It's a process.

"When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as 'rootless and stemless.'  We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.  When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear.  We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.  The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies.  Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.  It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.  A flower is not better when it blooms than when it is merely a bud; at each stage it is the same thing...a flower in the process of expressing its potential."

-The Rose by W. Timothy Gallwey

A few years ago I went through quite a rough patch in life.  I think it's common for the 20's to be a confusing, ambiguous time for most people.   As much as I wanted to develop my adult identity very quickly, time and cultural expectations seemed to be slowing me down.  I felt like I was boxing underwater.  Each jab I threw strained my body with little effect on my circumstances.  At one particular point, I was down-in-the-dumps questioning God on why my life had come about the way it was.  I had so many questions...  Why am I tossed around by the tumultuous waves of reality when the Lord Almighty is my solid foundation?  Why am I not seeing victory guaranteed me according to the Bible?  Why do I feel shackled in bondage to my enemies when Christ has set me free?  Why do I feel unfulfilled when I am best friends with my Creator?

In response, my angelic brother spoke these encouraging words directly to my soul:  Joseph was born to be the ruler of Egypt, but early in his life he was a slave - sold by his brothers.  In one day he went from slave to 2nd in command.  (Thank you, Brother!)

Jacob said of his son Joseph:  "The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him.  But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob, by the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above." Genesis 49:23-4

Looking back on my life during the past five years, I realize that a lot of the challenges I faced were/are typical for people during their "tumultuous twenties".  Almost everyone I asked told me to keep fighting (AKA jabbing through water) until I found what was worth fighting for.  Now that I feel more established in my adult life, I recognize that I had more control over how long I would let my twenties be tumultuous.  Many of my decisions in the more recent years were my best version of mimicking Joseph and "remaining in strength".  I began making decisions that I felt were adult, e.g. sticking to a normal sleeping schedule, committing to reading books that expanded my mind, etc.  Soon enough, I found my adult life to be developing and reaching it's fullness.  But I learned some lessons which I hope to share with my dear readers:

It takes time and patience to root into your adult life. It takes practicing self-control and discipline to do those things which will develop the identity you seek. It takes grace (From: You, To: You) to motivate yourself to fight after failure.

This blog post is dedicated to a dear friend - you know who you are!  I hope you know that God looks at you and smiles.  He loves you.

With a smiley love, PriskaTabitha