Last night I had the honour of being a guest at a Salvation Army youth camp. Myself and three other awesome women formed a panel while paper and pens were distributed among a group of young women aged from early teens to early twenties. The girls were asked to write any question they liked and we were asked to answer them in light of God’s word and personal experience!
The questions ranged from ‘how do I deal with pimples’, to ‘how do I deal with life’. ‘Is it wrong to date non christian boys’, ‘what is an appropriate way to dress’, the list went on. One question in particular struck me, ‘during growing up, becoming an adult, was it hard?’. I turned the question back on the girls and asked if anyone thought growing up was hard…the majority flung their hands in the air, to which I said ‘me too!!’. There are a lot of things to juggle as we grow up: responsibility, self awareness, independence, consequences from our actions, people and the age old question, ‘what am I going to do with my life’. As I looked around the company of women it was nice to know that we are not alone! A lot of our own struggles are ones familiar to those around us. By opening up, sharing and being honest with those in our world we find validation and the comfort to keep moving forward one baby step at a time!
As I have ‘grown up’, I often felt as though I was making no progress, that nothing ever changed, and that I was still struggling withe same insecurities, fears and issues. I would get frustrated at myself, frustrated with life and frustrated with God for not doing more and doing it faster. It is not until I stop and reflect in hindsight that I can see just how far I have come; my successes, progress and the hand of God working steadily behind the scenes.
As I drove home, I cried and laughed simultaneously in the privacy of my car. So grateful for the work he has done in my life and the opportunity to share and encourage those navigating the early years of life. I wouldn’t trade one moment, one painful memory, one bad decision or one experience in my life because thanks to God’s redemptive, restorative power, all those pieces of my life can be used to bring Him glory and point others to Him!
What’s one piece of advice you wish you could tell a younger you?