15 Things I Learned at 25 (Ps. 23:1-3)

February 27, 2023


Abby Joy on a rock at the beach in Oahu

Year 26–

When I turned 13, I thought this was IT. I was a proper “adult” with my purple Aeropostale shirt and on top of the world at my 8-hour long birthday shopping “party” with friends (Mom, thank you for letting me do that, but also, just how and whyy?😵; I can barely stand the mall now for 15 min.😂). 

But now turning 26 years old, I know this is actually IT. 

I’m totally kidding. 

Year 26, and I feel like God’s revealing even more and more about Himself and more about my story. I know I’ll say that again in another 25 years as our God contains so many layers and chapters to Him.


Before sharing some of the things I’ve learned this past year, I wanted to share a hymn technically inspired by Psalm 42:1 but a hymn that God brought to mind through Psalm 23:1-3:

David prays, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” 

“As the Deer” 

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after Thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee

You’re my friend
And You are my brother
Even though You are a King
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship Thee


At this age, I’d like to think I know what I want in life, career, dreams, relationships, stability, etc., but truth be told, all that really ebbs and flows (I mean, I considered straight bangs post-college and so glad that was brief—yowza). 

It’s okay to want God’s gifts of joy in life—but I don’t necessarily *need* everything I desire, ever or at the moment. 

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” 

The Lord knows my needs and leads me, and all I pray for is that my soul will long after what He wants. “You alone are my heart’s desire, and I long to worship Thee.” 

Thirsting after His desires gives me such hope, peace, JOY—for the things happening in my own life and also in the lives of others! 

No matter what I or anyone else thinks or whatever lie satan tells me…*no*, I am not missing out or falling behind—and that’s pretty much on periodt (finality, lol). 

On that note, here are 15 things I’ve learned from this past year!! 

15 Things I’ve Learned/Re-learned at 25:

  1. God has my timeline. This is my current chapter, and it’s actually the greatest blessing to celebrate and live out! I am SO content and grateful. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” (Ps. 37:23) 
  2. In January, I did a worship music only fast (tbh, not sure if it was really a fast because I listen to mostly podcasts and audio-books anyway, lol), and surrounding myself with uplifting Christian music flooded my mind with reminders of God’s goodness. Prioritizing God-focused music made meditating on His Word a lot easier. 
  3. I just love writing in my Bible! I used to think that this was no-no since it’s holy, but writing, underlining, and making annotations makes the Word come more alive and brings connections to the surface.
  4. Sharing lessons I’ve learned from the Word on social media not only gives me accountability but also allows me to reiterate what I’ve been learning, thus embedding the truth into my memory a little bit better.
  5. Bringing others together is a JOY of mine! I started Group Hangs in October 2022 because I had wanted to go hiking to see the fall foliage but didn’t have anyone to go with (love my besties but most aren’t hikers😂). Hiking alone was unsafe, so I got a group of girls together! Since then, I’ve organized other hangs like ice skating, attending a local Christmas lighting ceremony, rock climbing, and giving back through a Valentine’s day community service event. (Shameless plug for you to join our events @abbyjoystudio on IG!!) 
  6. Godly friendships require intentionality, vulnerability, accountability from all parties. Calling my friends regularly on car drives is the easiest way to keep in touch. Praise the Lord for the support and godly encouragement of my closest friends! 
  7. Ooh this one is a juicy one, lol😂. If this is part of the plan, my Father, who knows me *best*, is cultivating love and pursuit in the heart of the man He has for me. There is no need to settle.
  8. And with that and lesson #1, I’m living my life to the fullest in my single-hood!! If you’re in a similar life stage as me, I encourage you to make the most out of this precious time. As Jordan Lee Dooley says in her book Own Your Everyday, “Stop waiting; start living.” It’s a time with less commitments and different opportunities. It’s a time to be “selfish” and to pursue what God has for us. I recommend this podcast if you’re looking to remove negative stigma around singleness. 
  9. I grew up as an introvert, learned to be an extrovert, but I’m still an introvert at heart😂. And that’s perfect! Why do introverts get such a bad rap when it comes to business success or relationships? Both introverts and extroverts have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Learn them and use them to your advantage.
  10. I and people close to me experienced health issues this year including my first “injury” with a dislocated shoulder✨, and it made me stop and pause and thank God for the good health we do have. Physical and mental health are important! Staying up till 3:00 am or waking up at 5:00 am should not be my norm. I’m still learning that hustle culture doesn’t require sleep depravity. 
  11. Travel births inspiration, creativity, social awareness. I’m so grateful to have volunteered in Hawaii for a month and to have traveled to New York twice this year (birthday and Christmas)! 
  12. Keeping your space neat and tidy aids your productivity 1000%. Making your bed first thing in the morning is an instant win.  
  13. Photographing the mundane everyday feeds my soul. Shadows, fiery sunsets, wisps of clouds, stop lights; give them to me. 
  14. Reading brings me back to middle school with long car rides laying down in the third row of our Sienna (probably completely unsafe, honestly). If you have any good mystery thriller, dystopian, or self-development recommendations, let me know below! 
  15. Lastly, pickleball is my jam (ew, is pickle jam a thing?). As someone who didn’t grow up competing in sports, I think I’ve picked up pickleball pretty well and really want it to be “my sport,” ha! Stepping out of your comfort zone can make your cheeks burn, especially when pickleball feels like coming up to random kids playing at recess🙈, but it’s so worth it to try something new!

There are so many more realizations I’ve learned/re-learned this past year, but here are just some that you can hopefully take away from! God has been so good to me year after year, and the more I see how depraved I am in sin, the more I cling to Him and look to Him to restore my soul. 

Praise the Lord for another year, another opportunity to learn from and serve Him! Year 26 will be a fun one, I can already tell!! 

-Just Abby Joy

just abby joy

just abby joy



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *