Dear Christian Teens,
You were made for more. You were made to do great things. And it all starts right here.
I understand what it’s like to be stressed out over school and work and life in general. I understand the pressures we face from all sides – the pressure to be perfect, the pressure to give into temptation, the pressure to be consumed with busyness – it’s rough.
But we don’t have to give into the pressure.
People are going to tell us (if they haven’t already) that the teen years are all about fun. Partying. Living it up. Chilling out, messing around.
And then after we turn eighteen, get shipped off to college, and come out somewhat alive, we’ll be ready for a fantastic life. Get a good job, get engaged, and hopefully find something fulfilling in our lives. Maybe add a little religion to our busyness. Can’t hurt, right?
But that’s not the right message in my estimation.
Because if the time we turn thirteen until the last day of being nineteen is used to just get by, what will the rest of our lives look like?
If we don’t learn how we should live now, how will we know how to live when we’re adults?
If we don’t invest in our faith now, how do we expect to be mature Christians later?
If we don’t love others now, how do we expect to love our future families?
If we don’t practice serving God now, how do we think we’ll be effective in the future?
But this shouldn’t be discouraging. No, now is a great time to make the most of our lives.
Today I turned sixteen. I’m finally starting to grasp what it means to be a teenager, though not by the standard of the culture.
I’m learning what it means to prepare myself for my life instead of just getting away with the bare minimum. And to be honest, it’s a difficult lesson to learn.
But I’m investing in my faith by studying the Bible regularly. I’m learning how to be discerning. I’m learning how to use my personality to serve God the most effectively. I’m finding the roots of my faith.
And you know what? These are some of the most fulfilling things I have ever done.
Working hard is scary, I know. It’s easy to watch Netflix all summer instead of getting a job. It’s easy to be lazy (which is different from rest, by the way). It’s easy to disrespect our parents, and it’s easy to think that we always know best.
Taking cues from authority figures will truly lead us in the right direction. Learning how to work hard now will help us develop a good work ethic for our adult lives. Knowing why we believe what we believe is so important in having a strong faith.
But it doesn’t have to be painful.
It doesn’t have to stress us out.
No, in our stress from everyday life, we can grow our faith and strengthen our relationship with God. We can find comfort and peace, instead of anxiety. Instead of freaking out over not knowing how to be productive, we can pursue efficiency while there’s less pressure.
We can surprise the people around us who expect us to rebel by being kind, loving, and patient.
Dear Christian Teens, you really were made for more. More than just scraping by.
And instead of being crushed by the pressures, we can live with hope. Hope that we are never alone. Hope that God will always lead us. And hope that this isn’t the end.
Oh, guess what! I have exciting news. Gabriela and Nadine persuaded me to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this month. Which means…I AM WRITING A BOOK!
Crazy, right? When you all took my survey, I got lots of people begging me to please write a book. That made me happy, and motivated me to actually pursue writing more than just 700-word blog posts. And I’ve actually gotten most of my book outlined, but here is where you guys come in.
If you want a certain topic to be addressed in more detail than I would be able to on this blog, TELL ME. Even if I’ve addressed the topic on the blog before, LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE BOOK. Comment on a post of mine, shoot me an email, tweet me, or whatever floats your boat.
I WANT YOUR INPUT!
Hopefully, by the end of April, I will have written 25,000 words. Who knows if that will actually happen, but I am going to try. Pray for me, peeps! Thank you all!