Yesterday morning as I was getting ready for the day I found myself staring in the mirror. I began reflecting on where I am now...my style, my look, my age...just reflecting on where I have come from, and who I am. I was lost in thought, and knew I needed to get away and just write my way through this. Is that weird? I find more and more lately that writing brings me great joy, but it also brings me clarity. If I just sit down and write, I can process my thoughts, and make sense of everything swirling in my head. Today my mind has been flooded with thoughts on growing up.
I am not old by any means, 23 is young and I realize that. However, it is crazy to reflect on the changes I have experienced in my short life. There once was a time that I straightened my hair everyday. like everyday until it was fried and straight as a board. I would apply tons of make up, and dress up my high school uniform with elaborate hair bows, tights, and statement jewelry. Then suddenly all of those practices disappeared from my life when I got to college. On the average day I would throw my hair in a baseball cap, apply chapstick, and slip on Nike shorts, a t shirt, and tennis shoes and I was good to go. Then I got married, now I find that I take time to apply makeup, but I go for a very natural and basic look. I wear lots of bold lip shades, but that is the extent of my stepping out. I curl my hair almost every day, and apply dry shampoo every other day. I dress up but in a casual, laid back fashion. Nike shorts are the exception these days, and baseball caps are for days spent at home. I am growing up.
Gone are the days of 3 am Waffle House runs, movie marathons in sorority sister's beds, girl roommates, and studying for exams. My days are now filled with hanging out with college girls, lots of coffee dates, cleaning, and meal planning. Excitement is my husband coming home early from work, and getting in bed before 10. My conversations are no longer filled with talk about boys, TV shows, and Greek life. Rather they revolve around budgeting, our future, saving money for a house, and my job in ministry.
I am growing up.
At some point we all have to face this reality. We cannot stay in college forever. Though some stay longer than others. We all grow up. We all change, and we all become the people the Lord calls us to become. My college freshman self would not even recognize my 23 year old self. My hair is a different color, I weigh less, and do not eat McDonald's twice a week on average, just to name a few differences.
I have lost an aunt, grandmother and parent, gained a new father, two step brothers, and a husband. I have made great friends, and watched those friends come and go in my life just like the seasons. I have graduated from college, married my best friend, and begun to work in full time ministry. I am 23 years old, and have experienced a good bit of life, but the craziest part of growing up is learning yourself. How can this be? At 23 I should know myself better than ever right? Yet, I find that as days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, I am just now beginning to have a true understand of who I am.
Yes, I am Rachel. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter. I know these things, this is not what I am talking about. What I mean is that at 23 years old, after living life all this time I am just now beginning to learn what makes me tick. I am just beginning to see how I operate best, what inspires me, moves me to action, and most importantly who the Lord created me to be. I am learning myself as I grow up.
I feel as if in the past month I have only begun to scratch the surface of all this. These thoughts are just beginning to make sense in my mind...but I am seeing that who I am, as Rachel Cox, is much bigger and deeper and more complex and exciting that I ever thought. I am learning that I am creative. I am a feeler, I am easily moved by things. I feel very deeply and acutely in a way that others do not. I am expressive. I am a verbal processor. I thrive on storytelling. I desire to be an artist in the kitchen. Graphic Design excites me. I long to invest deeply in other's lives. I am learning who Rachel Cox is, and by learning this I am learning who the Lord has designed me to be, which makes me turn to him in total praise!
These are some questions that keep swirling around my brain, maybe they will trigger some stimulating thoughts/conversations for you as well. What motivates you in life? What excites you? What gifts has the Lord uniquely given you that you are unaware of? How can you use these motivations, and passions for his glory and his kingdom?
Let's get to know ourselves and what makes us tick so that we can better serve the Lord. Growing up is bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter I think. What about you? What do you think about growing up?
P.S. For any of you who may not follow on Instagram, Madison
and I are hosting a coffee date on our blogs THIS FRIDAY! We would love for you to join us for a time of openness, vulnerability, and encouragement! Just write a post like you are sitting down for coffee with a friend, and link up with us Friday!
Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Jenni of Frankly My Dear!