Does anyone else follow way too many online boutiques on Instagram and somehow end up buying clothing without even remembering how you stumbled upon the boutique to begin with (explore page, I'm looking at you)? Well, I just want you to know, this girl is raising both hands in the air. You aren't alone, I get you, girl.
I wish I could say becoming an adult -- whatever that means -- helped me grow out of this. When truthfully, it has only exasperated it to the millionth degree.
I am in a constant struggle of: Do I want to buy that gorgeous sweater or do I want to be able to afford to pay for school tuition next month?
This inner dialogue is commonly followed by "Why does adulting have to be so hard?".
I know, I know. Reading it now, it sounds a little silly. But I would bet you have had a similar conversation with yourself.
Let's be real, friends, transitioning into adulthood is awkward. It's like an unwelcome visitor barging through the door with suitcases full of issues for us to suddenly deal with.
Credit card payments.
Dressing "adult-like" (what even is that?).
The list goes on-and-on, but you get my point.
You see, the world doesn't prepare us for the adult world. There isn't a "How to Be an Adult 101" course in high school or college. The closest we get to this is the dreaded health class (I literally just cringed).
So what is a girl to do?
Below are a few tips I have gathered along the way. A little disclaimer: I am no expert and I am by no means perfect. I stumble and scrape my knee on a regular basis. But it is what has motivated me to get up and keep on truckin' that has made me who I am.
1. The Bible is your #1 resource.
It's funny, I think going through high school and college, I must have pinned hundreds of life hacks, budgeting tools, college survival guides, and organizational tips on Pinterest.
I tried a handful, but nothing actually helped me.
I realized I was seeking more than cleaning hacks and "How to Pay of Student Debt" guides. My soul was thirsty for revival and spiritual maturity.
I wanted so badly to mature, but I was searching in the wrong place the whole time.
Ultimate Life Hack: The Bible is literally your go-to for every situation you go through in life. Relationships, addiction, self-esteem, leadership, dealing with parents, etc. God loved us so much that he didn't create us and just let us run around like little clueless ants on earth, lacking true direction.
Ladies, we have had the Ultimate Guide all along!
Here are just a few verses that I cling to that help me through trialing and confusing times:
"Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me in glory." Psalms 73:23-24 ESV
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights." Habakkuk 3: 17-19
(One of my absolute favorites!)
Challenge: When you are feeling the burdens of becoming an adult weighing down on you, crack open your bible. Soak in the words of God's Love. Store his loving instructions in your heart.
2. No one actually ever figures out how this whole adult thing works. Seriously.
Newsflash: NO ONE is perfect. Sure, some people may be more experienced or put-together on the outside, but we all have to go through troubling and uncomfortable seasons.
I once made the comment to my dad "I don't know how to be an adult". He responded with "I don't think anyone ever figures it out". Mind you, my dad is one of the most confident, strong men I know. Yet even he doesn't have it all down to a T.
Knowing this really helped me with taking the pressure to be perfect off of my back. The burden was too heavy to carry. Focus on doing YOUR best and being your best self, always.
Challenge: Throw your self-destructing standards out the window and hold yourself to a standard of Jesus instead.
3. Everyone's path is different.
Going through college, I was constantly comparing my path to others'. Peers around me had parents paying their tuition, apartment rent, gas, etc. I didn't have the luxury of that. Now, please don't think I am having a pity party right now. I am forever grateful for the way these situations continually molded me as a person. My parents were so supportive and loving.
I wouldn't trade my path for anyone elses'. But it wasn't always like that.
With social media, we have compassion traps planted all around us like a mine field. However, social media is not the enemy, the devil is, and he so sneakily uses social media to his advantage to deteriorate self-image and to feed into insecurity and envy.
I constantly would peek into other's highlight reel of Instagram and see how successful they are. This is something I battle to this day.
"How can she afford to travel all the time? I bet her parents pay for all of her expenses. I'm so jealous...I can barely afford to buy new clothes."
"Dang, she has gotten into such amazing shape. I wish I had time like she does to workout everyday. Too bad I have to work full-time to pay for tuition."
Here's the thing that I want all of us to realize, each one of those girls that we compare ourselves to have hidden hurts and failures. Don't be wishing your life could be like someone else's. Instead, bask in the glory of God's provision, looking back at everything He has done to get you where you are today.
Challenge: Limit your time on social media. Set a timer. Put away your phone after 9pm. Or, even take a social media cleanse for a certain amount of time. You would be astonished how much happier you feel when you take a break! We, as ladies, are so prone to stumbling into comparison traps, we must take precious precautions and check ourselves before we wreck ourselves.
4. Community is a game-changer.
I dealt with depression in high school which lead to social isolation. I would stay in my house and constantly break off plans with friends. I didn't want others to see my brokenness. It was too messy, to much to carry. What would they think?
Fast-forward to now, close to graduating college, I have no idea where I would be without a godly community of friends who are constantly surround me with love. I have a handful of close friends who I can share anything with and know that I will not be judged. They help me look beyond my emotions and get to the route of the problem. They laugh and cry with me. We do life together, hold each other accountable, and figure this whole "adulting" thing out side-by-side.
They remind me I am not alone.
"For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:4-5 NIV
This verse is proof that God has created us in our mother's womb to be connected with other people! According to God's word, being in community with other believers is vital to being successful in life.
When I look back on my high school and early college years, I often wonder what life would have been like had I have been in community with other girls who pointed me to Christ. I probably wouldn't have dated those boys. I probably wouldn't have starved myself for perfection. I probably would have traveled beyond my safe house, met amazing people, and learned to love myself sooner.
Nonetheless, I am so thankful for these years because I know that they were just a bridge to get me where I am now.
Challenge: If you aren't already in a small group/bible study/community group, seek one out! It can be awkward at first, meeting new people. But sometimes, things worth doing are not easy. We must step out of our comfort zone to find true growth.
My prayer is that you seek the Lord with all of your heart. Perfection is not our goal, ladies, Jesus is! Find some girls who share the same core belief, grab hands, and run through life together. It's more fun to figure out life when you're doing it with others.
Don't forget that your path is so so precious, all of the mountains and valleys. God planned this very moment for you to read my blog post before the beginning of time. Cool, huh?
Please feel free to reach out to me via the Contact page. I am here to listen and help where God equips me to.