rebelling against low expectations

How do I overcome my fear of growing up? Advice please!


NOEL WRITES: I know people who can’t wait to grow up, but when I was sixteen and was called an adult, I cried! Humiliating but true. The same thing basically happened for my 17th birthday.

And now I’m about to turn 18 and I hate the thought of work, college, and even graduating high school! I’ve procrastinated when it comes to getting my driver’s license, and I’m actually sad that I will be graduating high school 5-6 months early.

I never thought I would turn out like this. I don’t know where this fear comes from, but I think it might be because I simply don’t know what I am going to do. I don’t know what I want to be, don’t know what God wants me to do, and don’t even have any hobbies to fill my time after graduation.

By the end of this month, I will have a ton of time on my hands since I’ll be graduated from high school and won’t be starting college until next Fall, Lord-willing. The thought just terrifies me. How I will spend my time for the next 8 or so months?! Or better yet, how should I spend my time?

How do I get rid of this fear?

Thank you all SO so much!

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  • While I’m not graduating as soon as you are, the idea of being in the last year and half of my highschool years is actually a scary thought. I feel as if it will be here before I know it, and unlike all my friends I have no clue what I want to do next! I think Sam made a good point, since you will have more time on your hands really digging in to Gods word is a great way to spend your time. I think when we are diligently seeking to know God and his plan for our life he will bring it into our life step by step. I think that is def the place to start. Also maybe you could look into the idea of volunteering at a Life Care Pregnancy Center or some other ministry in your area(we have a christian tutoring center im involved with).

  • I know what you mean, it’s exactly what I’ve been going though the past couple of months. Although you’re closer to graduating than I am, I still struggle with those fears. As I write this, and explain my situation, I also want to explain to you what God has been telling me. You see, I’m turning 17 in a month…seventeen! It’s kinda scary actually. I used to look up to people my (current)age, but now that I’m there, and I don’t exactly like it. Why don’t I like it? Most teens would ask that if I told them, and actually, avoiding that question is exactly why I don’t say anything. The reason is because unlike most teens, who can’t wait to leave home, I love my parents, family, and being provided for. I’m scared of the unknown.

    I’m scared of college because, among other reasons, I’m afraid I’ll cave. My Christianity, which has become such an important part of who I am, would be in jeopardy. And surprisingly, I’m hesitant to trust the object of my faith, love, and devotion(namely God) with faith, love, and devotion. I’m also afraid of getting a job because I’m afraid of failing. But my fear of failing is essentially an unwillingness to trust God that a possible failure could be a part of His perfect plan. I’m also afraid that all these changes that that are staring me in the face will separate me from my friends. You see, it just so happens that when I turn 17 on January 12th, two of my closest(and oldest) friends will have just turned 15 & 16 the week before. So if I have to go to college, leave my youth group, get a job etc. my friendships with these girls could be placed in jeopardy. Also, I’ve also got to deal with questions like, “what does God want me to do?” Funny thing is, I used to think that I knew, but these past few months, well the passion I used to have seems to have been disappearing. I thought I was being called, but it somehow seems like I got my will confused with God’s will. So yeah…

    Going back to the first paragraph, I’m scared of what I don’t know. Why is the unknown scary? Because I can’t control it! You see, what I’ve realized(and tried to forget) is that the reason I’m scared of these things is because I haven’t been willing to trust God. As stupid as it sounds I’m basically saying that the omnipotent, omnipresent, creator God is not strong enough or powerful enough to take care of my life…but I am. Do you see where I’m going? God is asking me to follow him, to give all my cares to him, and to trust me with my life, and I’ve said, “Sure! Just not here.” In fact, instead of following him(which means giving him control over everything), I’ve just been cheering him on from the sidelines.

    Please don’t think that I’m trying to say that this is the only(or even primary) reason behind your fears, because it’s pretty possible that it’s just me. But I wanted to let you know what I’m coming to realize, so that, if at all possible, it could help. I’m not gonna say that it’s a closed issue for either of us, because if I’ve learned anything in my life it would be that following God is a constant struggle. But I think it’s worth it. You see, I want to follow him. And you just happened to hit on one of the main areas that I’m failing to do so.

    In conclusion, I’ll be praying for you. Just please remember that at the core of all fears is a lack of trust in God. Jesus told us that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground without his notice, so it’s pretty clear that he loves us and knows what we’re going through. Finally, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…”(1 John 4:18)

    • Thankyou for this comment. I found it really clear and encouraging. You see, although I can’t totally relate to your situation (I’m only 14 and still have a couple years of school left.), I still wonder a lot about what I am going to do after school. I have spent hours looking up career options and thinking about what courses I want to study at uni. And, well, I worry and stress alot about most things, but I am especially afraid of change and failure.So I am constantly reminding myself not to worry, but to trust in God, for, as you said, fear of the future is a lack of trust in God’s might strength over our lives.

      Quite recently, one of my teachers also said something that he had heard – that we should not focus on what we are, but who we are. I found this comforting in that it encourages me to realise that, well, God has planned my life and every thing will work out, so I should not be focusing and worrying about what I can’t change, but on trying to serve God and my neighbour here and now. I hope you all find the answers you are looking for and may your endeavors be blessed by the Lord in who we all must put our absolute trust!

