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This Side of 25

All right—I confess. I’m a member of the enigmatic twentysomethings. Technically defined as a “young adult in their 20s,” it’s more accurate to describe a twentysomething as a person seeking to establish his or her identity as an individual of worth and significance.

All right—I confess. I’m a member of the enigmatic twentysomethings. Technically defined as a “young adult in their 20s,” it’s more accurate to describe a twentysomething as a person seeking to establish his or her identity as an individual of worth and significance.

 

We grew up hearing “You can be anything you want to be." We believed that only a lack of motivation limited the possibilities awaiting us post-college. We played little league baseball, practiced the clarinet after much prodding, and got our first job at 16. We studied dutifully in the dorm, applied for the summer internship, and graduated college thanks to the Rotary scholarship from our hometown. With a degree in hand, we honestly expected to achieve our dreams of consequence within a few years—certainly by age 30.

Unfortunately, when Idealism and Naïveté go walking hand-in-hand down the beach of Youthfulness they’re eventually going to get drenched by the choppy waves of Reality and slapped by the winds of Disillusionment.

My friends and I find ourselves there at times. We’re bemoaning the salty-tasting air and pleading for answers. “God, is this (career, relationship, degree, life circumstance, etc.) all there really is? I want to make a difference for your Kingdom, but I can’t hear your voice. Where are you? Please help me. I’m lost. What am I here for? Who am I?”

Paul quotes a Greek philosopher in Acts 17:28 when he writes, “In him we live and move and have our being.” My identity is in Christ, but in what contemporary authors deem, “the quarter-life crisis,” it’s easy to get caught up in plotting the particulars of my personal life instead of focusing on God’s over-arching plan for me.

I’m to grow in Christ-likeness and to more fully image him. I’m to “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly” with God (Micah 6:8). As an imitator of God, I’m to share my cloak with him who has none (Matt. 5:38), pray for those who persecute me (Matt. 5:44), and walk in love (Eph. 5:1-2). I’m to glorify the Lord and to humbly submit to his processes of refinement—however painful they may be.

Much to my dismay, I’ve been stuck on this roller coaster of disappointment and elation for several years. At times I’m completely confident that I have great worth as a woman made in the holy image of God. Yet all too frequently I forget who I am. I forget he who loves me. He who created me. He who defines my very existence and brought me into being. He who doesn’t care if I lead a life others deem as “significant.”

And so, as one 24-year-old justified by the blood of the Son, I’m in the process of following the Identity-Giver. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).


 

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Tiffany Stein

Tiffany is the Women's Ministry Coordinator at Irving Bible Church, and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. A proud, native Texan, she and her husband, Jason, live in Grapevine, Texas. She is passionate about advancing the God-given value of women and helping women to embrace their unique identity in Christ. She serves as a board member for the Association for Women in Ministry Professionals (AWMP) and served for the past 3 years on the leadership team for Polish Ministries, a ministry dedicated to helping young professional women connect their faith with their career.

2 Comments

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    AmandaKnight

    Thank you Tiffany for your

    Thank you Tiffany for your profound wisdom. I often find myself caught in the particulars and needed this reminder today. You are right – there is great rest in pursuing God's call instead of running after significance. Thank you!

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    Fran

    Tiffany, You so eloquently

    Tiffany,

    You so eloquently express what so many of us (including those beyond "the quarter-life crisis") silently experience in our search and struggle for personal significance and making a difference.  You have brought this issue into sharp focus and reminded us to get the focus off of ourselves and onto the One who is molding and shaping us for His purpose and on following the Identity-Giver.  Looking forward to reading your future blogs both on this side and the other side of 25.

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