Dear young women,
Have you had any of these thoughts recently?
- My children will surely turn out to be hoodlums because they are completely immune to my parenting efforts. And they might never actually be potty trained.
- My career is in the toilet. I went to school for six years, accumulated a mortgage-worthy amount of debt, and now I work in a gray cubicle answering the phone all week long.
- I will never have enough money in the bank to cover these bills, let alone the vacation/house/car/other-terrific-thing I want to have.
- My romantic life is doomed.
While these things might in fact be true right now, I have a word of encouragement for you.
What you’re experiencing right now is most likely due to your current age, not your destiny.
It’s just that you’re in your twenties and life sucks right now. You’re probably out from your parents’ protective wing, you’re trying to do all the grown up things you’ve been trained to expect, and you’re finding them hard and awful and terrible and very, very expensive.
Also exhausting. We can’t forget the soul-sucking exhaustion that clouds your mind.
You women in your twenties are currently working your adorable behinds off, but it’s still way too early to see any encouraging fruit. You’re changing diapers and getting re-pregnant (I swear that’s a thing), and you’re cooking dinners that small people throw across the room.
The money is tight, if there’s any money at all.
Your marriage is new and fresh and often really uncomfortable, like a pair of jeans just pulled out of six hours in the dryer.
The work is hard. The ability to see the reward is mostly absent and the harvest is a long way off.
The work you’re doing right now will pay off, but it might take a while to see the results.
“A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions,” he said (Matthew 7:17-20).
In this passage from Matthew, notice that Jesus mentions fruit on a tree, not cucumbers on a vine. Trees and fruit take a long time until harvest, which is sort of comforting when your two-year old is throwing a tantrum and you are thinking that perhaps you’re raising a future lunatic and not a responsible human being. Maybe what we see right now isn’t the final product.
Good trees eventually produce good fruit. You are a good tree, if you’re faithfully seeking to obey God by living a Christ-honoring life. Are you reading the Bible? Are you focusing on who Christ is, what he means to your life, and then asking the Holy Spirit to change your heart? Then you’re a good tree. Your eventual fruit will be AMAZING.
But when you’re in an early season of planting, it’s almost impossible to remember the future good harvest. Especially if your planting season involves pregnancy AND a toddler AND a junky car AND an empty bank account.
Girls, you’re totally doing it.
Don’t lose hope. Just look for your very own resident forty-year old. Notice that she’s quietly drinking a latte while her children
intelligently discuss North Korean politics text their friends about YouTube. Notice that she feels okay about life most days, or at least okayer about life than she did when she was your age.
Children eventually grow into fabulous human beings because you’re raising them with love and patience (usually).
Your marriage can stretch and grow over time. The more you invest in loving one another well, the more you’ll enjoy the whole experience as the years pass.
Eventually your finances should level off, as long as you’re sticking to some basic wisdom about saving and spending and living within your means. I know it seems hopeless right now, but I promise all the money sacrifices will be worth it one day.
The fruit will come. You’re doing what it takes to get there, and we’re cheering for you.