  • Yes actually I (reluctantly admit) have this same problem, maybe just less dramatically. I’ve been 16 for like 8 months and still haven’t got my drivers license (and don’t plan on getting it soon).

  • Hey Noel, you have a very unique situation, which can be used for a huge good!

    If it were me, the first thing I would do, is make sure you have the finances to pay for collage. If you don’t have the money, you’re not going anywhere.

    The second thing I would do, is buy and read the book Holy Discontent by Bill Hybles (I probably misspelled his last name). It talks about what makes us so discontent and so upset about in the world that we can fix? For me, the one thing I can’t stand, is when youth leaders are booooorrrrrrriiiinnnnnngggggg. I absolutely hate it! And I feel that I can be part of the solution, and be effective for the Kingdom of God through becoming a Youth Pastor. (I also happen to love public speaking)

    What’s something you can’t stand that you can be a part of the solution to (and preferably you enjoy)?

    Is is Human Trafficking? Volunteer at a rehab center.
    Is it kids not paying attention in school? See if you can volunteer at the local elementary school.
    Is it the understaffed Nursery at your local church? Volunteer to help with Diaper-Duty.

    You see, there are soooo many ways to get involved and use your God given abilities and Holy Discontent for the glory of God and Do Hard Things. All it takes, is a willingness to obey God’s calling and a little initiative to get up and do it. Because when we do, we will never regret it.

    God bless,
    – Trent

  • Noel,

    I can completely relate to your situation and your fears.

    I’ll be eighteen in a month, I’m graduating high school this spring, I don’t have a driver’s license yet, no car, no job, no high school degree…apart from the grace of God and my parents, I have nothing but a dream to be an adult.

    I’m scared too: out-of-my-mind-terrified.

    I’m convinced that most of where my feelings of feeling trapped, alone, uncertain, and afraid COMES FROM freezing up and not wanting to take the steps toward adulthood. Refusing to be independent.

    In the past year, I’ve been taking a lot more initiative to do things on my own. If there’s some new thing that I want to be a part of, I don’t rely on my parents as much anymore to figure it out. I still do my best to show respect to them, and I make it very clear to them that I want my parents to help me take the steps of moving out. And they do! For instance, signing up for behind-the-wheel driver’s training. My parents came up with the idea and got the number from a driver’s instructor, I made the phone call to the instructor by myself, I put everything on the family calendar, I completed driver’s training last week, and all I have to do now is keep practicing before I get my license about 4-5 weeks from now. I’m making the goals on my own, doing my best to accomplish them on my own, and when all of the hard things are too hard for me to do on my own, or I don’t know how to accomplish something, that’s when I ask my parents for help.

    If you take nothing away from my comment, please take this advice:
    –Set goals. Big and small. Sky’s the limit.
    –Once you have those goals, work towards them. The point of setting and accomplishing goals is to prove to yourself that you have what it takes to face the world as an individual adult. HOWEVER, don’t ignore your parents’ wisdom, authority, and helpfulness. You will need them a lot in the process of becoming an adult, and I’m sure they want very much to be there for you to accomplish your dreams and goals. Don’t push them away, but don’t let them be your personal secretaries either.
    –Work hard and don’t procrastinate. For instance, if you’d like to get a job, don’t wait forever to hand in those applications. If you’d like a driver’s license, don’t wait until the day before you want to take the test to schedule it. Think ahead, don’t procrastinate, and work unto the Lord to the best of your abilities. It’ll save you a lot of trouble.
    –Don’t worry. Seriously, don’t worry! Overall, you have nothing to worry about. To be the best adult you can be, you have to put your life in God’s hands. The reason why we worry is because somewhere in our hearts, we’re believing the lie that everything is up to US. But it’s not!!! Put your fears, worries, dreams, ambitions, goals, heart, and mind in God, and He will take care of you. Really.

    I’ll be keeping you in my prayers, Noel. You are SO not alone in this. You don’t have to worry, and the fact that you are concerned for your future and how it’s going to serve God shows that you are going to be a great adult following the Lord.

    Don’t be afraid to do hard things.


    • Hayley, I found your answer extremely helpful. I am in the same boat as Noel and it has been a real struggle for me. Thank you for your response! I really appreciate it! I will be taking your advice!

    • @ eighteen (18) you’re expected to have a car and a drivers license? It is so much different here at our place 🙂

      • haha now I get the pressure 🙂 most of us here at our place we have to strive hard to have a better living in the future. Choose a better course that promises many job opportunities and high salary to help our parents and other family members to graduate and have a college degree. Having a car means you’re rich 🙂

      • Actually, many people have scolded me for not having one at 17. 🙂
        I think I was expected to have a license when I was 16. Then they “gave me grace” for not having one at 17. Now that I’m almost 18, they’re starting to wonder if I’m doing ok…

        But that’s what’s interesting about where I am in life right now. I’m just trying to figure out life in the best way possible…just like everyone else. And I’m learning that the best way to live is to do MY best–without caring about what is the “normal” thing to do or the silly things that I’m expected to do.
        The things that I am expected to do that aren’t silly are to be patient with myself, patient with others, to be gentle, and to be loving.

