Jessica Christine Musgrove

Author. Singer. Actress.
My King is a dragon-slayer.

Things God Has Taught Me in My Twenties

A month ago, I turned 29. The last year of my twenties. What an awesome decade it has been! I graduated from college; I taught elementary art; I overcame depression and rekindled my love of writing stories; I worked as a photographer; I performed in sixteen shows, five of which were main roles and one of which was a dream role (Belle!); I wrote two books, began writing two more, pursued publishing, faced rejection, went to a writer’s conference, and found a publisher willing to represent me; I was the semi-finalist in two singing competitions; I joined a church that became family; I directed a Christmas play at my high school; I took my health seriously and joined a gym; I pursued a teaching degree the non-traditional route, passed two praxis exams, and ended up being re-routed to administration within my church family, learning that administration is one of my spiritual gifts; I joined two writer’s groups; I cultivated so many friendships; I dated and endured heartbreak and learned to wait on the Lord; I met the man who is my best friend and love of my life; I started a YouTube channel…just ’cause; I became a scrapbooker; I became even closer to my family; and I grew in my relationship with the Lord. ALL OF THIS IS FROM THE LORD! MY LIFE BELONGS TO HIM…SOLI DEO GLORIA!

All of these accomplishments, while wonderful and huge blessings, don’t compare to the wisdom the Lord has given me throughout this decade. I want to share five truths the Lord has taught me in my twenties:

  1. Discipleship is SO important, which means godly relationships are important. Discipleship is NOT the same as Sunday school. But in my early 20s, I didn’t separate the two. My role at my church has given me fresh eyes to see and experience true discipleship. I have more deep connections now then I had in my teens and in college, because Christ is at the center, and we can encourage one another, pray for one another, and bear burdens outside of church walls. Discipleship takes intentionality and vulnerability. Meaning it takes love and Truth, both of which are necessary to become more firmly rooted in Christ.
  2. Root your emotions in Truth. If you’re like me, your emotions can be all over the place. I have always been passionate–passionately happy, passionately angry, passionately bitter, and so on… I feel things deeply and intensely. But emotions OFTEN lie. And if we listen to our feelings and let them guide us, we OFTEN make choices God doesn’t want us to make. We become hasty, and it’s never a good thing. Always run to scripture with your emotions. Cast your cares upon the Lord. Are you feeling anxious? Don’t act upon those feelings. Acknowledge your struggle to the Lord, ask Him for help, and do what scripture says in Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous…” Are you feeling angry? Don’t let the sun go down on your anger, and be slow to speak and quick to listen. Ask God to show you why you’re angry. Is it righteous anger or prideful anger? If it’s prideful, God wants you to lay it down. Easier said than done, I know!! It’s not that emotions are evil, but we can and should give them to the Lord and let HIM lead, rather than our emotions. I have let my emotions rule me so many times, but there’s always grace, always forgiveness, and new mercies each morning. Because of Jesus, when you slip and fall, you can always get back up, abide in Jesus, resist temptation, and grow stronger through each failure and opportunity to try, try again.
  3. It’s not about how many friends you have; it’s about how intentional you are in deepening the friendships the Lord gives you. It’s easy to get into the habit of waiting for your friends to check in on you. After all, as adults, we’re busy. I used to think, “If they really wanted to hang out, they’d message. They’d ask. They’d invite.” It came from a selfish and fearful place, and the Lord reminded me…It’s not about me. It’s okay (and good) to be the first to reach out. To check in. To ask how you can pray for that person, even if life is too crazy to go out for coffee at the time. And if you know someone you’d like to become closer friends with, reach out!! Put yourself out there. We were not placed in this world to be shut-ins. We were not born to live a comfortable, secure life. As hard as it is for us introverts (me included), if you practice intentionality, you will get better at it. I promise it will start feeling normal and fun to practice intentionality, generous love, and hospitality.
  4. On a slightly different note, rejection is part of life. Get used to it. That is a hard truth to swallow. It’s not easy when you try to cultivate a friendship with someone who never responds. It’s not easy when you get your hopes up for a romantic relationship and get rejected. It’s not easy when you send a query letter in attempts to publish your book and get no response. It’s not easy when you audition for a role you really want and don’t get it. It’s not easy when you try to love someone to the Gospel, and he/she remains hard-hearted, possibly even turning against you. But God never promised an easy life. In fact, He promises opposition and many troubles (Troubles that He overcomes). God does, however, promise us fullness of joy in the midst of every trouble. He promises that closed doors, as much as they hurt, have a purpose. He promises that He uses all things, ALL THINGS, for good, for those called according to His purpose. He promises He will never leave us or reject us, even if everyone else on the planet does. Remember, no one faced as much rejection as Jesus did, when He willingly, out of love for us, died on the cross and took our shame upon Himself. Learning to face rejection with joy, knowing you are safe in your Master’s hand, will build your faith in Him immensely, as you learn THROUGH EXPERIENCE that He is ENOUGH!
  5. It’s not as much about living in the present as it is about learning to live continually in His presence. Especially in my early 20s, I had this tendency to compartmentalize Jesus into one aspect of my life. Sure, my quiet time with Jesus was at the top of my list, but then it was off to the next task. It’s not supposed to be that way. He comes first. Period. In my work, He comes first. In my writing, He comes first. In my relationships, He comes first. In singing and acting, He comes first. One of my biggest struggles is growing anxious about the future or staying sad by dwelling on past circumstances. I focus far too much on outward circumstances, and it causes inner turmoil. But, while reminding myself to live in the here and now (you know, those cheesy lines that read, ‘Grow where you’ve been planted…’) is good, I am learning that way of thinking places focus on the present circumstances. Whereas living every moment, step-by-step, task-by-task, focused on His holy presence that is ALWAYS with me, fills my heart with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Focus on His eternal, holy, everywhere-at-once, sovereign presence. How can you rejoice throughout your work day? Can you thank Him for the opportunity to complete a task before you start? Can you listen to worship music as you fold laundry or do the dishes? Can you pray as you drive? When things don’t go according to your plan (yours, not God’s), can you pause, take a deep breath, and ask God for help and patience in that moment? When rejection pains you, can you cry out to Him and ask Him what He wants you to learn? Can you thank Him that the pain won’t last forever, because He promises joy is coming? How can you be intentional about choosing to live in His sweet presence?

I’m so thankful for the places where God has led me to be a light for Him. He has been at work, even during the times when I felt He was distant. The truth has always been and always will be: He is near. He is faithful. He is good. He is holy. He is Savior. He is Author & Perfecter.

He is God!






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