Since October 30th, I have been on this planet for quarter a century. I had a great birthday. I am thankful for the time spent with my favorite people in the world, ate good food, hung out downtown. I feel a slight unexplainable impulsion to look at my in retrospect, even at 25! Ummm...let me begin.

Looking back, I overcame so many things not on my own. There's no way I could have on my own will power and strength. A supernatural intervention occurred that made me who I am today. Only the power of God through the Holy Spirit could have helped me overcome that.

Whoever said that you have to have it all figured out by 25? I am accountable to God not to human perception. Why is spiritual fruit and presence of God measured by shallow, temporal things? Glorifying God and serving his purposes does not have to be done in one set way. This can happen "outside the box" or away from the traditional ministry. God is certainly not limited.

One of my strongest passions has been the arts, literature and visual arts to be exact. I can indulge in a good book. Even before I could write I would make up little stories. I enjoy writing. This year I'm focused on finishing my degree/teacher certification and applying to graduate college. I'm applying for a MA in English. I want to study literature in-depth.

Not too long ago, I listened to Martin French, the arts pastor at church speak about calling as an artist. He was addressing writers, painters, filmmakers and artists of all type. The two main things that caught my attention was that it is not about making "Christian" art. What if art was a medium used to dialogue about topics like faith, life, destiny, pain in our world, redemption and topics that everyone asks whether believers or not? I see this as an intersection or fusion of both the natural and spiritual. Our church was able to get a downtown studio space where they would have art events.

He also mentioned that the calling is a journey and for those in the 20's, it's just the beginning of an exciting journey. I would say that I'm still at the beginning of the journey. I have a lot that I need to learn. At this point, I want to grow, mature, experiment and try new things and exchange ideas with others. There is a saying that comes to my mind, "Women are like wine, they grow finer with age." I am certain that 20 years from now I'd be better as a person and at the things I do.

I want to continue with what I'm doing. Overall, I'm satisfied with life. Grace is the most valuable and precious thing in this world. Knowing grace has given me peace, serenity, eternal security, comfort and stillness.

I am not at all perfect. I am a sinner. I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God within the last year. I felt like a complete idiot after committing that sin. That showed my weakness and where God needs to enter in my life. It's a symptom of spiritual frailty. God knows it. Regardless, I know someday those areas will be restored.

That is part of the the spiritual journey of faith.

Indu Shanmugam