I Will Survive My 20s
[Guest post by Katie McAleece] – I am a twenty seven year old that feels more like she’s sixty five.
Maybe you’re wondering,
“Why is she writing about surviving her twenties? She’s not even out of them yet.”
But I’ve been through a great deal in the past seven years. And in spite of the fact that life has parked a truck load worth of lemons in my drive way, I can say with confidence–I will survive what’s remaining of my twenties.
Because, in spite of the stories I’m going to share, I want you to know that God has been faithful to me.
My Grandfather died only two months after I turned twenty years old. He was one of the wisest people I’ve ever known. I did not know it at the time, but his death would mark the beginning of the most difficult years of my life.
On August 28th, 2005, we were living in the city that I was born in–New Orleans, LA. The residents of ‘Nola’ were asked to evacuate because of a storm that was moving into the gulf: Hurricane Katrina.
Everything about that day was confusing.
I had no idea how serious the whole thing was, so I shoved a few t-shirts in a bag and, with my family, drove away from my hometown.
The next morning, I was on the couch in my Grandmother’s living room hundreds of miles from home, as we watched the national news broadcast a video of our neighborhood: completely under water. I was twenty one years old.
Fast forward a few years.
I found myself engaged to a man that God never intended for me. At the time, my Father was the Pastor of the church that both myself and my former fiancé attended. The pressure to uphold the ‘happy couple’ image was a lot for me, but I knew I couldn’t follow through with marrying the wrong man. I called off the wedding four months before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. To this day, one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.
This was shortly after I turned twenty five.
And then, on October 21st, 2011–three weeks before my twenty seventh birthday–I was sitting in a restaurant eating chicken nuggets with my cousin Jason, and my Mother called to tell me that my Dad had just suffered a massive heart attack.
He died almost immediately.
That moment was the most traumatic for me, by far. My Father was an incredible person. This is what I mean by a truck load of lemons in my life.
My twenties have been, at times, more than I thought I could bear.
Thankfully, as it turns out, I have not had to bear them alone.
Have you read Isaiah Chapter 61? In many ways, this chapter is my testimony. Verse 3 says, (God gives us)
“A crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
God has remained faithful in spite of how circumstances appear.
He is in the business of using tragedy to make us depend on him more deeply, and turning what should be life-shattering into the greatest reasons to continue living.
Some would read the stories I’ve just recounted and assume that my journey is one without hope.
But it’s actually quite the opposite.
I have questioned God, I’ve screamed at Him, told Him things He never deserved–and yet He sticks with me.
Closer than a brother.
Better than a boyfriend.
More of a hero to me than any human could be.
There’s no reason for me to fear the rest of my twenties. I’ve come this far with the God who trades death for joy, pours oil on my head, slips a garment of praise over my shoulders, and whispers behind me,
“You’ll be alright. I’m here.”
I will survive my twenties.
Katie McAleece is an enthusiast, book worm, and oddly gifted shoe shopper. The greatest source of joy in her life comes from the incredible family God has blessed her with. She is passionate about sharing His heart through her writing, and dreams of one day becoming a best-selling author.