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On August 4, I turned the big 4-0.

Forty years around the sun and it was everything I imagined it might be. One full week of celebrating another birthday that was gifted to me by our Creator. I learned a few things over the last few days that I thought I would share with you.

  1. More girlfriend weekends away. More time spent with the people who love you and know you best. Who want the best for you. Spend more time with those whom you can say and do anything with, and who will also be there when crap hits the fan. Those are the girls that matter. Cling tightly to those women in your life. Do life together. And often. You all are busy. Do life together!

  2. Stop living in fear. Just stop it. Yes, your heart may break into a million pieces over and over again. But do it anyway. Be soft. Be open to the possibility. Stop trying to predict the outcome. Love. Go big. Fight hard for one another. If they are worth it, tell them exactly how you feel.

  3. All those things you thought you couldn’t do previously? Look at you now doing those things. Years ago I used to watch my ex as he would preach every week to our college/young adult group and prepare a message for them….and I used to think that I could never do what he did. Yet, here I am. God has called me to speak and love and prepare. Truly something I never, ever imagined that I could do, let alone would do. So don’t count yourself out just because YOU think you can’t. Perhaps God (and others!) are saying yes you can!

4. Getting older is a privilege. It is a great honor. It means you have another day, another opportunity. I love that I have been given another day. I love that I get to proclaim that I am now 40. I get another chance to live a life I have been dreaming of and praying for. It has been a journey, and I am nowhere near finished.

5. You matter. You are worth it. Your story matters here. You are special. Unique. There is no one else like you. God created you specifically for a purpose. Live in that. Believe in that. Know that you worthy of love and of being loved. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool. You absolutely are worth it.

6. Stand confidently in who you are as God‘s precious daughter. I have said it a billion times. And I will say it a billion times more (maybe because someone has been drilling this very statement into my head over the last several months). You are God’s. Know WHO and WHOSE you are. Nobody else gets to decide that. You were created by God. Infinitely and wonderfully made. Again, how amazing is our God?

I can easily rattle off all of my negative traits. I wrestle with that. It has been a lie permeated within culture that to talk down about ourselves is to show humility. False. While certainly We should be careful of being too arrogant and prideful (two sins of mine), we can recognize our strengths and what we bring forth to the Kingdom, in our relationships, and to our families and our communities and places of work. No negative talk about yourself. Share with us all the good.

I want to know you and celebrate you.

This is 40.

Tiffany Rhea

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