By Jacque Young
What if you could go back in time and tell your younger self what you’ve learned? What would you say?
We talk a lot about the journey of becoming who God made us to be. I’m a true believer that there is a purpose for everything we experience in this life. My past has made me who I am today, and what I experience today will make me who I am tomorrow. That’s why I wouldn’t go back and change anything. But, if I could share what I’ve learned over the last decade with my younger self, or anyone on their becoming journey, I could sum it up into three main points.
1. Don’t let people or circumstances define you.
Know who you are. How you identify yourself determines how you approach your life. Ask yourself these questions: “Who am I? Am I what I do? Am I defined by my past decisions? Am I what others think of me?” If I am what I do, then my value is rooted in my achievements. If I’m defined by my past, I will always walk in shame. If I am what others think of me, then I will always try to please people instead of God.
A big part of knowing who you are is knowing whose you are. You are a beloved child of the creator of the universe. You are His masterpiece. You were made in His image. You are holy, blameless, and chosen. You are made new, restored, and complete.
People or circumstances don’t define you—God does. And you can walk with confidence in trusting and believing in who He says you are.
2. It’s OK to Admit You Don’t Know It All.
At 22 years old, I was married, owned a house, and had a great job. I thought I was an expert at adulting. By the time I hit my 30s, I was divorced, I lost my house, I was in mounds of debt, and I was miserable in my job. It wasn’t until I was knocked off of my high horse that I finally realized I didn’t have all the answers.
Jesus calls us to be humble. In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the disciples, “anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
He is not saying that we are to be childish, but childlike. Children ask a lot of questions. “Why is the sky blue? Why can’t I go outside? Why do I have to be nice?” They just want to learn and understand. Now, don’t be annoying and just ask why, why, why, but don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know all the answers. Be humble. God cannot fill a person who is already full of themselves.
3. Don’t do life alone.
We live in an age where our “life” is visible for all to see. However, the “friends” we have on Facebook don’t really know what’s going on in our lives. They know what we allow them to see. We comment, text, chat about our weekend plans, and maybe even hang out from time to time. But do we really share our lives or our hearts with one another?
I didn’t need to because I knew it all, remember? When things in my marriage started to take a turn, I didn’t really have anyone to go to that I could trust or that would encourage me or pour wisdom into me.
9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble… 12 A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12
We are better together. This is what God wants for us.
After my marriage fell apart, I got connected into a group at my church. There I found a community of people who loved me at my lowest point and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Those same people are also the people I laugh with and go on vacation with. They’re the ones who will be at my next wedding and who I will invite to speak truth, love, and wisdom into my next marriage. Who are those people for you?
These are things that I wish I knew in my 20s, but really they’re relevant wherever you are on your becoming journey. As you continue to become the person God created you to be, know who you are and whose you are, be humble, and don’t do life alone.
Jacque is the Groups Coordinator at Central Church in Henderson, NV where she passionately connects people into community groups where they belong, are known, and feel loved. She also works as a technical consultant for a software company in the hospitality industry. She loves coffee, cheesecake, pizza, and Denver Broncos football.