I just turned twenty at the beginning of the month. It’s something I’ve been grappling with for a long time. I’m no longer a teenager, and I’ve now been alive for two whole decades. This fall I’m going to be a junior in college, and next spring I’ll be turning twenty-one. Although my parents and relatives would argue that twenty isn’t necessarily old (compared to being fifty), it’s old for me. There are a lot of things in life that start to change in your twenties. Moving out of your parents’ house, graduating college, getting a “real” job, paying your own bills. You don’t realize how much you need your parents until you have to be your own parent. It’s hard to be an adult, and it didn’t take turning twenty for me to realize that.
Looking back on this year of school, I’ve noticed that God has been testing me. Shocking, I know, but I think this year was more dramatic than past ones. To give you a quick list of the testing times I’ve had…I got my first speeding ticket this past fall ($430). I got my first flat tire (and got it fixed in less than 12 hours) this past March. The windshield of my car cracked (I still haven’t fixed that one yet). I lost two iPhones this school year; one fell down a sewer grate, the other one I dropped on my tile floor. Not to mention countless other frustrations and problems that just made me, well, mad. But throughout all these problems, I learned things. I learned more about myself and about God and about my parents. I found that I’m much more independent and capable than I thought I ever could be. I found that God was there for me through it all, and He even opened some amazing doors while I was crying on the floor. I found that my parents love me more than anything, and even though I wouldn’t trust myself after all this, they still trust me.
You probably assume that since I’m now twenty, I shouldn’t look to my parents for help. That I shouldn’t need their help as often. That I am an adult. And some of that is true, but not completely. I think in growing up we learn to ask for help rather than do everything by ourselves. This applies both to parents and God. God just wants to be able to give us what we want, whether that be help or joy or everlasting life. It’s similar with parents, but unfortunately they can’t supply everlasting life like God can. When you reach this time of your life (college, your 20s, etc.), you learn how to ask for things from your parents. Some of the obvious questions are “Can you buy me some food while you’re visiting?” or “How do I fix a flat tire?” or even “Could you help me with my taxes?” We ask our earthly parents for help all the time, but do we ever look to our heavenly Father or help? I don’t think we do so as much as we should; at least, I don’t. I don’t think your first response to anything is to run to your bible and seek out God.
Obviously we all seek God differently, and we all have different relationships with Him. I personally spend minimal time reading my bible or doing serious prayer time. I like worship, and I like to just direct some of my daily thoughts at God. (He’s listening anyways, right?) All these trying times I’ve had have showed me that no matter how you deal with your problems, you should at least let God in on them. He is the only person who can really help you. Are you anxious for a final? Talk to God. Are you wondering how you’ll pay for college? Talk to God. Are you making a big decision? Talk to God. And sometimes, even reading your bible will help. Although I don’t do it regularly, when I’m anxious and I pick out a random passage, I can sit with my bible for an hour reading all kinds of things.
What I’m trying to say is that even though I’m an adult, I recognize that I do and will need help. I can’t always help myself, and usually I end up calling my mom in a panicky voice. But of course, once the earthly stuff is cleared up (paperwork, maintenance, purchases, etc.), I make sure to ask God for help too.
So, the next time you're in a sticky situation, don't be afraid. God is just waiting for you to ask for help.
- Jenna // @jennaclarek