        I’ll get my license soon. It is a goal that I really do want to accomplish–but it’s not the only one. 🙂

        • I love your comment about being patient to yourself, patient with others, to be gentle and to be loving. 🙂
          It can be connected to 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is Love”

          Do your best at what the Lord has instructed you to do, Hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, Let Him guide you and pray always and serve others, like what you said about being loving and patient. We have a similar situation and doing that what it states above helped me. 🙂

          I hope it will help you too.:)

          God Bless you more Hayley! 🙂 Let us Run the Race.. 🙂 Hebrews 12:1

  • it is hard wanting this and that wondering who to befriend and so on. I have a friend that is nice but has some weak spots that a drill sergeant could get at.

  • and advice is hard (and easy depending on who you talk to)and weather you talk to a Grandparent that has helped me in life.

  • Hey Noel!

    You are in such an exciting season! Just last spring I had one week where I turned eighteen, graduated, got my license and flew on a plane by myself for the first time. Not to mention that same week my best friend’s dad got a call from an awesome guy who was interested in courting her and now, 6 months later, they are engaged! Talk about whirlwind! It has been constant change the past year and so far hasn’t shown signs of stopping.

    As for your scenario, I think you are in the perfect position to ask God for some perspective. Unfortunately, we cannot stop the clock and stay in the season of our choice forever. We can’t and we shouldn’t. We were designed to move in and out of times and seasons with God guiding and teaching us to lean on Him every single day. The great but hard part of the unknown is learning how to rely on the wisdom and strength of our Creator rather than our own. Right now you have precious time set aside to lean into Him and ask what’s next. Ask Him what you are passionate about and what kind of vision He has for the next step. I guarantee there’s already something on His heart He is so excited to share with you. Once you realize what that is, He will take care of the details. He has a way of planning our next seasons before we even know what is going on.

    I understand where you’re at. All you and I have known is our childhood and saying goodbye to that seems scary and impossible. But I wonder if God knows how terrifying that is to us and wouldn’t just throw us into adulthood with no life line. I think He’s ready to ease you into it one step at a time. You can definitely trust Him.

    So, take a deep breath and release yourself from the stress of figuring it out. Plan, dream, imagine, and trust. There’s absolutely no rush, dear, and learning to love the mystery of life is such a joy. Hope all goes well for you this year and that you see more dreams come to life than you can count!



  • It’s scary for sure. You shouldn’t be in a hurry but you shouldn’t drag your heels either. I totally understand. I’m 19 now and nearly finished a degree and I have no idea what to do with my life. Try not to worry, I know it’s hard.

    I’m not there yet but after reading your question, I was thinking about it and looking back, often you grow up without really noticing. It doesn’t happen all at once so you get used to the little changes as you grow just like getting taller. You don’t wake up one morning and think oh dear the ground looks suddenly very far away, you get used to the change in perspective over time. I’m not grown up yet and sometimes it scares me but the responsibilities come slowly (mostly) and you’ll have your family to help. Growing up doesn’t have to mean growing apart from them. You’ll be ok. Just don’t worry.

    Keep doing what you should be doing and serving God with all your heart and the rest will work itself out around you. If you’re worried about any growing, be worried about your growing in faith because that’s what matters in the end and what’s in the heart will shine through. Just remember, God calls us to be childlike but not childish. And some people grow up faster than others, don’t panic if the people around you are going at a different pace.

    Try not to worry. But yes, it is rather scary at first and when you’re in the process, it has its moments but in the end, I’m sure it’ll be ok. Even when you’ve finally grow up, most people have no idea what they’re doing anyway 😉

  • Here’s one thing about your summer I forgot to say: whatever you do do somthing at least. The worst thing when you are anxious is to do nothing. It doesn’t matter what it is (within reason) but do something constructive. You never know where these things lead but you’re guaranteed that doing nothing leads nowhere. Everyone has hobbies. You just gotta try stuff out till you find what it is 🙂

  • Your feelings are shared by many in your age group. There are many reasons that people do not want to grow up, but they are all rooted in fear. I sympathize with you as you are being raised in a generation that puts so much pressure to succeed on it. Gone are the days of growing up without the stress of choosing colleges, careers and the like even when in elementary school. It has even infiltrated the church. It seems that if you don’t have outlandish goals that there is something wrong with you.

    As far as wondering whether you are following God or not. One of the biggest deceptions that the church of late has promoted is the idea that God’s will is a destination to achieve. God’s will is walked out everyday once you become His through repentance and forgiveness of sins. It is evidenced by obedience to God’s Word and the glorifying of His Name in your everyday life.

    I would suggest that you spend as much time as you can in God’s Word, confess your fear and cling to Him. If there is a possibility of any laziness to move forward, that also needs to be confessed. But if not, trust God and keep your eyes off of yourself, as it is a form of self-centered behavior, which we all struggle with.

    Seek Him, and enter the rest He promises to those who follow Him.

    Blessings to you!

    • So agree with the comment about God’s will! If you have committed your life to Christ, He will not let you waste it!

