My Life Changed Forever When I Became….

SINGLE.

Yes, being single, solo dolo, whatever you want to call it, changed my life forever. I’ve been single for a few years now (I mean single, single lol) and I realized that I honestly was never really single prior to this period in my life. I always had some sort of man. I thought I’d never say this but I’m  so happy that I chose to be single because I don’t believe I would’ve grown and matured as much as I have. I say I chose to be single because I’m not single purely because of a lack of options. Choosing to be single was a direct result of building my relationship with God. Today, I have a completely different lifestyle and set of goals than before my relationship with God.

I can only be real so yes, I’ve had lonely days and yes, I’ve had some nights when my pillow may have caught some tears. I remember having thoughts of depression, rejection and resentment after losing friends and loved ones but I thank God for his grace! The funniest thing is that I would do it all over again. Those moments were so temporary.

single-confusing

 Yes, I’m still single, single lol but it won’t be like this forever so I’m choosing to enjoy my singleness. I’m going to be a better wife and mother because of how I enjoyed and endured my phase of singleness. I became WHOLE during this season so I’ll forever cherish it. I pray that God continues to use me to encourage women and remind us that he desires for us to enjoy every season of our lives.

This time has been full of lessons and preparation for what’s to come. There are so many different life lessons that I learned and still learning but here are 3 that I wanted to share.

1. I reallllyyyyy love me. Not like my old “conceited and got a reason” self but the true way we should love ourselves. 100% flaws and all! I’ve spent the last few years just getting to know me, enjoying living MY life, investing in myself, learning my habits and simply understanding how I do life by myself. I learned what life looks like without any friends or a man to relay my every move and decision. I learned what my gifts are and how I can contribute to the world around me which is bigger than my job. I used to only focus on career and educational goals but currently, my biggest passion is found when doing ministry. The biggest lesson I learned is that LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME! I realize that when I feel stressed or anxious, it’s because I’m too focused on me and need to redirect my attention. It’s all about being self-aware. I understand that there are people who need my presence in their life for encouragement and there are places that need my expertise to thrive but I also learned that there are people who I am not meant to be in their lives or places that I can no longer go and that’s okay. I learned that if I didn’t get content with my life just as it is today then I would bring that resentment with me to my future. I learned what it means to be grateful and truly at peace. The crazy part is, I feel I have learned so much about myself but this is just the beginning.

single-image-2

2. I’ve met some great people and made some amazing friends along the way. I’ve always had many friends throughout my life but I really learned the true definition of friendship. I’m the first to admit that I haven’t always got the whole friend thing right but my heart has always been of good intent. However, I’ve learned to be a better friend because of the friends that I have in my life now. It’s something special about people who are intentional about being in your life and that want to help you become the best you. People that support your vision and see your strengths, not just your weaknesses. We’ve pushed each other, encouraged each other, we share the truth in love and it ALWAYS ends in love. My friendships have truly been a vital factor in my development as a woman of God and I just pray they know how grateful I am for them and I hope that I’ve been all of this for them too.

Proverbs 27:17 tells us that As iron sharpens iron,
 so one person sharpens another. 

Overall, I know that my singleness has not just benefited me. God has positioned me to be a successful single for the women around me too. During my singleness, I’ve been used to bless so many women through everyday conversation and I’ve even started a women’s group where we do life together.

3. I have built an unconditional, dynamic and evolving relationship with God. This honestly was never on my agenda. My priorities were family, friends, being better than Oprah and my man lol Not that these are terrible things to prioritize but God changed my focus for the better! It’s so hard to explain but when I look at my life today, it is pure evidence of God’s work in my life. While I am still trusting God with my singleness, He has answered so many of my prayers. Yes, I’ve made quite a few sacrifices, yes I’ve lost some people along the way and yes, there have definitely been hard times but God introduced me to a life that I never really knew I wanted. I get to share the gospel and my journey to bless people pretty much everyday and everywhere I go. I get to lead a women’s group where we all are leaders and pursuing or flourishing in our purpose. I get to mentor beautiful queens and support their spiritual journey. I get to volunteer at various events and meet countless people. My relationship with God has definitely not been perfect but I’m so grateful because I truly believe my life is so much better and more fruitful because of my obedience and being intentional about following Christ. I am believing that God will fulfill His promise to me and that my sacrifice for His glory has not been in vain.

