Contemplating my 20s – What I would do differently?

(Last Updated On: September 5, 2016)

My 20s? What would I do differently?

Everything! and nothing. . .

A younger friend is reading a book (20-Something, 20-Everything) and asked me about my 20s.

So first – the EVERYTHING I would do differently in my 20s

Being single in my 20s felt like a disaster, I was “supposed” to be married and having babies so I could be the energetic, young mother of my dreams.

I chased that ideal at the expense of everything else.

Nothing has ruined my life more than trying to match it to the idealized version in my head.

I wish I spent more time just living than worrying about plans. Focusing on the ‘plan’ put a razor pendulum over every decision. I raced to match a calendar, instead of seeing the beauty of things happening in the right timing.

Nothing has ruined my life more than trying to match the idealized version in my head. Click To Tweet

Waiting on God is never second best. I wish I had learned that sooner.

I regret not spending more time just being obedient to the person I am called to be in Christ.

You will never regret time spent in obedience to God’s will for your life.

Independence is overrated.

Trying to prove my independence lead me making so many terrible decisions: little things like trying to hard boil eggs in the microwave (don’t do that!) to larger questionable choices about dating, finances, and friendships.

I surrounded myself with people who were muddling through life with me and I relied way too heavily on my own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

It’s okay to BE DEPENDENT on older, wiser Godly friends and family. God’s design is for us to learn from those who’ve walked this way first.

Independence is overrated. Find #yourtribe and build a village of love and support. Click To Tweet

The lessons of Titus 2 are twofold, directions for what the elders are to demonstrate and teach, but also for what we are to learn in our youth.

Asking for advice is the second smartest thing you can do. The smartest is TAKING that advice. Always test advice against scripture, in prayer, and through walking in the spirit, but listening to sage advice and building knowledge has never been something I regretted.

Good advice is sometimes hard to hear.

Listen anyway. God’s truths are unwavering, while our emotions are deceitful and changeable.

Make the most of your time and energy!

On the physical side, you will never be this young again. Eat better, wear sunscreen, and adopt healthy habits for the rest of adulthood, but have a piece of cake now and then.

Time moves faster the older I get. The amount of time I wasted just feeling melancholy, listening to Sarah Mclachlan is EPIC.

I really wish I would have traveled more, taken a missions trip, been more adventurous and less concerned about what others thought of me.

My 20s? Looking back twenty years on who I was at 25 and who I wish I had been. What would I do differently? Everything! and nothing. . .

Don’t waste time worrying about what people think of you.

I still worry about it more than I should, but I’m learning my responsibility is how I live, react to life, and doing both in God’s will. How other people perceive me is up to them.

Nothing I do will ever get 100% approval from the people in my life. Nothing. Human perceptions and biases color our opinions on just about everything. Trying to make everyone happy is a waste of time and brings too much heartache.

Nothing I do will ever get 100% approval. Worry less about what PEOPLE think. Click To Tweet

Do what is Godly to the best of your ability. The right people in your life will be by your side or will catch up.

So what about the NOTHING part of my answer?

I have TONS of regrets, but doing something differently would change where I am now, the wisdom I’ve gained, and the people in my life. And I really can’t imagine changing anything in the past that would affect being a mother and step-mother to these children.

I have learned that God didn’t waste my wandering years, even though I did. He has masterfully woven the pieces of my life into a beautiful tapestry I couldn’t imagine changing. He uses even the darkest moments of my life for light.

I’ve often considered that God placed me in this place, as an older mother in a peer group often 10-20 years my junior, and in this moment for a reason.

Esther 4:14b ESV  .  .  . And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Maybe sharing my wisdom, helping others not walk down the path I did is fulfilling God’s plan for my life through my obedience now.

I can’t know for sure, but the more I know Him, the more I understand His character and see how my life, broken pieces and all, are part of my story that can honor Him.

Contemplating my 20s was difficult, but I’m encouraged to see how God has taken a broken heart and made it whole.

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11 Replies to “Contemplating my 20s – What I would do differently?”

  1. I like that you say it is ok to be dependent on older, wiser people…I feel like that is something definitely missing in today’s culture…All the young kids think they know everything and turn to their peers for advice. Peers who know no more than they do!!

  2. “Asking for advice is the second smartest thing you can do. The smartest is TAKING that advice. Always test advice against scripture, in prayer, and through walking in the spirit, but listening to sage advice and building knowledge has never been something I regretted”.

    This is sone true! I took a lot of advice in my early twenties but didn’t test it against thr scriptures. I wish I would have done that. There were 1 or 2 people that didn’t give me the best direction bit had I asked God and consulted his word I would have taken a different path. Great post.

  3. I am in mid-twenties and this IS really encouraging to hear! I think you are right that you may look back and wanted to do things differently, but doing what you did do has shaped youinto YOU! In the hige uncertaintiesy fily has in life now,this os so encouraging to really remember not to rush for the next chapter in our life, but to embrace the unknown, scary moments too!

    1. In the end HOW we do life is much more important because it shapes our daily decisions. You will regret something no matter what you do, so do it all for the glory of God and your regrets will be fewer.

  4. Wow I’ve heard this a lot. People try to plan out their lives and dont live the adventure. I try to tell people who including myself are in their 20s to enjoy it. Your never gonna look this good later on, your supposed to be broke and learning and growing.

  5. Hind sight is always crystal clear but sometimes where we’ve been helps us to get to where we should be. It’s nice that you could reflet and see the rrors of your ways but also that they happeneed for a reason. I think that’s what your 20s are for 😉

  6. You are so right! God did not waste your wandering years. He has made it into something glorious…a tapestry like you said. Many times we won’t see it and understand it until time has passed and we can step back and see the amazing things he is creating in our lives.

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