Becoming an Adult…

Don’t do it! These are the best years of your life! Just wait until you have to worry about responsibility, work, and deadlines—oh my!

As a kid, teenager, and even as a young adult, these are the things I’ve heard spoken to me about adulthood—especially when I was going through something hard. When life seemed pointless, I looked ahead to the people around me. What did I have to look forward to?

According to them: Not much.

Most adults in my life were grouchy, stressed, and easily irritated. They talked about how the world was going to hell, and how everything kept getting more and more expensive.

And if life just got harder and harder, it left me with a serious life question…

Why did God design it that way?

He designed us to grow, didn’t He? To learn how to take our first steps, work our first job, fall in love, and then teach our children to take their first steps.

Growing up is hard. Becoming an adult and learning about insurance and taxes is stressful. Learning how to navigate relationships and how to communicate is even harder. What happens when we put our foot down and refuse to change, grow, or learn?

The Warning of Peter Pan

Peter Pan—not the Disney Version—is a tragic tale of what happens when you don’t grow up. When you put your foot down and refuse. The character of Pan is often selfish and childish. He has all the joys of youth, but he lacks any of the growth and maturity of man.

This leaves Pan at the end of practically every story and retelling, completely and utterly alone.

This doesn’t just apply to the natural progression of time, to maturing physically and transitioning from child to adult. It applies to all areas of life, far beyond the time of being a young adult and well into your 30s, 40s, even 80s!

Growing and learning is hard… but it’s not without its joys or necessities.

I’ve been a professional adult for seven years now. In that time, I’ve grown and changed more than I can possibly keep track of! Here are my two takeaways on this whole ‘growing up’ thing.

1. If we don’t grow, we become stagnant

Like a puddle of murky water, sitting for days in the shade. Muck and grime mix along the top, creating a chunky sludge. The high-pitched hum of mosquitoes buzz and deep inside, something dangerous lurks.

Is that what you want to look like?

Stagnation is dangerous. Just like with the Peter Pan example, it’s not good for your soul.

Change is hard, but if things never changed, God could never surprise you! It was scary to move to Ohio last year. To go somewhere I didn’t know a single person. But I met so many amazing people who have changed my life in so many amazing ways!

If I had refused to move (and believe me, it did cross my mind when God first brought it up), I would never have been able to experience what I have or to learn the things I have. How much of life would I have missed out on?

2. You never stop growing!

The problem with becoming an adult is the expectation of being a grown-up. Having ‘all the answers’ and knowing ‘all the things’. But we weren’t designed to know everything. We weren’t designed to remember all the facts. Otherwise, we would.

We were designed to be in a relationship with God and to be in a community with each other. If there’s something you don’t know, there’s probably someone in your circles who does—and if they don’t, God surely does. So, it’s okay. Take a breath and relax.

In the end, it’s okay to acknowledge that with every season of growth, there is often times pain and grief. The ‘growing pains’ of life. But there is always something joyful to be found. Our job is to find it.

Ready to grow a little bit more every day? Check out my free joy-votional!

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