22 Lessons From My Twenty-Second Year

“To become a joyful adult, one must grow in experience and wisdom while not losing one’s childlike wonder.”

–Allison Trowbridge, Author of Twenty-Two

Cover photo by Michelle Wingard 

Today is my last day as a 22-year-old! That’s so crazy! I’ve learned a LOT this year. My word for this year is “courage,” and I feel like God has given me so many opportunities to be courageous and grow into the woman that I am created to be. 

This past summer I had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Kanakuk K-West in Branson, Missouri. I grew so much in my faith and maturity as a person in that place. I had 4 different jobs this year, took control of my financial life through Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey, and I graduated college! 

From nannying with two 3-year-old toddlers to counseling middle school girls, I’ve learned so much about the fun and demanding privilege of taking care of children. It’s been such a joy to learn how to wonder and play like a kid again. 

So there are a few highlights of this year…and now here are my 22 lessons I learned in my twenty-second year 

1. God cannot use me in my comfort zone

2. Believe in myself and trust that I am where I need to be

3. Therapeutic shopping and impulse buying makes me poor and doesn’t fix whatever emotional problem I am going through 

4. Keep moving forward even if it’s just one step closer to the life I want to lead

5. Do the hard things well; don’t give up when things get hard

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AnnaGrace,  you are my kindred spirit. Thanks for exploring with me!

6. Children need encouragement, attention, and lots of love 

7. Seek after God daily through reading and memorizing Scripture. There are many false teachers out there, and I want to know and love God’s Word in order to know what’s true

8. Living on less “stuff” leads to a more grateful heart

9. I am not defined by my GPA or GRE score

10. Make time to cultivate my friendships and family relationships. People matter!


11. Be faithful in the little things

12. I am stronger and smarter than I give myself credit for

13. I absolutely love the outdoors, and I feel closest to God in nature settings

14. God is faithful even when I am not. He is patient when I lose my way, and he guides me back home every time

15. Where God guides, he provides! (Still working on trusting God with my future and letting go of control and self-sufficiency in this area)

In my natural habitat. Photo by Rachele Blick

16. I learned how to present the Gospel confidently and accurately with Scripture

17. I learned how to teach sailing, kayak/canoeing, and archery

18. I am not a morning person, at all, even though I really want to be (making progress!) 

19. A closed door to an opportunity doesn’t mean rejection, it means redirection

20. My life is a ministry, my vocation doesn’t have to be in a specific ministry setting in order to make a difference for God’s kingdom


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Michelle, me, and Jessica! Photo by Christian Ladinos


22. If it’s meant to be, it will be. Chill, be obedient in where God has me, and keep dreaming big!!


What’s something you’ve learned this year?

Petit á Petit,


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