Eighteen Going On Nineteen


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While I was eighteen, I discovered I wasn’t who I thought I was. At all.  I discovered some beliefs I had been taught weren’t at all Biblical but had been twisted to create chains around me rather than give me freedom in Christ’s love. And, I experienced some good times and bad times.

The good times. That was when I finally saw Sherlock, when I discovered I liked the worlds of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, when I found The Office. When I talked to my best friend every week about literature, when we stuck back to back during those wicked fun games of Cops and Robbers, wearing capes and running like the wind. When I got to go to the State fair, when I met Stephen at Family Camp, when I was first struck with the idea of my novel, when I graduated from high school level education and when I cut my hair off.

And, bad times, too. When I actually felt the need to stay in my room away from hurtful atmospheres for several very long weeks. When selfish choices caused us to leave another church; when I couldn’t even say a proper goodbye to my best friend.

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The thing about time, whether good or bad, is that goes by so slowly yet so quickly; that’s something I learned this past year. A day can drag out for ages but a year can feel the equivalent to a couple of months at the most. I learned that while it’s important to forgive bad times, you should never forget them because the past always repeats it’s self; I will do myself no good by not learning from the past and exposing myself to get hurt in the exact same way. At the same time, I’ve learned that I need to document all the good times, because so often they get overshadowed and forgotten in the face of difficulty. I can easily forget all the good times I’ve had and only remember the bad. So, it’s important to write them down so it stays imprinted longer in my mind. Good times are gifts.

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When I was eighteen, I had the realization that being a rebel doesn’t always mean you’re doing something wrong, it only means you are turning from something perceived as normal. I learned that it’s more important to follow my own God-given convictions rather than mimic or just do what I think others expect just because I’m afraid of what people might think of me if I have different convictions than they do. I also learned that is important to let other people have their own convictions outside of my own. When I was eighteen, I learned I was special and that I mattered to people and that I could encourage people more than I thought possible and that there was only one me.

I learned a lot when I was eighteen.

But today it’s different, because today I am no longer eighteen.

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Now that I have turned nineteen, I wonder what else I will learn this upcoming year. I really don’t know what is around the corner of my life; I never have and I never will. But I have a feeling that a new dawn is coming for me. Where I can finish being freed from twisted theology and step into the freedom of Christ’s true gospel. Where I will know myself better, know what my boundaries are, know what my personal convictions are, and stick to them for my own safety and well being. Where I will have more confidence in both myself and in the humanity around me, however lacking both of us are. Where I can be more like the me God meant me to be without all this sticky, black fear.

I think that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. Learning to no longer be afraid.

Nineteen, please be amazing.

~Jamie

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20 thoughts on “Eighteen Going On Nineteen

  1. Amen!
    May Nineteen be purely amazing for you Jamie!!!
    You have such a way with words. These are some of the best thoughts I have heard on turning the page on another year, another chapter of life, and on looking forward to future hopes.
    {{{Hugs}}}

    And hey! O.O
    I SEE YOU ARE ON TWITTER!
    Prepare for me to stalk your twitter account! 😀

  2. “I learned that while it’s important to forgive bad times, you should never forget them because the past always repeats it’s self…At the same time, I’ve learned that I need to document all the good times, because so often they get overshadowed and forgotten in the face of difficulty.” Jamie you said it just right. That’s just exactly right, and so very important to remember.

    And then you said this too: “I learned I was special and that I mattered to people and that I could encourage people more than I thought possible and that there was only one me.” And that’s just right too. You DO. There is only one you in the whole entire world and as far as I’m concerned that’s enough ’cause you’re so you that one is all it takes. <- that is meant to be a complement and I hope you know what I mean 'cause I'm having trouble expressing myself at the moment…

    "I think that’s what I’m looking forward to the most. Learning to no longer be afraid." And THAT'S why I love your writing and blog so much. btw, you're being encouraging again. Thank you.