  • Ah, yes. Fear of the unknown. I agree with @babyprikichi:disqus – often it stems back to lack of trust in God. (Which, by the way, I struggle with too. I think we all do, in hundreds of different ways.) There’s a song I love called “The Unknown” by Anthem Lights – you should totally check it out ( Anyway, the chorus goes, “Don’t you know that you’re right at home in the unknown? ‘Cause I’m [God] already there. Don’t you know that you’re not alone in the unknown? ‘Cause I’m already there.” And then it goes on with more and more uplifting wisdom. And it’s right. God goes ahead of us.

    In terms of what to do with your time: I agree with @trent_blake:disqus, @hayley_robinson:disqus, @disqus_qiwTGfQI5P:disqus (etc) – use this time to invest in your relationship with God and your passions. Dig into God’s Word. Volunteer somewhere. Bless a friend. Spend time with siblings. Help out your parents. Take a short course in something you love. Like Hayley said, set goals, work hard, don’t procrastinate. The thought of getting a licence may be scary (I know it terrified me for a long time!), but take the plunge and go for it! Apply for a job (working is a wonderful foundation for the future, whatever that looks like). Remember always: your time is not yours. You do not, cannot ‘own’ it. It is purely a gift from our Lord. You may not think you know ‘His will’ (let me tell you – His will for you is obeying Him. Loving God, loving others. That’s His will.), but I’m sure you can come up with some things that He would smile to see you doing.

    Actually, this is a great reminder for me. We Aussies get about 8 weeks holiday about now. And it’s always a challenge not to fritter them away, but to put them to good and Godly use. I’ll certainly be taking some of my own advice! 🙂

    Lastly, Noel (btw, awesome name!) let me tell you about this year for me. At the start… well, I knew some of what I was doing (ie what school I was doing). But I also DIDN’T know a LOT of things – like how and where I was going to get a job, or how I was going to get all my school done each week, or if I would get my licence, and where on earth I would fit in time to do it. I know it’s kinda the opposite of your situation (lack of time, not excess), but trust me, there were an awful lot of unknowns. But now, at the end of the year, I look back and see it as one of the most amazing years of my life. Praise be to God, everything slotted into place. I’ve been stretched immensely, and taken more steps towards that scary world of adulthood than I ever have before. But it has been amazing. And I believe that is what God’s plan for your future looks like. Wonderful. Because you are His child. And He does not forsake His children.

  • Hey Noel!
    I read your question – and smiled! Cause why? Cause I feel the same way. I graduated high school in January (a couple months early), didn’t get my driver’s license till July. (I don’t care to drive. :D) I turned 18 in August. I started college in September. And I wake up some days and don’t want to be an adult. I want to stay little, let my parents make all the decisions, live at home for the rest of my life.
    When I tell my mom, you know what she says? That she wakes up some days and feels the same way! 🙂 So you’re normal!!!

    But God has given you this time. What should you do with that time? That is a good question. What are you going to college for? Can you intern or work in your field to gain experience? Is there something you love doing – working with kids, organizing, teaching? There are always needs at church. Look around you and ask God where He would have you use your time. There will be things to keep you busy. Occasionally you may find you are too busy!

    Whatever happens, DON’T WORRY! Cause God has got your time all under control. He will place things in your path. Maybe He just wants you to spend the next 8 months talking to Him. He knows!

    Praying for you as you embark on the next stage of the journey called LIFE!
    In Christ,

  • I’m nowhere near where you are at (just a freshman in high school) but sometimes I have those days that I want to be an innocent carefree child playing in the dirt. My advice would be try embracing your future, instead of dreading it. God can use you for so much, but just be willing for him to do it. It will be no fun if you live your whole life not wanting to be grown up.

  • Noel, , I know exactly how you feel considering that I am going through the same thing. I’ve dreaded having to grow up for a few years, and I know that it’s probably just related to the fear of an unknown future(and getting older). I am a senior this year so I will also be graduating this spring. I’ve decided to take a semester off so I won’t be starting school right away, but I will be getting a license and a job, and it is a little nerve racking. And I’m also kinda sad that I will be graduating; I’m homeschooled and love it and will miss not getting to participate in certain activities and functions. It’s a weird transition and kinda scary but ya know what…it doesn’t have to be. If you think about it this can actually be an exciting time for us ’cause God has awesome things in store for His children. Fear comes directly from the enemy; he wants us to be afraid and anxious. Something my dad told me when I was stressing out one time is that our Father never wants us to be fearful and all we have to do is surrender all our worries and troubles to Him and TRUST Him. I know that’s not easy but it’s worth it. As for not knowing what to do in all your spare time I agree with several others that commented that you should spend some time in the Word. It’ll encourage and comfort you. Two of my life verses are John 14:27 and Proverbs 3:6 , which always comforts me when I’m anxious or scared. I hope this helps you. God Bless P.S. My middle name is Noel. 😀

  • I feel the same way Noel. I am seventeen and graduating this spring and I can’t believe it! Where does the time go?! For me, all I can do is pray and talk to my parents. I think both of those things are very important. Faith is a big key during this time. Read God’s Word and listen to His voice. He will lead you if you’re seeking Him. And btw, I don’t have my license yet either 🙂 for the record.

