Year 21 came in on a Monday — class, studying, lunch with a close friend, more class. Home to celebrate with family. It wasn’t a day super out of the ordinary, except for one thing. Every year on my birthday people ask me — do you feel older? Usually, the answer is no. But this year felt different. All of the little revelations I had learned in year 20 started coming together, leaving me with renewed breath for a new year.
Pioneering. Rest. Patient endurance. Serving a party of 1. Contentment. Revival. Freedom.
All of these things I’ve been dwelling on this season—each one of them paving the way for another year older.
On my birthday, a friend shared a verse with me that I hadn’t read before in Ecclesiastes. It says,
“Consider the work of God, for who is able to straighten what He has bent?” -Ecclesiastes 7:13
What a special verse to dwell on for a new year. The older I become, the more I understand — friends, God makes us beautifully bent!
So here’s to year 21 — embracing bent paths, wrinkly shirts, smile-creases, & all. Holding fast onto the work God does in me, without trying to iron out every single detail on my own. Remembering that God made me fearfully & wonderfully—that He made you, too. Though His path may differ from my own, its bend is tilted towards Him & spurs my heart to follow His direction. God makes us all bent—beautifully bent towards Him!
So let’s live bent — bent on knees in worship, bent over laughing in pure tearful joy, bent down to help others in need. Bent, but not broken.
Pioneers’ paths are bent, too. We’re all on this journey called life together, pioneering through pathways unknown. So often we’re told we must have this perfectly painted path—one that glides through life with a pretty face. But you know what? We miss out on a whole lot when we stay on the straight & narrow path—one that limits the potential & the calling God plants in our hearts. When we live bent, we have the freedom to trust God through every twist, turn, & bend in the roads ahead. In those moments when we let go of the rigidity of schedules, deadlines, & the never-ending wheel of striving, God steers our hearts towards Him to places we could never go alone.
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy head, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests & purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than gold.” -1 Peter 1:6-7
How is gold purified? It’s bent and molded through molten fire. How is faith made whole? It’s us being bent towards Jesus.
Let’s be beautifully bent together.
xx – Ash
N E W fall notecard + print available on the Etsy shop here!