Empowerment and Prayer for my single sistas!
Dear Lord,

I thank you for the woman reading this prayer. I thank you that you have covered her in her singleness for such a time as this. I pray that she is reminded that she does not lack anything just because she is single but that your word says that she is beautifully and wonderfully made. Lord, only you know your will for her future and I pray she seeks you for guidance and simply enjoys her current season. Show her ways to become the best version of herself. Replace hopelessness with peace, depression with laughter, and loneliness with calls and texts from those closest to her. I pray that she remembers that she deserves your best for her and not to settle.

Amen!

Sista, don’t you dear lose hope.

single-image

Some Things Just Take T.I.M.E.

TIME. I used to hate that word. Especially when people would say that things happened “in due time” or “time will tell”. BLAH.  Millennials are often referred to as the microwave generation because we want it not now but yesterday.  Yet, as I continue to grow as a woman in Christ, I believe it now more than ever that really some things just take time.

I love the encouragement and reminder in Galatians 6:9 (NIV): Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I personally have had many ups and downs that have led to dark and weary moments where I truly wanted to give up. These moments had me thinking: Bruh, when is it going to be my time? I’d stressed myself out worrying about when is it going to be my time to have a BOSS job, to have a BOSS hubby, or my time to be 100% there (wherever or whatever “there” is in our minds). Looking at Galatians 6:9, I now envision the word, “TIME”, to stand for:

T- To

I- Increase

M- My

E- Endurance

 

God usually blesses us in stages or seasons of our life and endurance is definitely one of the many results of our wait for the next blessing or season. Our characters develop tremendously through the tests of waiting, disappointment, or lack. Nope, it doesn’t feel good but hindsight always shows it was worth it. I now thank God for His discipline or answer of “Not Right Now” to my prayers. It’s really all about “renewing your mind” and shifting our perspective of our circumstances.

grateful

Hebrews 12:5-11 (niv) is a great reminder that through the discipline or hardship, God loves us and we are not forgotten!

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Prayer:

Lord, I thank you for your discipline which I know is always for my good. Thank you for the time that you implement which creates a process to develop my character. Help me to sense your grace and clarity to see the blessings in my life even while I wait on you. I know that you bless us in stages so I am excited to see what you have in store for my future. I aim to trust you in every area of my life! I will continue to plants seeds of faith and expectation for you to move mightily in my life. Your timing is so much better than mine so keep me focused on trusting you.

Amen.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is something amazing happening right now in your life? Did this naturally take place or did you have to take action for it to occur?
  2. What area of your life is taking the most time to meet your expectations? How do you feel about this slow progress? How do you handle these feelings? Why? Who do you communicate these feelings with primarily?
  3. How do you respond when God is telling you to do something now that appears to have nothing to do with what blessing that you’re waiting for? Do you obey? For example, you are desperately looking to find another job but to no avail. However, you suddenly have a desire to mentor high school students? You know that this will take time away from your commitment to job hunting but you truly desire to do it.

F.A.I.T.H.

Faith

noun

  • strong belief or trust in someone or something
  • belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs

My formula for a Fabulous 2016 is Faith + Focus + Action! #sweet16

I’m currently in a season of being bold in faith in my relationship with God and in myself. I’m choosing to stop worrying about unnecessary things but choosing to focus on God’s will and purpose for my life. Faith is reallyyy hard work; especially when your reality contradicts the desires of your heart. Yet that’s why it’s so important to not lose sight of your promises and to evaluate the people, places and things in your life. I am committed to REALLY living life this year. Every. Single. Day. No more quitting in the process. No more running away. No more worrying about what people think. No more overanalyzing. It’s time to endure and choose life! God has blessed me with some awesome yet demanding challenges in 2016 but I am so excited about the endless possibilities and choosing to consistently seek Him throughout each experience. Though tough times will come, I am convinced that each process points me towards purpose and the promise.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

What does f.a.i.t.h. mean to me?

