Monday, January 20, 2014
Toddlers and tiaras
The hardest and most confusing part of young adulthood for me is the progression of developmental milestones. Childhood is so predictable that there are textbooks delineating each step and it's cause for concern if each milestone isn't met in the expected time frame. But when first words and potty training are behind us, where are we left? When should I expect to be mature enough to master coping mechanisms when I am handed disappointments and frustrations of life? When should I be prepared emotionally and financially to start a life with someone in the bonds of marriage? I never realized these milestones existed until I noticed a pattern among my acquaintances. The posts about smart financing and photos from weddings and baby announcements from people I consider peers came pouring in. Am I developmentally delayed? I feel this ache echoed in various people around me lately. My female friends who share my single status lament their bare left ring fingers. My childless married friends feel inadequate and self-conscious. The pressure to equate value of self with a husband, child, 401K, etc is overwhelming for us "delayed" 20-somethings. It's whispered by every ad and hinted by family members and friends. "This is where you should be in life and if you are not, there is likely something wrong with you." But I exhort myself and those like me, I implore... we are no less beloved, valuable, cherished by the Most High because we are the last of our friends to marry or the least financially stable. Our worth is not tied up in these things, and our story does not always match that of our peers. The Psalms tell us "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." In Jeremiah I find a comforting reminder, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" His timing is perfect, and His plan will be sanctifying. Perhaps the sanctification includes a few years of growing pains and some unanswered questions. But I have trusted Him thus far with much grace, and I try to remind myself that as long as I dedicate my steps to His plan He will not steer me wrong. Even if I feel I may have taken a few wrong turns... It's all about the journey.