To sum up my teenage years I would most definitely point to “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. They made my teen years so much easier and so much more challenging than I could ever imagine. Their whole take on life is “The Rebelution: a teenage rebellion against low expectations.” I have heard my whole life “You’re supposed to do that, you’re a teenager” or the absolute WORST “You’re just a teenager,” and “You’re only a teenager.” Scratch on chalkboards for days before you say that to me. “Do Hard Things” changed my life. If you have a teenager or you are a teenager, I suggest this book to you 3,000 times.
Did you know the world teenager is not in Bible? The word isn’t even really that old. Most children went from childhood to adulthood. There was no in between. To me and to Alex and Brett Harris the teenage years have become this leeway of excuses and exemptions. “Oh they’re just being a teenager.” How many times have you heard that one? Well yeah but they don’t HAVE to act like that. I truly believe they can be taught differently but we have so given into the exemption of the teens. The expectations for teenagers are SO LOW! I mean people are surprised to hear about a teenager who doesn’t drink or who doesn’t cuss. It’s a rarity. It’s so heartbreaking! Throughout my teen years I have always looked to 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” God has given us every day, whether you’re eight, eighteen, thirty-eight, eighty-eight, He has given us every day to live for Him. We are capable of exactly what He has planned for us. “Just being a teenager” should look like someone on FIRE for Christ?! Right? I mean what makes rolling your eyes and throwing your hands up “being a teenager.” Why can’t going to orphanages and helping the homeless be “being a teenager.” There is nothing too big that He can not handle through us and there is nothing too small for us to ask Him for help. Anything is possible with God. No matter how old you are. There is nothing we are too young to do if it’s what God is calling us to do, and there is nothing we are too old for if it’s what God is calling us to do. The key to everything is God. We are expected as Christians to set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. No matter how old we are. Don’t let them look down on you because you are young or because you are old. Speak only words that lift up and point to Christ no matter how old you are. Live your life for Christ no matter how old you are. Love your neighbor as yourself and do everything in love no matter how old you are. Strengthen your faith and let your faith grow every day no matter how old you are. Keep yourself pure until marriage and guard your heart no matter how old you are. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re a teenager or because your forty-two. No matter how old you are, set an example. Through Him, we are capable of changing the world and I believe with all my heart that you can change the world when you are a teenager just as much as when you are an adult.
I am so thankful for every year of my teens. They were rough and no where close to pretty, but there are things I could list out that I learned every year. I am so blessed! It’s a bittersweet parting but I suppose it’s time. I am giving my twenties to You, Lord- Here I am, use me!!