F – Focus

A- Accountability

I – Intentional

T – Trust

H – Honoring God

 

4 Questions to ask yourself to create your faith plan:

  1. What is continuously on my heart to do?
  2. What would I do if I weren’t afraid?
  3. What am I going to focus on (daily)?
  4. What am I going to do about it?

 

I’m praying for us!

-Kiki

REPOST: From Pinky Promise Founder, Heather Lindsey at www.heatherllindsey.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014

“Dry Seasons: God, where are You?”

Have you ever felt like you don’t feel God’s presence? Maybe, you go to church, you’re trying to do the right thing. You’ve cut off bad relationships. You’re REALLY trying to live for God but it STILL feels like you don’t sense Him near you. You STILL feel like He’s not giving you wisdom. You STILL feel like maybe.. I need to pray more. Or maybe, study more. Maybe then, God will make me feel full again.

If you’ve ever felt this way, I can relate with you.

But, this is what I’ve learned.

Just because I don’t feel God’s presence, doesn’t mean He’s not there. God is omnipresent. God is present everywhere! My feelings aren’t the determining factor on if God is there or not. At what point did I make my feelings my idol or my god? And why do I keep trying to earn God like He’s man? I am righteous by faith in the blood of Jesus, not in my works! Yes, faith without works is dead but if my faith is in Jesus then I will NATURALLY do work & live for Him. NOT the other way around.

Sadly, I thought my works made my faith. So, I did things & I said: LOOK GOD! Do you love me more?! Look God, I prayed. Where is my sticker? Look God, I served at church.. do you love me more? James makes the statement “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26). Faith without works is dead faith because the lack of works reveals an unchanged life or a spiritually dead heart. There are many Scriptures that make it very clear that true saving faith will results in a CHANGED life, which is demonstrated by the “works” we do. How we live reveals what we believe and whether the faith we profess to have is a living faith.

James 2:14–26 is sometimes taken out of context in an attempt to create a works-based system of righteousness, but that is contrary to many other Scriptures.The scripture is not saying that our works make us righteous before God, but he is making it clear that real saving faith is demonstrated by good works. Works are not the cause of salvation; works are the evidence of salvation. The person who claims to be a Christian but lives in TOTAL disobedience to Christ with a life that shows no works has a false or dead faith and isn’t saved. James is clearly showing you the difference between two different types of faith—truth faith that saves and false faith that is dead. So, in the midst of my dry season, I learned that it is out of my love for Jesus, I spend time with God. It is out of my love for my family that I serve them. Not for a cookie or a reward, but simply because I love them & it aint’ got nothing to do with my emotions but everything to do with my unconditional love towards them.

You see, your feelings are constantly subject to change. You eat a huge meal you may feel heavy and sleepy with no energy. Then, the next day you drink a green smoothie– so you’re on a high again. Then, the next day your boss scolds you and .. there goes your mood again.

Why are your moods so unstable? Is that all it takes to push you off of your rocker?

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”- 1 Peter 5:8

Satan has watched you and many just like you for YEARS so he & his little demons pretty much know what makes you tick.

Whenever my feelings or my emotions try to run to cling onto some silly understanding of a huge God, I’m reminded of:

“Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale?”- Isaiah 40:12

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.” – Isaiah 40:15

How COMFORTING?! God holds the universe in the palm of his HAND! What perspective!

And maybe, just maybe you are going through a dry season in your life because you are clinging on to so many things and people that God cannot even speak life into your hardened heart? Maybe, just maybe you’re heart has been in things, money, pride, status and this world? God cares so much about you that He will allow for you to be stripped from worldly things so He will have His proper place. He refuses to share His glory with anyone else & He is JEALOUS for you. Do you think God is just gonna sit there & let you seek after this world & not CARE? God surly has a way of getting our attention again. He knows how to bring a man to repentence. So, stop wrestling with Him.

I challenge you sister to keep blogging, keep praying, keep spending crazy time with God, keep pressing in and don’t move until God pushes you to move. In that moment where we feel like all hope is lost, God is whispering into our ears “As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.- Psalm 138:3″

Just to give you a few practice tips during this season:

1. Don’t quit on God, He is the only One that is leading you & the only One that can HELP you. So, spend MORE time with Him and don’t run back to your past when you get uncomfortable. Spending time with God daily should be like that flight you’re catching at 7am free flight to Hawaii everyday. You know good & well you wouldn’t miss that all expense paid trip. So, why is it so hard for your flesh to set a time for God & stick with it but we can get up for work, a flight.. school. There’s a reason you don’t desire God sis & it’s because you stopped giving your attention to Him!

