How To Follow God's Calling In Your Twenties
When I was first out of high school and college I was extremely confused with life. I've said it before, but it was like I had checked off everything "society" told me to do, and now was at a loss of what's next? When I look back on that time in my life all I can think of is the word, "lost", and how real that word felt to me.
It's not that now I have it all figured out, but I now have a little better grasp of what I want to do, what I'm suppose to do, and what I have to do to help that process along.
So because of this stage in my life, I felt it fitting to write on this blog, (that was inspired by taking leaps and following God's calling) the things that helped me get to this point.
How To Follow God's Calling In Your Twenties
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT & HEART (In the most non-cheesy way.)
I talk a lot about following dreams on this blog, and in real life. This is because "dreams" are usually where God is calling us. Dreams have a strong hold on us and can make us do "crazy" (to the outside world) things in order to make them come alive. I believe God puts those feelings there for a reason. If you have a strong feeling in your gut, or a dream that you think about all the time, most likely God put that inside you and wants you to do something about. That is why it is there in the first place. It might take some trying and failing to figure out exactly what He wants you to do with it, (a lot of times we tend to have selfish dreams) but that is where my next point comes in. But the first step in following God's calling, is listening to that calling He put inside you.
I know that risks can be different for different people. So when I say, "Take Risks!" I mean, take risks for what you are feeling led to do! Whatever it is, it's probably going to be really scary, like really scary. But think of that fear as a sign you are doing something right, because most of the time, where God is calling you is not risk-free. But the thing is when God is on your side and for you, who can be against you? ("If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31) Take it from someone who let (and still sometimes lets) fear control her for so long. It's not worth it. You will look back on your life and your twenties, when you actually could do a lot of the things that you wanted, and you'll regret not going after them. It will be hard, but that's when the next tip comes in to play.
PRAY A LOT
Like a lot. And pray like you mean it. There is a God listening to you and what you want and need, He is ready to help you, encourage you, and guide you in your life. You just have to let go of control and let Him! If you need to set a reminder to pray, do that. If you need to go to a quiet place where no one else is so you can talk out loud, do that. Write them down, get on your knees, repeat them, whatever it takes! Just start talking to Him. Ask Him for that guidance, tell Him what you need, or how you are feeling. There is no better comforter than our God. (“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28) Use it to your advantage because this adventure of following God's calling for your life is not going to be easy, but it will be wroth it.
READ THE BIBLE (And some other books too if you can.)
If you grew up in church at all you've probably heard someone telling you to read your Bible more than once. Not to hit a dead horse, (or refer to the Bible as a dead horse, yikes!) but I'm going to put it in this post as well. People always wonder (myself included) how exactly to hear God's direction. While I can't give you step by step instructions for how to hear God's voice, I can give you the closest thing to that, to tell you to read the Bible. It isn't about checking it off your list of "good deeds" for the day, nor is it just to claim you are a good person. It's for you and your life, that I tell you to read the Bible! If you are trying to follow God's calling for your life, you are going to have to let Him speak once in awhile. God speaks through His word. Start with the Gospels if you have never read anything before, and before you start reading each time pray that God would speak to you and that you would pay attention and listen when He does! (It can be harder than you think!)
I also like to read other books that talk about God's calling for you, my favorite is "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" by Rick Warren. However never substitute other books for the Bible. You'll cut yourself short of God's words.
BE DIFFERENT (aka, be prepared to stand out.)
This is probably the hardest one for me to deal with recently. When you do eventually start taking steps towards where God is calling you, chances are they are going to be the opposite of what people expect you to be doing. People won't understand you, and that is 100% okay! Truthfully, a lot of times I take that as a sign I'm doing something right, simply because God's calling is different for everyone. I can't expect people to understand my calling when I probably wouldn't understand their's. My tip here is simply to be prepared for it and don't take that as a sign that you shouldn't be doing something. If you are doing all the other tips here, and listening to what God is saying, you are probably on the right track. You are going to be different, you are going to stand out. Just focus on following God's path instead of where anyone else thinks you should be going.
DON'T ALWAYS LISTEN TO WHAT SOCIETY IS SAYING
The way I was brought up was that school and education was everything. While I still hold more education high on my list of things people should do, I've realized that school might not be where everyone is called to. I started to realize that what society told us to do, (get a degree, get a high paying job, marry, have kids, etc.) might not actually be what God is telling me or anyone else to do. So on that note, I want to tell you that if where you are being called or what you are being asked to do is the opposite of what society thinks you should do, I can tell you that even if it is, doesn't mean it's wrong. (Take it from the girl who quit her job, twice.) Society is man made, you are God made, listen to your creator, not the creation.
Something I really lacked and really needed when I was in that lost stage of life, was confidence. I had all these dreams and no confidence to do anything about it. I had no confidence in myself and what is more embarrassing, I didn't really put confidence in God either. I thought, "Well if I can't do it then He won't do it for me." (Which is embarrassing to admit. After all it is in my weakness that He is stronger.) So if you are like me, it is definitely going to take some major changes to get you to the level of confidence you need to be at to take risks and follow where God is leading. And because no one else will say it: It's freaking hard to have confidence in yourself I know! But it's on this list because it will change so much in your life. Confidence in yourself and God will take you farther in life than you may think. Don't underestimate it. It's about having faith and it's a vital part of following God's calling!
This blog post comes out of me Googleing in those late nights of being lost, "How to find your calling" or "How to follow where God is leading you" and finding no results that actually helped me as a twenty something.
So these little tips and advice is for you early twenties, late night Googler, and lost girl.
You got this!