated Birthday!
    I really appreciate your transparency on this post. I didn’t grow up a PK but I did have to go through a similiar transition of leaving the church I grew up in and some of your experiences and feelings were the same as mine. Growing up requires us to evaluate where God is calling us to as an individual and realizing that sometimes that new place is going to be different from the place where we grew up or have become comfortable in. Now with our son who will only know his dad as a Pastor, I try to see our ministry through his eyes. Praying that he will grow up with a true love and appreciation for the Church (both big C church and little C” and above all will have a love and adoration for God. I hope that he will seek Him for himself and that we as parents will be willing to let him go through that process as yours have.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience and I pray that this year is your best year yet!

    • Kandis7
      July 23, 2014

      Thank you Arial for reading and commenting! I have no doubt that your son will grow up loving God for himself because you have already decided to allow him the grace to find his own way and that is HUGE!! I’m convinced that where there is no grace, rebellion comes. I’m reading a book called “The Pastor’s Kid” by Barnabas Piper (John Piper’s son).

      It may be good for you and your husband to read now while your son is young, just to give you an idea of some of the challenges he may face along his PK journey and to give you guys some ideas on how you can support him throughout that process of finding himself in the midst of navigating yours and the congregations expectations of him.

      Praying for wisdom for you and your husband, as you build your ministry and family (AT THE SAME TIME!! Huge! Lol) God’s grace, wisdom, and guidance is with you.