2. Let go of anyone or anything that is hindering your walk with the Lord. Yes, that person. You know who it is! God has already made it plain to you but you’re rationalizing! Stop going back & forth with it & let it go!!

3. Guard that heart! You don’t have time to sit & listen to stupid love songs & music that aint’ glorifying the Father. Turn off the TV, unfollow a bunch of worldly celebrities & protect your heart. Your heart grows things and if you compare your life to all of these other people, you won’t enjoy this season. You will compare your life to a persons highlight reel & think that God forgot about you.

4. Be kind to others. Yes, this may seem easy to do but when you’re not feeling good about yourself, sometimes its hard to be nice to others. Avoid the pity party & get UP from your depression. Get UP from your feelings! Get UP & go help someone else that is struggling! When you get your eyes off of yourself & become selfless– you will find the joy & the beauty in sowing time & energy into others as the Lord leads you.

5. Learn, learn & learn some more! Read Christian BOOKS, listen to encouraging podcasts and surround yourself with believers. Never stop learning and take what you learn & apply it to your daily life. But before you pick up everybody else’s book– make sure your face is in the bible first. Nothing replaces that.

I’m praying for you. I’m standing in agreement with you & so is the rest of the body of Christ. Remember that when you quit, it puts a burden on the rest of the body to pick up where you quit on God. So, hang in there! God is for you!

Just a few things:
1. I opened up a Pinky Promise Boutique!!! Think fashionable, fabulous purity rings, cross bracelets, journals, statement necklaces & so much more for women! Check it out via www.pinkypromiseboutiques.com. Use code JESUS for 10% off!
2. We have developed an APP! Think: daily post notifications + weekly devotionals, recipes and so much more! It’s out NOW for iphones + Androids. Under Heather & Cornelius Lindsey: Today With the Lindsey’s
3. If you live in Atlanta, I want to invite you to our church. Join us on Sundays at 11:00am at Landmark Art Cinemas. Our churches name is: “The Gathering Oasis” 931 Monroe Drive NE Atlanta, GA.
4. My book is selling like crazy! I’m so thankful for all of you that have supported! Check it out here: My New Book! Pink Lips & Empty Hearts: www.PinkLipsAndEmptyHearts.com AND my new book, Dusty Crowns, here!
5. Register for the 2015 Pinky Promise in Atlanta, GA! It sold out last year, so you don’t want to miss out! www.pinkypromiseconference2015.eventbee.com!
6. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There’s about 26,000 ladies that have joined! Find a group near you by joining & checking out the intro page! Join here:www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com
7. We are hosting an event in LA on October 4th, I want to see you there! http://www.eventbee.com/v/pinkypromise/event?eid=169814152

God loves you like crazy,

Heather Lindsey

My little family! 🙂 Check out Logan’s smile!

Dear Old Kiki,

I Forgive You. I know that you were a good person deep down. I know that you were only protecting yourself with the sarcasm, shots of alcohol and short skirts. I know you thought that you had to be in control so that you would not get hurt. But nobody else really knew. They either saw your bright smile, party girl pictures or all of your numerous accomplishments. I know exactly who you were though. You focused on excelling academically to channel your frustration while you were young. You wanted to be loved but you used sex to connect while guarding your heart. It’s okay now because I forgive you. I know that you always loved your family and each and every one of your friends. I know you didn’t mean to hurt anybody’s feelings. You always had everyone’s best interest in mind but you didn’t show them all of you. You kept vulnerability hidden like it was a sin but in turn, displayed your sins so openly. I understand that you didn’t avoid conflict or hurt feelings or illness. You seemed confrontational or heart-less but you just wanted to face any issues with work, life, love, or people head-on to get back to sunshine and daisies. I look back at all of your memories and all of your Facebook photos at times. And I do see happiness but it overshadowed all of the growth you truly could have had while you were younger. Not only do I forgive you, I want to Thank You. Thank you for being obedient and making the necessary sacrifices to evolve. It took some time but you did it. No one but God knows how many nights you felt alone or how close you really were to the edge. But the good thing is that you realized He is the ONLY one that matters. I’m so sorry that you felt like you had to lead two different life roles; one being Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes and another playing catch up to have the fun you thought you should have at your young age. Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde for real. I know dying to your flesh was one of the hardest things you had to do but because of that, I celebrated 1 year celibacy this week. Due to you surrendering to your will, even today I am being molded into a better woman, family member, coworker, leader, future wife and future mother. Your hardships and your accomplishments were not in vain. More than anything, thank you for giving your all to Letting Go and Letting God. I know He has some amazing things in store for the future Kiki!