    Love you, (xxxxxx)
    sw

    1. Thank you thank you! I’m glad I was able to clearly express myself today and that it touched you!!! 😀 I understand exactly what you mean, too, you did a good job expressing your thought. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment it helped make my day; I loved your email too, by the way! 😀 😀 😀

      ~Jamie

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY again! 😀 😀 😀 You are the best Jamie! 🙂
    As you said, learn from the past or you are doomed to repeat it. I hope your nineteenth year goes well for you. 🙂

    -James

  4. “A day can drag out for ages but a year can feel the equivalent to a couple of months at the most.” <<<YES. Thank you for summing up what I've been feeling the last few months. I really enjoyed this post.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMIE!!!!!! 😀 I hope that you're nineteenth year is a great one!! And I hope that today is super special 😀 *starts singing "Happy Birthday to You*

    Love you, girl! 🙂

    1. 😀 I’ve had a hard time wrapping it up in words myself, so I’m glad I nailed the feeling this time! 😀

      THank you for your birthday wishes (and the song, lol!) I’ve had a good day so far, thanks for being a pat of it!

      Love you too!!!

      ~Jamie

  5. Loved this post Jamie! It really spoke to my heart. Love you and hope your day is awesome! 🙂

  6. (*throws confetti*) Happy Birthday, Jamie!!!!

    I loved this last part of your post: ” . . . Where I will know myself better, know what my boundaries are, know what my personal convictions are, and stick to them for my own safety and well being. Where I will have more confidence in both myself and in the humanity around me, however lacking both of us are. Where I can be more like the me God meant me to be without all this sticky, black fear.” It reminded me of Psalm 16, which I sent just this morning to a friend:

    “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
    my flesh also dwells secure . . . You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

    I pray you have a blessed year, Jamie, and that the lines will fall for you in pleasant places! (*gives Jamie a big cyberspace hug*)

    1. That was a wonderful verse, thanks for sharing it!!!! 😀

      *cyber hugs bac* Thank you!!!!! I hope I have a good year too! Thanks for being there for me!

      ~Jamie

  7. Congrats! Happy birthday. 🙂

    Life certainly is an experience, and you never do stop learning. I think most of that learning comes in your late teens, early twenties, and even to thirty sometimes, where you’re trying to figure the world out. I remember being eighteen, and it was a hard place. Nineteen was hard too, but that’s where things started getting better, and by twenty I felt like I was on a good road. I’m hoping that in a few months when I turn 23, I’ll be at an even better place, but really age is just a number after a while. And yes, the past repeats itself sometimes, but dwelling too heavily on it can leave you open to bitterness.

    I don’t think you should ever be afraid of being different, because those differences are what make us unique. It’s hard when you’ve had not so caring people from church hurt you, or a church overall. That kept me away from God for quite some time, unfortunately, but unlike the people who do these things, He thankfully never turns away, gives up, or steers you wrong. Just keep your focus in the right place, and with time everything becomes clear. Take your journey and enjoy it! Don’t worry so much about how fast lessons come.

    Again, happy nineteen!

    Best wishes,

    Alexandra-

    1. Thank you for all this, Alexandra, I am glad I’m not by myself. I really appreciate all your counsel and it really helps to hear I’m on the right path!! 🙂 Thanks so much!

      ~Jamie

  8. Happy Birthday, Jamie!

    I hope your nineteenth year is a great one filled with blessings and opportunities!
    I really loved the last paragraph of your post. It has inspired me and reminded me so much of the goals and convictions I’m fighting to maintain and believe in.
    I just wanted to let you know that with each post you continue to inspire and uplift those around you! You are a strong and gracious young woman who’s not afraid to be herself and encourages others to do the same! I can’t tell you how much it means to know someone like you!

    Happy Birthday, Jamie! I hope you have a wonderful year!

    1. Wow, I feel like I could cry; thank you so much for those words!!! That really means a lot to me and I’m so glad I’ve been able to make an impact somewhere!! Thank you for the beautiful compliment; you’ve really encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing!! Thanks for being my friend!

      ~Jamie

  9. I know that this is super belated, Jamie, but I still want to wish you a happy birthday! I’m praying that God’s awesome grace will become even more present in your life and that you’ll be able to grow well in his PERFECT love. Here’s to the coming friends you make, wisdom to be gained, and new fandoms that you’ll discover this coming year! 😀

    ~Tayler

It always makes my day to see your messages! Don't forget to check back, I try to write back to you too! <3

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