  • Noel,
    I am now 26, soon to be 27, married and the mother of two children. But I used to joke about being Wendy from Peter Pan, not wanting to spend my last night in the nursery. I graduated high school with no desire to go to college, and no direction. I have only ever wanted to be a mom, but had no idea what I should do in the meantime. I hated the idea of graduating. I recognized that high school was the one time when I had the most freedom with the least amount of responsibility, and I did not want to see that change. I am sure that part of the reason you are feeling this anxiety is because you feel without direction. That is okay.
    I spent two years, working full time, and living with my parents. I had no plans, and no goals. I was nearing my 21st birthday when I felt called to go on a mission trip for nearly 3 years to Peru. I ended up not finishing my time there, for a lot of complicated reasons. But my 18 months on the mission field forced me to grow up a lot. More than that, I spent so much time in The Word, I had to just to make it through every day. There was so much darkness in the jungle city I lived in, it was palpable at times. It was the most difficult and beautiful experience I have had (other than becoming a mother 🙂 ) and forced me to really figure out what my faith meant. To really dig deep into theology and figure out what the Bible said, and if I really believed it. To stand up for those beliefs even when challenged on them by those in authority over me. To not just say I believe something, but be forced to defend it, with Scripture and live it out.
    If there is a way for you to put yourself in a situation that will be painful, and difficult, but force you to grow and change, I would really recommend it. I was so reluctant to grow up. It scared me to think of leaving the security and comfort of my home. But it isn’t as scary as you think. And if you force yourself to do a big hard thing, it will change your life. That is part of being an adult. Choosing to do the hard stuff, even when you are scared to death. I can’t promise you that it won’t be painful. You will have moments when you just want to quit and never leave your bed. You will go through times when you feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You will find out the hard way that life is really hard sometimes. That relationships are dirty, and broken and difficult. That love doesn’t fix everything. You will have times of such intense despair that you will feel you cannot possibly cry anymore. But I can promise you that you will get through it. That the difficulties you go through are for your own spiritual good, and ultimately for God’s glory. That there will be times when you are overwhelmed with such intense joy you feel you will burst. That you will see God move in your life in surprising ways. And that through it all, HE will never leave you or forsake you. Take comfort in knowing that. I pray that you find direction on what your next step will be, and that God will give you the courage to take it. Even if you knees are shaking and you can barley put one foot in front of the other. 🙂 Because after that first step, it gets a lot easier!

  • Okay, hi Noel!

    I saw your question yesterday. After reading it I prayed for you, but decided I
    really didn’t have anything useful to say. Then for some reason I came back
    today and read it. I began my famous debate with myself over whether I should
    say anything, and also I was really wondering if I had anything at all to really say. Again, I was thinking “no, I don’t.” I started skimming over the comments and then saw Sam nominating me to talk. It kind of hit me as God telling me in another way to comment here, because He knows that I don’t listen well. So, here I am. I suppose He has something to tell you (or maybe even someone else reading this right now) and quite honestly I don’t have a clue what it is at the moment.

    Alright, so after praying and reading your question again, I have some thoughts. I will go ahead and tell you now that I am making no effort to keep this short. (For any of you who have read my comments before, this is probably a scary thing to hear) 🙂

    As I read what you are saying I hear you worrying about your life and fearing
    what is ahead. Fear in this sense is really just an incorrect perspective. If we wake up one morning and find a lion staring at us in our bed then we have a correct perspective to be afraid – but let us hope that doesn’t ever happen! When it comes to daily life and being afraid of what will happen or of what we are being asked to do; fear comes from having the wrong perspective.

    I tend to visualize this perspective as “looking down”. Come with me on a little imagination trip and I will explain:

    Your life is a room. As you are living your life you are standing and walking
    around this room doing things. If you are standing up and you look down, what
    do you see? You see you. You see your arms and your legs and a little bit of
    the world that is right around you. If you are walking around your room with
    your head down looking at yourself you are going to run into some problems.
    One, when you are looking at yourself and not where you are walking, you are
    likely to run into walls and other objects – ouch! Two, you really can’t see
    much of what is going on around you. Depending on what it is that is happening,
    you may be able to her some of it, but you really can’t tell what it is. Three,
    what you can see you can only relate to and compare with yourself, because that
    is all you see.

    Now what happens if you look up?? Not just straight ahead at where you are
    going, but all the way up. When you look all the way up you see God. You see
    Him looking down and watching over you. You see how big He is and how capable.
    You see the love in His eyes for you and know that He would never do anything
    to hurt you. You begin to realize that since He is way up there, He has the
    best perspective of what is going on in your room. In fact, He is in complete
    control of the situation and He can rearrange the room however He wants,
    whenever He wants to. When you look at Him, he can give you the guidance you
    need to get through that situation, and you can hear Him a lot better when you
    are looking at Him that when you are walking around staring at your feet.

    Okay, story-time is done. So, do you see how fear isn’t really your situation, but how you look at it? When we are afraid, it is often because we are looking at ourselves. We see us, we see what we can do, and that leaves the big sticky situations in life looking way more daunting than they really are; especially when we taking into consideration John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. ” When I am afraid or when I feel discouraged and keep hearing that I can’t ever do anything right, I tell myself to “stop looking down” or “stop looking at yourself” – whichever one works best 🙂 Then I think of looking up and seeing God. With my eyes on Him I see things much more clearly. (The same thing can happen if we stare at the situation or obstacle we are facing – maybe like graduation or moving out on our own. If all we see is the problem we will find that every time we look at it our eyes are held a little longer, and the longer we stare the bigger it looks and the scarier it seems. This also changes when we look up at God.)