Love,

Kiki in Expectation

Frustrated but Patiently Waiting?

“I’m acutely aware that this season is going to be a big one in my life. I’m totally cognizant of the fact that God is at work, and that I’m going to look back and send God a big thank you note for what he did in this time.

But right now, it still hurts and it’s still scary.”

– Stephanie May, Lipstick Gospel

This quote SCREAMED at me when I read it. I have felt like this over and over again. I only know how to be transparent so I’ll be real.

I know and absolutely believe that God is evolving me and working in the background of my life. I want to eliminate my selfish ways and become selfless in my pursuit of living out God’s will for my life. However, I am still human and these different seasons that I am experiencing…..well, they hurt. Just like other people, there are things that I am waiting on God for. However, in the meantime I know that my lesson is that the battlefield of my frustration is In My Mind!

in my mind

Depending on what you’re waiting for in your current season, doesn’t it seem like that’s ALL you think about?! I remember when I graduated from college and needed a job. From 2009 to 2013, finding a career that I loved was my obsession. Job hunting and networking were my part time jobs. Unfortunately, I spent a WHOLE 4 years negating the fact that I have always had a job. No, they were not my dream jobs but I was in different seasons that were all necessary. My plan was to graduate from college with Honors and become Oprah, HA! No seriously, I wanted to land a position as an entry level Public Relations Account Specialist within a company. I thought it was pretty simple. Yet that did not happen. Looking back, I was at every single job to acquire skills for the path that I am on now. Hindsight is soooo much easier than foresight! However, I wish I would have REALLY Let Go and Let God. Is it me or is it just not that simple sometimes?

plans

I am a planner. If I didn’t already have a plan on how I was going to do something it was because I was actively researching a plan at that moment, HA! Ironically, even though I’ve always been a planner, building my faith made me realize that that was just a cover up for being controlling. Boy, that was hard to type….lol! I guess I believed too much in the “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” but hey, I get an A for effort.

Last year really helped me shed the layer of wanting to be a planner. Up until 2012, I had a roommate but my “plan” was to live home with my family for a few months to save then get my first very own apartment. That few months turned into a whole year. Needless to say, God laughed at my plans. The year that I spent home was really God setting me straight to get this thing right. I couldn’t want God to fix only some areas of my life while I kept other areas the same. I had to make some really hard sacrifices to learn more about me. It was so hard but it was so worth it. Taking responsibility and ownership are hard but they take you to a whole new level of finding yourself.

There are tons of people who write about romantic relationships, getting their dream job, their weight loss journey, etc. However, I would love to hear about their experience of finding themselves. When I say finding themselves, I really mean building confidence in not knowing. You will never know you 100% because you change and there is nothing wrong with that.

Yet when your goals and desires change and you do not see any sign of accomplishing them, that is a whole different story. The most frustrating thing to me is when you know and believe that something specific will happen for you but waiting in expectation for God to make it happen. I’ve been hearing so many sermons recently on how to deal with this. That’s why I am super grateful for my church and the peace and knowledge they provide. Every single season that I have experienced since I joined this church has been aligned with the direction of the sermons. I wish everyone was surrounded by a support system to let them know that they are NOT the only ones going through this frustration.

amazing

In the last 6 months, I’ve heard stories about numerous suicides of people around my same age, 26. It’s disheartening. There is a whole world of people who feel alone even when they are in a room full of people. The same people who lead normal lives like us. They go to work, go to the gym, attend church service; yet they feel disconnected. Honestly I know that feeling. Does my life even matter? God’s Word reminds me that it absolutely does! Instead of focusing on the negative, we have to be reminded that His will is to love us not harm us. Roman 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We have to change our minds.

