“Hello! And welcome to your twenties!”
At times, I wish someone had greeted me that warmly when I entered this life phase. It’s just so exciting, so fluid, and also so very uncertain. The truth is that very few people feel prepared for the rollercoaster they are about to embark on as they enter their twenties. I certainly wasn’t.
One thing I’ve learnt so far is that you definitely don’t want to try your ‘twenties’ on your own.
Going into high school, I knew that I would get on better with some people than others. Much like everyone around me, I was also wildly insecure about things that I didn’t want people to know about me. Because if we’re honest, we all have a tendency towards wanting to keep our private shame a secret. It is a fear though that keeps us from knowing people fully and allowing them to accept us.
Looking back I can see that there are two main things that really helped me at school and are now getting me through my ‘twenties’ as well.
FAMILY AND GOD’S WORD
Family really can help, especially when you learn that God’s idea of family is not only limited to people who share the same blood as you. At school, I began to understand that choosing the right company was the single most important skill I needed to develop. I learnt to recognise those who were edifying, who would challenge me and be challenged by me, who would stand with me when the walls seemed to be closing in around me, who would allow me to be a brother to them, and who would not keep score.
It was a skill that my parents desired for me to have and retrospectively I completely understand why it meant so much to them. We are social beings and the truth is that we can miss the fullness of where we could be if we surround ourselves with the wrong types of people.
The other thing also came via my parents.
THE TRUTH AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE
Now this doesn’t mean that I was always ‘that’ Christian person at school. Quite interestingly for the first year of being at high school, I never attended Christian Fellowship. But I knew that God was always there and that He would never let me go through life alone.
My Christian friendships grew throughout high school and all knew was that I wanted to know more about Jesus. Despite this renewed interest in the Jesus of my childhood, I never read the Bible. I mean I owned one, and I knew where all the popular scriptures were (John 3:16 etc.) but I never once set my mind to reading the rest. The stuff that wasn’t on coffee mugs and bookmarks. And I just don’t know why. I only really started doing this on my gap year.
Now to put the first few years of my university life simply, I didn’t enjoy my degree. I have struggled to understand why following the word of God has led to the place where I just don’t enjoy what I’m doing. I’m still working through this one.
Truthfully if you’re in your twenties with me right now I would be so happy for you (but genuinely surprised) if you feel happy with what you chose. In this period, we are prone to want to change, modify, and even run away from the choices we’ve made to try make new “better” ones. But the thing is, we’re in our twenties.
If there’s anything that I’ve learnt about myself, it’s that I am extremely flaky. But also, that God really isn’t. God has been so faithful in teaching me about Himself, the world and the people in my life at present. He has never let me down. God will never let us down, no matter how turbulent the twenties get.
So, to you in your twenties I say, “Hello! And welcome to your twenties! Walk this road with God, and walk it with your family. You are not an island, and you will be okay.”