I was a 23-year-old living at home with my parents with no job prospects. My daily activities consisted of applying for any and every job in sight. I sulked and panicked as I watched those I graduated with post updates as they met up for lunch while working at their fancy new jobs downtown.
If this is you, I understand. Not many people look favorably on the adult who lives at home with mom and dad.
“God, is this the person you’re telling me to marry?” “Will I be single forever?” “I want to climb the corporate ladder.” “How can I be taken seriously when I’m the youngest person on the team at work?” “How do I authentically represent my faith to others without seeming like I’m a freak?”
We all go through seasons in life, especially as young adults. While your concerns and fears may seem like they don’t measure up to those who are more experienced in life, I happen to think the season of young adulthood is one of the most beautiful and rewarding times in a person’s life.
There are so many rich moments you will experience that may be perceived as growing pains, but it’s all about how you look at it. Trust and believe that God is doing an amazing work in your life (James 1).
Today my young adulthood is coming to a close and I thought if I could write a letter to my 20-year-old self, this is what it would say:
PRAY AND LISTEN.
This is a great time to get into a routine of prayer. You have a lot of questions and God has answers. Don’t let God be your last option. Give Him a place in your life where He is your first choice. Establish a routine where He is the first person you speak to with the things that concern your heart. He’s always available to listen. Communing with God is not about being a chatterbox. It’s about quieting our words and thoughts to allow God the opportunity to speak. The Lord speaks to each person differently. So how does He speak to you?
We are living at such an awesome time because there are so many resources available to help us understand and enjoy God’s word. From reading plans, apps, to devotionals, the Body of Christ has done an amazing job at creating tools to assist us in our study time so we can be equipped and edified as we try to tackle each day with purpose and live accordingly.
For the first time in my life, at 23 years old, I asked for the right question. “What is my purpose?” It was also the first time I realized that I needed to be still in that moment to hear what God wanted me to do.
What I realize 10 years later is that it will take a life time to accomplish this purpose and there is something to learn and accomplish in each season.
I am now putting into action what he told me to do at 23 years old, while just seconds prior, I was taking in life precious moments to inform and teach me.
BE PATIENT AND WATER YOUR GRASS.
Your purpose will not be the same as someone else’s even if they appear to be similar. Your road to purpose will have many highs and lows but that road will lead you to maturity and readiness in various seasons of implementation (Galatians 6:9). So be patient and give God time to grow you in each life season.
It isn’t always greener on the other side. Social media is a great tool for promotion and sharing the highs but in some cases not so many lows. So sow into your ground. Maintain it and watch things grow from God’s plan for you on your life. It always pays off in the end – your diligence and patience (Galatians 6:9).
BE FOCUSED AND EXPECTANT.
God is always good and there are so many representations of his goodness all around us. Each day try to focus on his goodness and block out all negativity (Romans 15:13).
Be expectant for change. Be expectant to non-conventional avenues of joy, success, and income.
God will surprise you in the ways that He will open doors.
He will surprise you with skills and abilities He placed inside you. He will overwhelm you with opportunities you’ve never considered or dreamed of. He may even provide you with a spouse who is made perfectly for you, that’s not what you expected, but everything you needed. His ways are not our ways (Romans 12:12).
SINGLENESS & MARRIAGE: ENJOY BOTH.
Singleness doesn’t have to be an appalling term or time in our lives. In fact it was one of the most enjoyable and productive times in my life once I embraced it. Singleness is a gift. Marriage is a gift. Both singleness and marriage have their advantages and troubles. Enjoy each in its time (1 Corinthians 7).
STRIVE FOR LIFELONG LEARNING.
You’re always learning. Such is life (Ephesians 3:17-19).
And when I consider this letter, these are rules to live by in every season of my life. Young adulthood happens to be a great teacher to which I am very grateful.