It’s no secret that your twenties can be one of the most exciting times of your life. They can also be one of the most confusing. So, what’s the secret to surviving your twenties?
So many people talk about this season with the emphasis on being able to get married, start a career, and enjoy a newfound independence. What very few people prepare us for is the emotions we will encounter, the pressures we will confront, and the struggle it can be to step out and find our place in a big world.
Navigating new territory can be tricky… How do you thrive in serious relationships? How do you keep yourself spiritually on course while trying to juggle all of the responsibility? And how do you know what course you’re supposed to be on, anyway?
Those great questions deserve great answers, and God has them. He has an astounding plan for your life and a solution to every problem you might face along the way, whether it’s deciding where to go to college, what you should do with your unique gifting, or who you should marry. Your young adult years can be full of incredible memories, adventures, and new experiences when you navigate them hand-in-hand with God!
Experiencing Emotional and Physical Healing
The promise of healing is everywhere in the Word of God. For years, I’ve heard Christians say, “I believe God is going to heal me,” or “I’m waiting on God to heal me.” God isn’t sitting up in heaven trying to decide if He’s going to heal you. He’s already willing. He already said “yes” to your healing 2,000 years ago when He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for you. That’s why Isaiah 53:5 says that by His wounds, we ARE healed!
God loves you, and He wants you to be whole, emotionally and physically. People may have hurt you in the past, disappointed you, or broken your heart. Jesus didn’t come just so He could pay the price for our physical healing. He also paid the price so we could have emotional freedom! Psalm 34:18 promises us that God is near to the brokenhearted, and He saves those who are crushed in spirit.
HOW DO YOU RECEIVE HEALING?
First, we have to deal with ourselves. Our natural mind wants to see, but we know faith is the evidence of things not seen. We have to be confident that the Word of God has the power to bring to pass what it says. When we have faith in what the Word says, we enact a spiritual law that brings it into existence! Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Find a scripture that you can anchor your faith to and read it, out loud, constantly. Find someone who has faith to pray for you—someone that believes what the Bible says about healing. And don’t accept every diagnosis and name the doctor’s give you about diseases in your body—the Word of God supersedes all of it.
Discovering Your Calling
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Could there be ten words more daunting in the English language? And there isn’t a time that demands an answer to that question more than your twenties. Picking which college degree to get, embarking on a career, choosing a spouse—they’re all huge choices.
According to Jeremiah 29:11, we know that God has a plan for our life and that it’s a plan full of success, hope, and potential. So we know if we’re following the plans of God, we are moving in the right direction, but how do we uncover what those plans are? (Link to Hearing God’s Voice CD)
IT’S OKAY TO BE UNCERTAIN
It’s okay to be unsure about the future. It’s okay if you don’t know what the next ten years will look like, or even the next five. Sometimes we have to step out in blind obedience to God and trust that He knows how to get us where we need to go. God often only shows us glimpses of our future to lead us in the right direction, but not overwhelm us. If you knew the incredible call God has on your life right now, you might get ahead of yourself, and you could even jeopardize the plan. That’s why God takes us one step at a time, only revealing as much as we can handle.
The key is that there’s no one answer to the question, “What are you called to do?” Our destiny isn’t a destination—it’s a journey. It’s everyday obedience. In one season, God may call you to be a stay-at-home mother, and in another, He may call you to write a book. This is something we discern when we take the time to rest in God’s presence and listen.
We don’t have to live in fear of “missing” our calling or not measuring up to the success of the people around us—God orchestrates everything in His perfect timing. Discovering our calling is a day-by-day process of trusting God, listening for His direction, and stepping out in obedience when He speaks.
Dating, Self-worth, and External Affirmation
The emotional struggle to find self-worth has risen to a whole new level thanks to social media. We think maybe if we put a filter on our photos, or make our bio catchier, people will like us more. We’re no longer comparing ourselves to models a million miles away, but our friends. And the worst part is we’re comparing their edited photos to us at home in our sweatpants with no makeup on.
It can be easy to feel like everyone else is out living this “picture perfect” lifestyle while we’re at home watching Netflix. The temptation can be to try to perform for validation or look for love and approval in relationships.
AN EMPTY SEARCH
No matter how many followers we have or whether we are in a relationship or not, if we are looking to other people for our identity, we will always be disappointed. Getting our validation from anything other than God leaves us empty.
