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Confessions of a Closet Christian 45: Reflections

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I turned 26 this year. Some people say 26 is the wrong side of 25. I don’t want to make any 55 and better listeners out there feel badly, so I’ll just say: Here is what I would tell my “early twenties” self.

  1. It’s okay. You don’t have to have it all figured out. (No one does and this doesn’t change).
  2. Spend time with God. As much as you can. Every morning. Every evening. Pick a time and stick to it. And when your alarm goes off and you don’t feel like it, do it anyway. You’ll thank me later.
  3. You will have to wait for a lot of things. Like a good job and a good salary. You will have to wait for a husband and sometimes, even for friends. But they’re worth waiting for. And they do come. If they’re in God’s will for your life. And he hears when you ask.
  4. Get some sleep.
  5. Try not to worry. I know it’s hard. You want to know what’s coming. You can’t. Just enjoy what you can around you. It doesn’t last as long as you think it will.
  6. Eat.
  7. Do your laundry and keep your living space clean: a bedroom, an apartment, a house. Wherever you are: make your space livable. Then life will be livable, too.
  8. Trust God. Whew. When you want to control everything, take a deep breath and remember you’re a little ant in the universe and for some wonderful reason God. Loves. You. He’s got you covered. But really, He does.
  9. Comparing yourself to other people will destroy your soul. It just will. Stop it.
  10. Sometimes that overwhelming feeling inside of you isn’t anxiety – it’s happiness. Embrace it.
  11. Don’t lose sight of your dreams. They will change. And they will turn out differently than you expect them to. But it’s important to keep dreaming.
  12. Set small goals. Like brushing your teeth. Or doing the dishes. You can do those things.
  13. When you’re having a hard time. Tell someone. They’ll understand and they’ll support you. And if they don’t, you can spit in their food. But really, tell someone about the state of your heart and let them speak God into your life.
  14. Jesus. The Gospel. The good news. It’s Jesus. He’s that empty space. He’s the reason that whatever you’re after doesn’t feel good when you get it. Choose Jesus.
  15. Sometimes really sad things happen. We lose. We don’t get what we want or something or someone we love is taken away from us. In these deep valleys and dry deserts, God’s there. The well is not dry.
  16. Pray.
  17. Drink water (I cannot tell myself this enough. I also can’t seem to stop ignoring myself).
  18. Hug your family. You don’t know when you’ll see them again.
  19. Say “I love you.” It’s worth the risk if it’s true.
  20. Pet as many animals as you can. Cheap therapy.
  21. Don’t be hard on yourself. We all mess up. It’s annoying. But we’re forgiven. You can’t be perfect. Don’t waste your time trying to be your own God. Seek the One who is.
  22. When you’re sick, stay home.
  23. Otherwise, get outside at least once a day.
  24. Facebook is wrong. You’re not as interesting as you think you are.
  25. Learn something new. Google it, try an online course, take a class, or ask a friend to show you. Every new lesson is a new tool for your toolbox. Can’t have too many of those.
  26. Love God. And love others. When you see a homeless person, look them in the eyes and give them your granola bar. They need it more than you do.

That’s my list, but what about you? What would you tell your early twenties self?

You can follow me @JanaDoughty on Twitter or @Jana_Doughty on Instagram.

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