1. Is my job making me happy?
Life is hard. It can take us weeks, months, even years to finally get that first ‘real’ job out of university, and before you know it we are faced with the re-occurring thoughts:
“Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?”
“Am I using my brain enough?”
“Does my job mean anything in the grand scheme of what’s actually important in the world?”
You can go to work Monday to Friday and get so engrossed in work, go to church on a Sunday and after the service nothing seems worth doing if it isn’t spreading the love of God and telling people just how great Jesus is. Suddenly work seems futile and time at your desk is weighed down with soul searching questions.
2. Are these my swan days because I really expected my blossom to be better than this?
I say this without even a hint of a chuckle. Those of you honest enough to admit you feel like this to, Kudos. I remember being in my early teens and dreaming of the days when I would be in my prime, the peak of my beauty, turning heads as one of those exquisitely dressed business women before living life to the fullest took its toll and the wrinkles set in. Now I’m in my early twenties, hurriedly dressed without the slightest hint of effort being put into my appearance thinking if not now, then when. It seems trivial but insecurities about our appearances plague us all from time to time and it comes to a point when we have to re-evaluate what we take comfort in, whether that be make-up, the words of affirmation we receive from others or the fantasy of beauty to come.
3. When will the one find me?
I won’t labour this point further because even having to list it gives me a heavy heart, but alas the relationship centred conversations that crop up time and time again make it quite clear that this worry is rooted in fearful overthinking. If you read between the sarcasm and joke cracking you can hear that people are really saying
“How long will I be lonely?”
“Will I find love before my body clock stops ticking?”
4. Am I achieving success at the right pace?
We all have milestones that we’d like to reach but it’s not only important that we reach them, when we do is crucial. You hear about child geniuses taking their GCSE’s aged 8 and teenage entrepreneurs becoming millionaires and you wonder just how they’ve managed it. If someone has achieved something then it’s clearly humanly possible and you have to wonder what makes the over-achievers get so far ahead. We plod through life thinking about how we measure up to others, relieved that some people are ‘further behind’ than we are and curious about all the people that are ahead. It’s a sad truth. Money is all relative and your house is only big in comparison to your neighbours. Stand alone achievements just aren’t enough if we can’t be seen as better than someone else.
5. Am I good enough?
Now you’re in your twenties you are old enough to know better but young enough to feel like a bad choice made every now again isn’t the worst thing in the world. Every so often I evaluate my recent actions and worry about whether I was nice enough, if I could have been more thoughtful in the way I said something, if I stuck up for myself enough, the list goes on. Christian or not, we want to be “good” people and then as Christian’s there’s the added pressure of ‘what would God expect me to do?’ This is usually followed by a major sigh because it often means we have to bite our tongues, lose the argument, let the grudge go, alas, be the person we feel way too young and carefree to be.
So where is the light in all of this? Here are some things we should all remember.
1. We aren’t all called to be missionaries, some of us are placed into the corporate jungle to bring light where there isn’t any.
You can think yourself beautiful. God thinks you’re a work of art so let’s take a leaf out of David’s book and praise God for our looks (Psalm 139:14). The sooner we start thinking it, the sooner we’ll start feeling it.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneʼs life for oneʼs friends.”John 15:13 NIV. Your love story has already begun.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV. Your time will come.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither do we one day just start living perfectly. You gave your life to Christ and began the journey but never forget it is a journey.