I am still pushing through the realization that the real battlefield is in my mind. I was always so focused on adding things to become a better me. I was always evolving my plan to include a better job, a better house, a better car or a better love life. It took me so long to realize NONE of those things would ever give me the confirmation I was searching for. The only thing holding me back from peace of mind was ME.

I had to stop focusing on the “IT” and focus on the N O W!

I’ve left my victim state of mind and transitioned into my season of expectation. I will not waste time on being anxious or worrying about God’s timing. I am focusing on the N O W to get me to the then. The cockiness that I used to have is now confidence in knowing that in God’s time, all of my desires will be fulfilled.

My favorite scripture is:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10

At this very moment there is something that I am at God’s feet waiting in expectation for. However, NOTHING is evident of this happening. But as a Pastor at my church always says: Even though I do not see any activity, I must remind myself there is always God’s ability. Just like He’s blessed me before, my future desires WILL come into fruition.

Every single morning, I have a choice to be all that He has ordained me to be. It is not an easy choice but I know it will be worth it. Expectation is healthy. I know how it feels to believe confidently that something will happen in my life but it takes time to come to pass. It can be hard but every time I wake up I am reminded that I have purpose. I challenge each of us to not worry about the IT but focus on the NOW. The N O W is here to mold us to become the best we can be.

In the meantime, I am focused on being a blessing to others. No, I can not help everyone but for the people that I can, I will. Majority of my free time is spent volunteering, working with nonprofits, hosting clothing drives, leading women’s groups and supporting any community events that involve the same.

What can you do while Waiting In Expectation?

 

grateful

I love this article from Relevantmagazine.com

What To Know When You’re 25(ish)

By Shauna Niequist December 27, 2010

Here are the things really worth caring about in your 20s.

Editor’s note: This week, we’re taking a look at some of the “Best of RELEVANTMagazine.com” from 2010. This article is our most read ever. Period. End of story. It clearly hit many of you (and us) right where you’re at—approaching, at, or just past your late 20s, trying to figure out what it’s all meant and where you go from here. Most of you really resonated with Shauna’s thoughts, though some of you had quibbles with some of her emphases. But read it over again, and chime in below. The year might be almost over, but the conversation can keep going.

When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.

Job

Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country, or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.

When I was 25, I was in my third job in as many years—all in the same area at a church, but the responsibilities were different each time. I was frustrated at the end of the third year because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next. I didn’t feel like I’d found my place yet. I met with my boss, who was in his 50s. I told him how anxious I was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 25, he told me that I couldn’t complain to him about finding the right job until I was 32. In his opinion, it takes about 10 years after college to find the right fit and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky. So use every bit of your 10 years: try things, take classes, start over.

Relationships

Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from the ones that don’t give you everything you need. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you make in this season will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.

Counseling

Twenty-five is also a great time to start counseling, if you haven’t already, and it might be a good round two of counseling if it’s been a while. You might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.

Church

Twenty-five is the perfect time to get involved in a church you love, no matter how different it is from the one you were a part of growing up. Be patient and prayerful, and decide that you’re going to be a person who grows, who seeks your own faith, who lives with intention. Set your alarm on Sunday mornings, no matter how late you were out on Saturday night. It will be dreadful at first, and then after a few weeks, you’ll find that you like it, that the pattern of it fills up something inside you.

Don’t get stuck

This is the thing: when you start to hit 28 or 30, everything starts to divide, and you can see very clearly two kinds of people: on one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find God and themselves and their deep dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. And then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to find a church, they mean to develop honest, intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in kind of an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than they were when they graduated college.

Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. Walk away, try something new. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal. Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep with me for this leg of the journey? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Become, believe, try. Walk closely with people you love, and with other people who believe that God is very good and life is a grand adventure. Don’t spend time with people who make you feel like less than you are. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

Taken from Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist Copyright © 2010. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/features/22864-what-to-know-when-youre-25ish#K7VXlBV4dzqDv69a.99