25. 25 years I have lived. I remember growing up the two things I could conjure up about my future was 1. I hope I marry young. and 2. I probably won’t make it past 16. Crazy huh? I grew up in the times where the church was heavily focused on Y2K and Jesus returning, which isn’t bad but I never understood it fully. So my aspirations for my life out of High School were limited, to say the least.
Neither of those predictions have come to fruition. I made it past 16. I didn’t marry “young,” at least not young in my perspective.
But 25. This has been a year full of adventure. This year I have learned the ins and outs of grace. I have experienced God in ways I never expected. I spent a good portion of this year angry at Him. Struggling to understand why He gives desires but doesn’t fulfill them. In ways, I gave into my flesh. In ways, I denied myself and relentlessly obeyed. In ways, I withheld my love. In ways, I gave it my all. Perspectives have changed because through it all I have learned what grace is.
Around this time last year, I had this dream where I was driving on this road by myself. The sun was shining in a vast blue sky. I couldn’t tell if the car was rolling or the lush green hills. All of the sudden, there were 100’s of other cars around me, but the weird thing was they were also all driving by themselves. Slowly I ended up in the front of this brigade of people. Then a brown massive buffalo walks into the middle of the road. Both I and the buffalo stop moving. He looks at me. Majestic. Then I woke up.
The whole day I couldn’t get that dream out of my head. I took the time to pray about it, but I wasn’t getting anything, except to look up buffalo. So I did. Buffalo in the Native American culture meant abundance. God then told me, “Monique, I am taking you on a road of abundance and you will help others on that road.” So I held onto it.
This past summer I had a terrible attitude towards God. There was one particular day that I was on my way to a gathering for a friend and I was done. I was bitter and angry and tired of letting things go that I wanted. I was riding along with my mentor and a friend, honestly tuning out their conversation and telling God, once again how upset I was. We were going through golden hills. The there were a few clouds in the vast sky. I looked out the window as I said the uh-huhs to make it sound like I was listening. All of a sudden my breath escaped me. My voice cracked as I said, “Guys, it’s a buffalo.” Tears filled my eyes. My mentor looked at me and asked if I wanted her to stop so I could get a picture.
That day we stopped. I smiled. And God once again spoke. “Monique, I am taking you on a road of abundance and you will help others on that road.”
There were five buffalos that day. I asked my friend what 5 stood for in the Bible.
If one word ties up this 25th year, grace would be it. That moment, God made abundantly clear that He loved me. Even as I was being a complete brat. Even through the complaining and whining, and disgusting stinch of pride that arose from my mouth, as I told Him that my plan was better. I was humbled.
I’m still learning the ins and outs of grace. I still screw up in areas I thought I said goodbye to long ago. But grace is still there. He is still there. He will always be there. I’m thankful that I don’t have to say goodbye to grace like I say goodbye to another age. I’m glad that grace and I get to take on 26 together.
I don’t know where life has you at at this exact moment. I don’t know what shame you may feel you deserve to carry. But I do know that God is waiting for you to let it go and let Him fill you. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own. He is leading you in that road of abundance. Let him.