    Why does looking at God so drastically change how we see life and how we feel
    about what is going on? Why do we suddenly realize we have no reason to be afraid when we look at God? Well, there is the fact that we know He is in control of everything and that He is always working for out good (Jer. 29:11), but there is also something else I just thought of.

    1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

    “Perfect love drives out fear”… what is perfect love?? Where does that come from?

    1 John 4:16 – So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

    John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

    1 John 4:9-10 – In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

    God is that perfect love. When we run to God, we run to His love and He casts out our fear! If you are afraid, look to God.

    I love Isaiah 43:1-7 because it talks about how God is always with us in whatever we go through. It shows how much He loves us. If He is always there, His
    love is always there, so we never have to be afraid!

    1 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
    “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    2 When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    3 For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
    I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush and Seba in your stead.
    4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
    I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
    5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.
    6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
    and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
    Bring my sons from afar
    and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
    7 everyone who is called by my name,
    whom I created for my glory,
    whom I formed and made.”

    The Bible says do not fear 365 times. That is one time for each day we have to face
    every year 🙂

    Now that we have the fear side out of the way, what do we do? That is your other question.

    I can’t speak from personal experience too much because I am one of the weird people who has pretty much known what she was supposed to do with her life the whole time. However, at the same time I can speak from personal experience because even though I know the general direction I think I am going, it isn’t a smooth ride and you don’t always see how things are going to go. The basic point is this: follow God.

    Remember how He is up there looking down at the room you are standing in? Remember how He can rearrange it?? Well, He knows how He is going to do that and if you do what He says – even if it doesn’t seem to make much sense – He will
    have you where He needs to when the time comes for Him to actually do the

    As a matter of fact, (don’t use this as an excuse to do anything stupid 🙂 but) if it seems crazy and doesn’t make sense, it is probably from God. If it is something that you as a human can “handle on your own” God will not receive the highest glory from it. Look back at the examples given in the Bible:

    – Noah was told to build a huge boat because the world was about to be victim
    of a huge storm that will flood it all: a world that had never seen the first rain drop ever!

    – Moses was to go and tell Pharaoh to release the Israelites: 1) Moses is just
    going to tell Pharaoh and he will be like “yeah, sure, no problem!” 2) God said that Pharaoh wouldn’t listen, but go tell him anyways 3) Moses is no good at speaking, so you are the guy that will be sent to tell Pharaoh

    – Prophesies of Jesus birth from a virgin

    – Abraham is promised as many descendants as the stars: 1) He and his wife have
    no children 2) His wife is too old to have children

    Think about Abraham again. God told him that he was going to go somewhere new for a home. Abraham doesn’t get to know where, but he needs to go, now. Abraham didn’t know where he was going, but God did, and God got him there, didn’t He? God may not reveal to you where you are going. He may just ask you to trust Him and follow Him. It is hard, but He will get you there when you are supposed to be there. And He will show you what you need to know when you need to know it.

    When Jesus called His disciples, they didn’t know what they were getting into. Jesus gave no explanation either; He just said “come follow Me.” The disciples took a risk – a big risk – but I don’t think it was one they regretted when they looked back on their lives!

    Use this time that you have now to really dig deep into who God is and what He
    wants to say to you. Tune your heart’s ear to be sensitive to His voice. Submit
    you will to His, so that when He calls you to do something you will follow and obey. Surrender your life to Him so that He can mold it into the perfect picture that He wants you to be: a beautiful masterpiece radiating His glory to the world! Prepare for what lies ahead. As you are getting ready to go to college, what can you do to practically be ready? Do you have the supplies you will need for living on your own (if you are staying on campus)? Do you know how to manage your money wisely? Do you have healthy relationships in your life? How will you influence the people you meet to be more like Christ – or to meet Him for the first time if they haven’t ever before? Ready yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. And above all else, stay in God – deeply in God. It is the only safe place to be!!

    The final thing that I want to recommend to you is to read the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. If you have already read this book, then read it again! 🙂 If you haven’t heard of it, the book is a parable about life and the dream that God
    gives us to fulfill. The book then explains the parable and how that looks in our daily lives. I am completely serious when I say that with the Bible as the only (huge) exception, that is the most life changing book I have ever read!!!

    Thank you for your time spent reading this. I hope God has spoken to your heart!!
    Continue to grow rooted in Him. Blessings on your journey!!

    Loved and Never Alone,
    Amanda T.

    • Sam, you have been such a testimony to me! I am overjoyed to see God working in your life!!! 🙂 There is a reason He prompted you to tell me to comment here. He knows when we don’t! Hearing what you have been struggling with about forgiveness and freedom and the opportunity to share with you from my life was wonderful. I pray for you daily. Some days I look back at my life and everything that has happened and I wonder why. Then something like that happens and I know why. I see God reworking the horrible mess into something wonderful and beautiful. My sorrow is turned into joy when I see what He can do with it!!!

