If you are a teenager or a pre-teen on their way to becoming a teenager, the chances are, you have some fears about the future.
The world around us has influenced our minds to make us believe that “at this age we should dress like this,” “at this age we should talk like this,” “at this age we should have a boyfriend,” and the list goes on.
With all these voices around us it can make us feel pressured and even fearful. We start to feel like we have to be or act a certain way to please others and sometimes we give in. We do that out of fear because we don’t want to feel like a black sheep in our flock of friends.
Before I turned 18 I was really afraid. Afraid of becoming an adult and all the responsibility and changes that would occur because I reached a certain age. I allowed the influences and expectations of the world to get in my head and make me feel like I had to be different when I became an adult.
“I have to get a job,” “I have to learn how to drive,” “I have to act differently,” “I don’t feel ready,” “I’m not an adult,” “I can’t do this,” – these were some thoughts that were circling in my head constantly. I was terrified of the future and what it would mean for me to become an adult all because of the influences in the world.
But I’m here today to tell you that it’s okay.
Between talks with my mom, prayers to God, and talks with family and friends, I was able to get past my fear.
When I turned 18 I didn’t feel any different. There were no sudden pushes of responsibility or expectations. I was the same and I still am.
Just because you turn 13, or 16, or 18, or 21 – it doesn’t mean that your entire world is going to change or that you have to be any different. Not right away at least. They’re just numbers. They don’t determine how mature you are – what does is your character – how you respond to situations, how you treat others, the choices you make in day to day life, and so on.
Your whole world isn’t going to suddenly change because the number of your age changes. It’s a gradual process and it’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, I personally find it strange and exciting now. It’s an adventure and, boy! is it a crazy and fun one full of ups and downs. Each road you take leads you somewhere different and the experiences you have there will mold you into the person God created you to be.
I am going to say, though, that I am still a little afraid of the future. It’s unknown, a blank page. A road where I cannot see the end, but as long as I keep my feet on the narrow path and my eyes lifted to God, I can know and trust that everything will be okay. Because even if life doesn’t go as I had thought or “planned”, God has a bigger, better plan in store for you and for me.
So don’t be afraid, my friends. Don’t listen to the voices around you. The world, our friends, etc. – they don’t control us. We should only be focused on pleasing God, not others just so we can fit in and feel “normal.” As Christians we are meant to stand out from the crowd. We should look different. We should act different. We should dress different. Because if we don’t, we are only showing that we are like everyone else – a part of the world. But we are not of this world. Be the black sheep in the flock because even though others might see you that way, God sees you white because you are shining His light and bringing glory to Him.
Though the road ahead is long and full of trials and sometimes you may fall in a pit, God is by your side leading you every step of the way and He is there to lift you up when you are weak, for He is strong. <3
“…Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9