Let me just say it right now: being a twenty-something kind of sucks.
Being a single twenty-something also kind of sucks.
At least in my opinion/experience, anyway. Seriously, what's a single 25-year-old woman to do, who still hasn't graduated from college, is still living with her parents (and on their dime and insurance, for the most part), and has just gone back to the job she first got when she was 17? Ugh. UGH UGH UGH!!! Being a twenty-something is one of the worst first-world problems EVER! Truly, it's very uncomfortable, and it doesn't help that I don't have very many close friends who are also fellow twenty-somethings to commiserate with.
So if you are reading this, and you are a twenty-something, and you find your life to be very frustrating because it doesn't look at all the way you thought it would when you were 17, can you just take a moment and commiserate with me right now? Send me your commiseration vibes. I'm feeling them now. (Then again, maybe those are just my own vibes coming back around at me. Who can say.)
Now...maybe you are a Christian twenty-something and frustrated by your life, but you know you shouldn't be because really you are incredibly blessed.
Maybe you have amazing parents, who allow you to live with them and who support you financially and pay some or all of your college tuition.
Maybe you have a couple of close friends whom you've known since elementary school, and who you still consider to be some of your best friends.
Maybe you are grateful to be single, because being in a relationship is so much effort, and you've been badly hurt in the past. Maybe Christ fills you with His joy, His peace, His love, and you have to just take a moment and let yourself experience it to the fullest.
Maybe you are involved in some sort of ministry in your church - maybe you work with children or youth, and you love getting to spend time with those kids and laugh with them and watch them grow and ache when you know that if they would just listen and ask God for guidance and help, they would receive it and understand!
Maybe you are part of a small group, at church or somewhere else, and you love the Bible studies you do and the people who study with you, even if you don't know most of them that well.
Maybe there are tons of other things too, and you know your life has truly been richly blessed...but it's hard to remember sometimes because it just seems that there's something missing.
Maybe you're like me, and you are SO READY TO NOT BE SINGLE ANYMORE. Or maybe it's not anything to do with being single necessarily, but there is just one thing in your life that you feel like you want more than anything, and it would be SO EASY for God to give that thing to you, but He just hasn't, for some reason.
Maybe you want a boyfriend/girlfriend, or really a husband/wife. Maybe you even have a specific person in mind, and maybe they even like you back, but for whatever reason, you can't be together. If you could just be in a relationship, you know you'd have everything you ever wanted. Heck, if God would even allow you to have a chance at a relationship, at least you'd know what it's like either way.
Maybe you want children, desperately, and are unable to have them. If God would just give you that precious little life, you would raise it to know Him and love Him as best you could. Your life would be complete if only you could have that son or daughter, and you would truly be the best parent you knew how to be.
Maybe you want a certain job, and you know you would be SO GOOD at it, and that your having that job would benefit the company, or your co-workers, or the people you serve. If only you could have that job, you'd have plenty of money, and you could donate some to charities or your church, and you can just taste how successful and richly blessed your life would be, if you could just have the job.
Maybe you want to pack up and move to New York, or L.A., or Chicago, or London, or Africa, or Australia, or anywhere but the place you currently are, where you feel trapped. If only you could get out of this one-horse town, wherever you are, you'd be able to leave the past behind and finally start really living your life, and you would have a chance to be content and happy.
Maybe you just want to lose some weight. If you could lose ten pounds, or twenty, then you could shop at certain stores and dress in certain ways, and that would solve so many issues that are wrong in your life. Right?
It's not like it'd be hard for God to fulfill that one thing that we want so badly. God can do anything, right? He loves us, doesn't He? And He wants to give us every good thing, according to the Bible (see Luke 11:9-13, Matthew 7:12, Psalm 37:4). Why won't He just do that one thing that He knows would bring us so much happiness, and that would be so good for us, and probably benefit a lot of other people too?? It would be so simple for Him, and so good for us. Why doesn't He just do it?
Unfortunately, my answer to that question is just this: I don't know.
I really, really wish I knew why God does what He does, and doesn't do the things He doesn't do. I don't know why He has never let me have a boyfriend, which is something I've wanted ever since I can remember. I don't know why I'm 25 and still not graduated from college yet. I don't know why I am fully in the midst of my twenty-something life and greatly disliking being here. And I don't know why He hasn't done whatever thing you are desperate for Him to do in your life, that would complete it and make you so happy you can almost feel it already.
Most blog posts I've read on this subject are from the POV of someone who was waiting for that one thing, and after what seemed like forever to them, they finally received it, and are now passing on their wisdom that whatever it is is worth the wait. Well, I'm sure that's true. However, all those blog posts leave kind of a bad taste in my mouth, because all I can think when I read them is: "That's easy for you to say." They've finally gotten what they want! And they've gotten what I want, too! It's not fair! I'm still here, waiting, twiddling my thumbs, wondering if God will ever allow me to be in a relationship, wondering if I'll ever get married or have children, or even graduate college.
And that sucks.
Fellow twenty-somethings, let's just take a minute and agree that being in this stage of life, and waiting on whatever it is that we're all waiting on, sucks. It really, really does. It sucks that we're still waiting, it sucks that we don't have what we want, and it sucks that we don't know why God hasn't allowed us to have what we want. It sucks that we don't know His plan or understand His timing, and it sucks that His plan and timing are so different from ours. And can we also just admit that it's usually not very comforting when people try to comfort us by reminding us that our lives are "all in God's plan"?
Yes, of course God has a plan for our lives. Of course His plan is far, far better than anything we could ever have planned for ourselves. And of course we need to seek our security and our identity and our everything in Him, instead of in that one thing we want so badly. Of course that one thing can never solve our problems, or fulfill us, or complete our lives.
Only Jesus Christ can do that.
Believe me, I know this. I know it in my head, and I have to work every day to try and get my heart to realize it too.
But can we just take a moment and say that we're really tired of waiting? And that sometimes, the most helpful thing to do is express frustration, rather than smother that frustration with guilt because we know "God has a plan for our lives"? And that it's okay to be frustrated, and to express that frustration (as long as you do so appropriately)??
Okay. Moment taken. Thank you.
"Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will glorify You." ~Psalm 63:3, NIV
"But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God." ~Acts 20:24, NLT
"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed in the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is. See things from His perspective." ~Colossians 3:1-2, MSG
God is really the only thing worth wanting, worth having, worth living for. We all know that, deep down. God, help us act that way! Help us see things from Your perspective, and live like we are serious about You. Give us patience as long as we do not have the things we so desire, and help us control our desires for those things. Let them never overshadow You in our lives. Help us delight ourselves in You first and foremost.
And to finish, one of my favorite verses (which coincidentally inspired the lantern scene in Tangled...go watch that movie again immediately and see that it totally fits!):
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." ~James 1:17, NIV