We may have performed well today and gotten our ego patted on the back, but we’re left in the constant fear that we’ll mess up tomorrow and lose it again. And the truth is, we will. Even Jesus had one disciple betray Him, and another deny Him, and He was perfect! We’re not. There will be times when we fall short of the expectations of others, and especially the expectations we put on ourselves. We can’t find our identity in our performance; we can only find it in God.
To truly embrace confidence and purpose, you have to start with the understanding that your identity doesn’t come from what you do, but it’s who you ARE.
You are wonderfully made, loved, created with a purpose, forgiven, and accepted—and it has nothing to do with what you’ve done or what you’ll do. It has to do with what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. He set your value at the highest price when He gave His life for you. And no matter how anyone else perceives you, you can hold your head up high, knowing that there was one man who was willing to give everything for you.
Stepping Out in Obedience
Stepping out and saying “yes” to God can be a challenge, especially when it involves giving something up or stepping out of our comfort zone. Even though we can’t always see the reward in the beginning, following God’s Word always pays off in the end. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Did you know that God created each of us with our unique gifting and aspirations? God is on our side. He wants what is best for our lives; we can trust Him with our dreams and desires.
There may be times when God asks us to do something that doesn’t make sense to us, but since we know God’s heart is for us, we can confidently step out in obedience. (Link to Obedience Brings Your Destiny) God sees the bigger picture—He knows the beginning from the end. We may only see a small part of the equation, but God’s Spirit directs us around obstacles we aren’t even aware of. Deuteronomy 31:6 tells us God has already gone ahead of us and made way for us; all we have to do is trust Him and listen for His voice!
Sure You Can!
Do you have dreams or visions for your life that you’re tempted to give up on? What’s holding you back? What’s keeping you from doing what God has called you to do?
It’s not time to quit. God created you for something special. He created you to make a difference. Don’t give up on God’s plan just because you’re afraid, or because you face obstacles or hurdles. You have to believe what God says about you—that you CAN do it.
As you look at God, at His Word, and at what He says about you, you’ll discover your identity in Him instead of in your performance or in your lack of performance; you’ll discover that you are loved, accepted, and forgiven. Then, you’ll be empowered to do things not through your own strength, but through Him and His strength!
Whenever I feel like I can’t handle a situation, or I can’t do something, I tell myself, “Sure I can.” I can do anything I need to do through Christ who strengthens me! (Philippians 4:13) YOU can do anything you need to do through Christ who strengthens you.
Jesus has already purchased the victory for you on the cross. It’s up to you to know the truth, to live the truth, and to enforce it when you’re in the battles. Your life isn’t about what you can accomplish on your own, but about what you can accomplish with God. When you walk with God, your life can be better than you ever imagined!
How do I start a relationship with God?
Salvation is a free gift. All you have to do is ask! Romans 10:10 says, “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Starting a relationship with God is as easy as believing in your heart that Jesus is Lord and asking Him into your life.
What should I do if I make a mistake?
We all make mistakes. In fact, Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” When we do, the important thing is that we make it right. We don’t have to feel condemned or ruined by what we’ve done in our past. That’s why Jesus paid the price for our sins 2,000 years ago! If we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive us and give us a fresh start.
How do I forgive people who have hurt me?
First, pray. Pray and ask God to help you sort through your hurt. Hurt usually leads to offense, then anger, and then paybacks through disloyalty and betrayal. Prayer helps us see things as they are, not as we justify ourselves to “feel.” It’s much easier to forgive others when we realize just how much forgiveness we need. Pray and then choose to forgive just as God chose to forgive us through Jesus!
What do I do when I feel hopeless?
You keep your dream alive by continuing to look at God and His Word. Keep your eyes on what God has for you. Guard yourself against negative influences, because the image you are beholding is the image you are becoming. Renew your mind with the Word of God and vision, joy, and excitement will begin to rise up inside of you!
How do I overcome fear?
It doesn’t matter how you’re living with it—whether you’re just tolerating it, you’re coping with it, or you’re reacting to it—if fear is present at all in your life, it’s keeping you from being free. When the emotion of fear comes on you, you don’t have to obey it. You can speak to it and take authority over it. You can choose faith in God over fear and the world’s system! When it tries to come back, when it tries to talk to you, when it tries to find a place in your life, take authority over it. Run to God’s perfect love, because “perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)