As my 26th birthday approaches, I’m taking the time to reflect on my early 20’s. As I grow older each year I realize how important it is to be still and enjoy life. The past 5 years have been filled with happiness, love, peace, excitement, faith, laughter; sadness, depression, fears, disappointments, and heartbreak.
Each year that goes by I become stronger and I am able to face what is in front of me because I know I have already faced more than enough behind me. I stand with faith in Jesus because He has lead me to this very place and He has never let me fall. I am able to talk about my past to help others along their journey and that brings peace in my heart.
My prayer is that my reflection on what I have learned in my early 20’s will help the generation behind me be able to know that life is full of ups and downs but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life. No, it means that you don’t have to have life all figured out, simply lean on God and He will direct your steps.
Build a relationship with God.
This is the most important thing that I have learned. Living life without a sense of purpose is such a dark place to be. God loves us all so very much and He has everything planned out, we just need to listen to Him. Know that He isn’t going to change as people do. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Be happy single.
You do not have to be in a relationship to have happiness! Take your singleness as a time to focus on yourself and what you want out of life. There is no timeline to be married and have children. Take yourself on a date and have fun! Know that this time is precious and when you do get married you have another person to take into consideration, so enjoy being single!
Try new things.
Be adventurous and take risk in your life. You can do any and everything that you want to do. Put your mind to it and do it! It is better to say that you did it than to regret not doing it.
Work hard, play hard.
Whether you are in college or working, take this moment seriously and build on the knowledge and opportunity that is presented in front of you. You also should have fun and do new things. Finding a balance between work and fun is essential to having a good life.
Spend time with family.
As you age your parents and siblings are aging as well. Make time for your family and enjoy the moments that you have with them. Don’t be so busy with your own life that you forget to be involved in theirs.
Take care of yourself.
Go to a spa, get your nails done, go on a hike, work out! Do whatever it is that makes you feel good. Take care of your health and go to the doctor. Be mindful of your mental health. Make sure that you are healthy so that you can live a long life.
Focus on the now.
It is so easy to focus and worry about tomorrow that we forget to be present today. Matthew 6:31-34 says, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s troubles are enough for today.”
Don’t be upset if some of your friendships end. This is apart of life and is completely normal. You do not have to have a ton of friends. A small circle of friends is more than enough.
I know this is easier said than done but you don’t have to put stress and worries onto yourself. 1 Peter 5 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” You do not have to be burden by life, you have a heavenly Father that will help you; simply talk to Him and have faith that He has already made away.
Save, save, save.
Live below your means. You do not have to buy the latest electronics, cars, shoes, clothes, etc. You never know when you will need that extra money so always position yourself to have money saved up.
Pay your bills on time.
Buy a planner, have your bills auto-drafted from your account, know your credit score and keep it high. Pay off your debt.
Follow your purpose.
Everybody’s purpose is unique and different. Some people won’t understand yours but that is perfectly fine. Don’t allow the negativity of others to stop you from going after what God placed in your heart.
Spread the Gospel.
As we go out into the world, we must remember what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age.’ Amen.”