      The messages you don’t understand right away are the coolest ones. I have an amazing lady that I talk to sometimes when I need guidance in my life and I feel like I can’t make it. God’s hand on her is unbelievable! I have some cool stories about the messages she has sent me. One of those is when I was having a horrible night I found this song I hadn’t listened to in forever. God speaks to me through music a lot and that song spoke my heart better than I could because I had no words, just heartache. I sent her a link to the song in a desperate attempt to be heard. The next day she messaged me back and part of what she said was crystal clear and exactly what I needed to hear that day, but the beginning of her message was so weird. I couldn’t understand why she was bringing old stuff up again that wasn’t really what I was dealing with right then. However I trusted that what she said was what God wanted me to hear, so I just prayed that God would show me what He meant when she said that. Two days later my world fell apart and I just about fell back into the same mindset of self-destructive condemnation that I was telling you about. I “randomly” remembered her message and it suddenly fit perfectly! It was the most perfect words for my life that day and she said it before it even happened. She doesn’t even know. I am excited to hear what comes from this 🙂 praying for clear signs from God!!

      Loved and Never Alone,
      Your Sister Amanda

      • Alright, will do! 🙂
        And thank you so much!!! That is wonderful to hear. I’m in the middle of a few battles right now and am trying really hard to not fight with my own strength. I can see the beginnings of one over sharing with my youth group. (By the way, I just found out that that will be on January 14th 🙂 ) …I may pass a more detailed message along to you next time Rachel and I talk. (Sorry, Rachel! 😛 )

        Loved and NEVER ALONE,
        Amanda T.

    • WOW. Isaiah 43 is one of my favorite books in the Bible, I was just reading it today :). I really struggle with trusting God for the future, and like you said I’ve learned that when my focus is off myself and on God, my whole outlook changes. Instead of just putting my head down and trying to survive, I’ve learned to instead think, “God, what can show me through this situation?” And so often it’s in the most unlikely circumstances, the ones that seem so unlikely that God will work in, that He surprises me.

      This website is awesome! SO much great advice.
      In Jesus,

      • Yes!! 🙂 That is so true!

        Are you new here?? When I looked at your profile yesterday I only saw the two comments you made to me.

        Loved and Not Alone,

        • Yep I’m new! 🙂 I read the book a few years ago and loved it. I haven’t really been on the website until recently. It’s great that there’s this community of young people here who are doing hard things and talking about it.

  • Don’t be afraid. You’ll always be God’s child. 🙂 We can keep our child-like faith at least somewhat, and God helps us with that. And child-like trust in God. He will take care of you. He knows where your future is. He holds it. It’s going to be better than okay. It’s going to be an adventure. 😀
    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”
    I’ve been dealing with this too, mostly because Jesus said we were to be like children… and so I didn’t want to grow up. But we have to grow physically and mature. We can still keep the heart of a child. It’s going to be okay. *hug* I pray that God will reveal your passions to you, the ones he has placed in you. It could be something little or something big, but every role is important.

  • Thank you, Noel, for sharing. I felt very encouraged reading your post as well as many of the comments. Being 17, recently graduated and having a desire for entrepreneurship but not sure where to go next, I can relate. I may not have any really amazing tips that are going to be the answer, but here are a few foundations that I’ve stood on that once started on, I have not let go of and they have taken me into, through and past several seasons and situations in my life!!!

    1. The Word.
    I recommend STRONGLY memorizing scripture, especially scripture that is going to be a strong combat and argument to any voice that is not God that you’re going or already encounter.

    Jesus’s face off with the devil in the desert was won by the Word of God. He also stood against the deception of the devil’s use of the Word because He knew the Word better than the devil did.

    Psalm 119:9 & 11 (ESV)
    9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
    11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

    Also, look at the armor of God: it all equivilates to the Word of God
    Belt of truth – the Bible says “Your word is truth” Jesus is the truth..and also is the Word
    The sword of the Spirit – is the Word of God
    The shield of faith – the Bible says “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
    …take a look at the other ones too!

    2.Thanking and praising God!!!!
    I really believe a beautiful atmospheric shift happens when thanksgiving and praise fills the air.

    Psalm 100 mentions:
    “…come before him with joyful songs…Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

    One time I had way too much water clogged in both my ears and it simply would not drain out. My head hurt tons from the pressure it created. My friends suggested to pray and I told them “I already did.” And then we prayed again. I believed that if I asked God to open my ears up He would do it, and I was still hurting. I was about to utter another “Oh God!! Please help me!!!” prayer, and then I lifted up my hands and just started enjoying God, praising Him and just thanking Him for His goodness because I knew I didn’t have to worry about the outcome from that point on. Very soon, the pressure on my head felt a lot better. I never drained any water from my ears, it disappeared.

    This is just one story of what has shifted and happened in my life when I’ve implemented thanksgiving as lifestyle.

    3. “Be still and know that I am God…

    Psalm 131 is one often quoted by my Dad to me when I start getting buried under all my questions and thoughts.
    “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty;
    I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
    2 But I have calmed and quieted myself….

