Saturday 2 November 2013

Here's to 25

At White Rock Beach with Rose just before moving to Czech earlier this year. Rose wrote in the sand "Rach NI-Czech 2013-..." 

When I was younger I think twenty-five was one of the years I had definite dreams and plans for. I knew what I wanted to have and who I wanted to be when I turned twenty-five.

And in a week, on November 9th, I will celebrate my twenty-fifth birthday!

Pretty much none of the things I’d planned for twenty-five will have happened. Until I was sixteen I thought twenty-five would be celebrated by Doctor Rachael. And eighteen-year-old me certainly had no plans to have an address outside of the UK. I repeatedly tell the story of how I had zero plans to become a missionary. 

But God has written a different story. A much better story.

I am so glad things look a lot different than I was expecting. Although I will celebrate my birthday in a country where I’m not even sure how to say “Happy birthday!” I know, and know deeply, that this is what and where God has called me to.

It is such a joy to be making a home here, to be battling with language learning and to be serving alongside wonderful people to proclaim just how great God is in these nations.

As I look towards turning twenty-five I have been thinking about what I want to do before I turn thirty. I am slowly writing a list of thirty things I’d love to do in the next five years.

I’ve been doing some research as I try to write this list. Some of the lists I’ve been finding are not that helpful – there aren’t really any famous people I want to meet and I’m not sure I’ll own a home in the next five years.

Some of the lists have been reminding me of the amazing things that have been crammed into my twenty-five years of life so far, of how much life I’ve lived.

I’ve travelled a lot – in the last year alone I’ve slept in thirty-two beds in ten countries. I’ve been to Disneyland and Disneyworld. I’ve seen my favourite band (Mumford and Sons) as well as two of my favourite singer-songwriters (Foy Vance and Duke Special) live.

I completed school. And graduated from Cardiff University with a BSc and whole lot of wisdom from outside the lecture theatres after four years of living in the beautiful Wales with wonderful people. I’ve walked a few marathons – although running one would be incredible. I’ve been mentored and I’ve been a mentor.

I’ve moved to a whole different country. I’m learning a second language (I’m so not going to count the five years of French in high school). I feel like I have my dream job. I’ve stood up in front of people with a microphone in my hand. I’ve served on five short-term mission teams to Romania and the Czech Republic.

And I am so blessed to have such incredible people in my life. People who have loved me and continue to love me in the midst of all these crazy adventures. I have a fantastic family and friends who love me so much. It is such an honour to do life with all of you.

God has given me so many adventures in these amazing first twenty-five years of life! And I’m so excited to see what God has in store for the next twenty-five – and how He will most likely shatter my expectations of those too!

Now to find a fourteenth thing to write on my list…

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