Dear 23 Year Old Me…

At the end of 2019 and as we began 2020, I saw lots of posts about the last decade. Having just birthed a baby, I was not in the right head space to entertain such deep thoughts but now as I celebrate my 33rd birthday, there are so many things I’d want to tell my 23 year old self.

Bless her heart! She didn’t have a clue! She didn’t have a clue that she’d endure so much loss or experience so much joy in the next ten years. She didn’t know she’d find both clarity and confusion in the same breath as she sought God’s calling on her life. She didn’t know all the places she’d go and the more I think about it, I don’t really want to tell her anything except this one thing – Jesus is the prize.

The prize is not the man of your dreams or the wedding you’ve been dreaming up your whole life. The prize does not lie in the house full of children you might have. The prize is not even found in your God given calling, no. The prize is Jesus.

23 year old Casey, you will walk down hard roads but you will never walk a single step of them alone. The world will tell you to keep your eyes on the prize as if there’s an earthly finish line that could compare to the glory that awaits when your journey is complete. And here’s the thing – with Jesus as the prize, having eyes set on Him means choosing to be faithful to Him with every step you take no matter where the road leads. No need to wreck your brain trying to figure out God’s great big plans for your life when He’s only asking you to open your eyes to all He’s doing in and around you every day and keep walking in step with Him.

Jesus is the prize. He’s the prize and nothing else can compare; not marriage though it’s a Holy communion, not motherhood though it’s sanctifying, not even ministry itself can compare to the prize of Jesus himself.

It’s Jesus. And he’s been with you all along.

Rest in the fact that you already have the prize. Stop striving. Stop chasing. Just keep walking with your eyes set on Christ one step at a time.