This week I turned 34, but I keep saying I turned 24. The truth is, I don’t really feel much different. I mostly feel exactly the same, even though I do see change for good in my life over this decade.

Now I realize I am not the sagest person out there, and I know many of you have wisdom to teach me, from one decade to the next. Yet for those who need encouragement in how much your life can change for good in ten years, here it is.

A Decade of Changes

For one, although at 34 my life really is substantially more crazy than ever before, I feel more together. I am happier, because I’ve learned to be content. My normal is gratitude and feel unworried, but only because I know how to return to joy quickly.

How is my life different at 34 compared to 24? I feel like I finally am living my purpose, I know who Iam, where I fit, and how I can make a difference.

Elisa Johnston in


In fact, I think (hope) I am less self-righteous and believe I show more grace. I am much more confident, although I find myself humbling and surrendering daily. I don’t usually feel the need to prove myself, which takes a huge weight off my shoulders. I can just be me, but not simply me. The fully alive, being refined version of me, connected to God, in who I’ve found this purpose, identity, and strength.

Yes, I realize this is cheesy and might even sound salsy, as I am still hurried, confused, and far from have it together. But comparing myself at 24 to now, this is my reality. I am virtually a different person, but still me.

e.e. cummings quote

A Change For Good: More Than A Servant

Has there ever been a decade in your life you’ve seen so much change? Maybe this is your decade to change for good, or better yet, a few dedicate years to intentionally discovering who you are and the story you are supposed to life.

Actually for a lot of people like me, who are doers and so strongly care, we overwhelm ourselves.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, that overwhelm, responsibility and burn-out. Because for me, one of the biggest changes between 24 and 34 was working so hard to pursue who I was by serving others, only to find out that this isn’t who I am, just someone chasing making the world a better place. Nor is that any of us. No one is simply a servant.

It can, should, be part of our identity, yes. But we aren’t defined by being advocates, no matter how “average” or even good we are at being world changers.

Rather, we are defined by whether we are at rest in our souls, which makes us come alive (read more on that here). And from that life we pour out into this world, the life overflowing from within.

We serve best when we are alive, just as the breathing parent on an airplane shouldn’t suffocate while trying to put the oxygen mask on their child.

I know 34 isn’t that old yet, but I hope if you haven’t discovered these truths yet, you will listen to what I’ve learned: We don’t have to prove ourselves, buy cool things/fashions/events/houses for ourselves, produce the perfect life for ourselves, nor produce it for others, rescuing and pouring from an empty well.

We only have to learn and search out what it means for us to become fully alive, and then give generously from that surplus.

In this next decade of your life, actually, I hope even sooner, you will also be able to look back and see your life drastically change because you’ve discovered who you are meant to be and begin walking into the difference you were born to make in the world.

If you aren’t sure how to move forward in this, I encourage you to get my free Life Mapping Workbook, one of the most powerful tools helping me in my own journey. 

Life Mapping Workbook