Sunday, November 8, 2009

The young and the restless...

Hope that title doesn't scare you away!?! ;)



As of last month, I am 26 yrs. old. In some ways, I feel exactly as I did when I was 17 yrs. old. For me, that was the age that I pretty much joined the “adult species”… you have to understand that I went to across the country to college when I was 16 yrs. old, so I may have joined adulthood a little younger than most. Not that it’s anything to brag over… it’s just the way it happened for me. More than age, just the events of life, such as marriage and children, have to some degree, made me feel a little out of touch with the teenage girl that I used to be. The inner struggles I had, and the insecurities I felt, now seem a bit silly. But I know… I absolutely know… that they were quite real and quite serious at the time when I was experiencing them. I wish I could have seen then how temporary the troubles and dramas would turn out to be. But you don’t know what you don’t know, right? Of-course, I don’t mean to minimize the concerns that kids and teenagers feel. They can be just as stressful, even depressing, as adult woes. Especially in the world in which we live. The sad truth is that many children never enjoy a childhood. They’re exposed to horrific things and their innocence is stolen. But I am getting into a whole different topic…


I’ve been trying to put myself back in the shoes of 16, 17, 18, 19 yr. old girl, on the brink of a blank but hopeful future. Often… too often… we sit back and watch young people in this stage teetering between wisdom and foolishness… right and wrong…. good and bad. They have been taught what is right, in some cases taught more than others… shown the example, in some cases more than others… but then it is their turn to decide. Will they sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate? It’s frustrating to me, because I’m not really qualified or in a position to do what I am tempted to do … grab them by the shoulders and shake them until they think clearly! ;) Or even better would be to possess their bodies and make the right choices for them. But that’s not how it works, is it? I look back and I remember being in those shoes… I would have severely resented being shook by the shoulders or having my body possessed. But I am pretty sure that I did tempt a few people to try those tactics on me, just as I am now tempted to try those approaches with young girls whom I know and love. So I pray… and look for opportunities to do whatever I can to help them… and then vent my frustration on my blog. ;) The cycle is complete!


If I ever did gain the audience of one of these young women, there is much I would want them to know. I want them to know that their mothers, though in their 30s and 40s now, were once young girls, too. They were not aliens who hatched middle aged. They are emotional creatures too and just might know what they’re thinking/feeling/experiencing and they would actually and truly love to talk to them about it.


I would want them to know that this stage is short and fleeting. The late teen and college years are a fast paced blur. In a few years, they will be living out the choices of today… and it is for forever and there are no do-over’s. They, their parents, their future mate, and their future children will reap the consequences, whether positive or negative, for the rest of their lives. So much of the “What will I do with my life?” question involves dating and mating and marriage. I wish that every young girl would grasp this one idea: The man you marry will probably be your children’s father. I don’t know if this is normal, but I thought about that while I was dating. I loved my children before I knew I’d ever have them. I wanted a good daddy for them. Not that this was the only quality I looked for, but it encompasses a lot. Part of that thought includes the premise that Mr. Right had better be a hard worker… I mean not just "once in a while a hard worker" or "when trying to impress someone hard worker"… I mean a “go to work every single day and work when you don’t feel like it hard worker”. It’s really heartbreaking to know sweet, nice girls who marry funny, cool guys and end up with a miserable life, in which the burden of providing, rearing the kids, and every other responsibility is placed solely on their shoulders. Some of my friends ended up as single moms, some might as well be single moms. It’s extremely sad. It will not matter one iota how cool of a car he drives or how funny and cute his is when you need a man around and cannot find one. Marriage is so sweet and such a source of joy… when it’s right. When it’s not… it’s sorrow and misery. I wish every young girl I know could marry a godly young man and have a wonderful marriage build on the Lord. I wish they would never sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate in this area most of all.


Sometimes I think that perhaps young people are not debating between a good life or a bad life… but between a great life and a mediocre life. Between living out God’s will for them, being married to God’s choice and enjoying the peace and security that it holds or just mimicking what is more typical… veering just a little at time, slowly, unconsciously away from the principles they know to be right; haphazardly bouncing through the threshold of adulthood and winding up with a cheap imposter of the great life that could have been theirs. And they might not even realize it’s not the “real deal” that they passed by. It looks just like what most of their friends, and maybe family, ended up with too, so they think it’s just as good as it gets. But it’s disappointing and unfulfilling. And eventually, full of regrets.


So what do I want a 16,17,18,19 yr. old girl to go? Do right. Just do right and then do right some more. Get on that path and just stay the course. Buy the truth and sell it not. Fall in love with Jesus before letting any dumb boy even close to your heart. Get a godly counselor in your life and give them permission to shoot straight with you, and then don’t get mad at them when they do. They watch for your souls.


Maybe it’s presumptuously of me to even post all this. Like, what do I know, really? In 20 yrs., I’ll be writing a post about the things I wish 20something year old wives and mothers would get a grip on! I know I’m still a "whipper snapper" in a lot of ways. If you older and wiser women out there have more to add, I’m all ears! You can even tell me what I need to realize! I hereby give you permission to shoot straight with me! ;)

3 comments:

Jodi said...

Funny to think of myself as older and wiser, but since I am 42 and you asked...
You are right on, of course!
In a nutshell, my advice for people your age and situation is not to forget that God is first, then husband, THEN children. When they're very young and take so much from you physically, it is so easy to push the husband aside because the kids NEED you so much. Don't do it! It will rip your marriage apart.
My 2 cents!

JazzyMLaw37 said...

Thanks miss kayte :D And don't be afraid to push my in the right direction!I would like more of your advice.You being the youth pastors wife and a women of God I would appreciate it very much.

Kayte said...

OK, I don't know if I can handle being called "woman of God"... my head just grew 3 sizes! Thanks Jaz...