    Blessings and I hope this is encouraging to somebody.
    De Ana

  • Noel, I’m not anywhere near your shoes, (I’m 44 and have a 15 year old, a 13 year old and an 8 month old! However, when I was your age I was in the same boat. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my future or how to even find my future.. as a result I made some stupid, careless decisions that could have cost me dearly. Instead, they led me to my wonderful husband who in turn led me to the Lord and once I was saved, it all became clear. So, my advice? Trust God. Ask your Pastor for advice, for things to be involved with.. ministries at church, volunteer at many different places, animal shelters, nursing homes, homeless shelters, get out there and try things. Pray. the only way to find what God created you for is to ask Him and try as many different things as you can… and be patient, the waiting and questioning and wondering is all part of his plan.. He knew you would feel this way and he’s already provided the answer, just keep searching! Good luck!

  • Thank you, Noel for asking this question and getting this discussion started. And thank you everyone who has shared advice and your own stories. I originally thought I was the only one. So good to know I’m not alone.
    I will turn 18 on January 2nd. Last year on my 17th birthday, my family took a little trip away and I remember being miserable most of it. Closing up the year 2013 and my 16th year seemed to leave me with a lot of regret from the last year and fear of what was to come. And I’m already feeling a little freaked out that I’m turning EIGHTEEN in less than a month.
    This year, I’ve had to make a lot of big decisions. One of the biggest was that I knew I wanted to go to Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida, but I did not know when. I was originally hoping to go in the Spring of 2016, but found out that would not be possible. So, I had to decide whether to go in Fall 2015 or Fall 2016. I was taking my time deciding and then my parents gave me a deadline of a week. That week was SO hard trying to decide what to do. But, I had so many people talking with me about it and encouraging me through it. Multiple people told me a similar thing and I wanted to pass it on because it might be encouraging to others. It was something like this:
    You can pray and ask God what he wants you to do, but sometimes He will not answer. Sometimes He will not have a clear answer because neither choice is the ‘right’ one. Sometimes He gives you the choice because neither way is better.
    It was hard for me to accept at first because I wanted God’s will to pop out of the sky and here all these people were telling me there was probably no right choice in this one. But, in the end, it was so freeing to know that it didn’t matter what exactly I choose, as long as they were both following God.
    Hope this helps some. Thanks again to everyone for all the comments. It has helped me even though I wasn’t the one who asked it.

  • Yeah, I’m struggling with this too, I’m afraid of the future what if I don’t get into this or that University, I’m in my second year of high-school so I’ve got at least 4 years left to change and get really good grades and study hard for my choice. I hope you get the advice your looking for, and remember it’s alright to be afraid. You just need to find the courage to face it.

  • I was, sometimes still am, afraid of growing up. Once I had goals in mind, a and a vision to follow, I wasn’t as afraid anymore. I grew excited about the adventure God has planned for my life, and I now realize that my life isn’t ending, it’s just getting started. Sometimes it’s scary, but you have to understand that it’s okay if you don’t always know what you’re doing. No one actually expects you to. Everyone has to start somewhere, and there is a first time for everybody. No one is born knowing how to act like an adult. Coming from someone almost grown up, you can take it from me Noel, nothing is as bad, as hard, or as scary as you think. (I procrastinated getting my license too, and I wish now I hadn’t:) One word of advice given to me from a friend was, rely on Christ. He’s been a teenager too, and He knows all about it.

  • There are times that I am afraid of growing up and getting rid with this fear was never been easy. I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to experience all the things and even the impossible things that mankind can do. There are nights that I wonder and my mind is full of what ifs’s and it’s making me paranoid, but I realized I just need to go with the flow of life though we can’t predict time.

  • Hi Noel!
    I think the most important for you, now, is a doing things right – being honest, responsible – doing things in truth and love, having true values. Don’t be afraid of falls and hard situations. Always turn and pray to God, Our Lord! Pray the Rosary.
    I also still don’t know where to go after graduating High school, even I started to hesitate from which subjects I want to make my finish exams. So, I have similar problem like you, but in my case I see too many options what I could do and it is sometimes as I could see no one of them, and I’m getting uncertain if I really could do those things.
    I decided to give everything to the hands of my Lord and let Him to test me and teach me – sculpt me.
    The all I just wanted to tell is that if you will do the things in the truth without the compromises now, your way will start to be clearer to your eyes, the things will get a sense after time. God takes care of you, He doesn’t let you ‘stop’ and ‘dying’.
    And I’ve got the strong feeling I will get to know – my Lord will show me – my way during the next school year.

    ‘What the amazing ways and plans have you prepared for us, God?’

  • that is so true and thank you so much that really helped me too. I am only 11 and I have fears of growing up and dying but now I know it is just the devil trying to get you to think of bad things. once again thank you so much. 🙂

  • My name is Rebecca Casey I am 17 years old I am going to be senior once I am off my summer break I been scared of growing up ever since I was nine I cried because I know after I graduate Highschool and my biggest fear of all is death and knowing after trade school I will be living on my own I just not ready for the next chapter in my life I regret all those years rushing to get out of Highschool now I just wish it could slow down I wish there was a way for me to overcome this fear of growing up can someone please help me?

  • Hello I’m not going to say my age but ever since I was eight I would cry about growing up because I want to stay like a kid forever which is strange because when I was seven and younger I always wanted to be treated like an adult. There is a song “I can’t help
    falling in love with you ” by Elvis Presley I love the song but it makes me cry because when I was little (age 6) I would dance to it and to twirls and when I hear that song it makes me remember when I was younger and it makes me want to be little

rebelling against low expectations

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