rebelling against low expectations

Dealing With the Pressure to Find God’s Will and Change the World


My summer is strange (very, very strange). My family makes fun of me for it.

You see, when 5:59 strikes each morning, my phone lights up. “Good morning, babe” is followed by smiley and confetti emojis as my finger slides across the screen to silence my alarm.

My next step takes me to my window. I pull back the drapes to check the sunrise (which starts at 5:34 a.m. on average). The pink and orange meet my barely-able-to-handle-that-much-sun-because-my-room-was-so-dark eyes.

By 6:15 a.m. I’m hard at it: writing.

That’s my sole activity until I engage with some quiet time (what stands between me and insanity). Then, specifically writing for the site I edit comes next on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Greek follows, then History of the Christian Church, then emails, then blog ​work, thne magazine reading, then CLEP exam prep, a short break for guitar, and then writing for the other sites to which I owe articles.

I won’t even describe what shakes up Tuesday/Thursday, tell of the five different notebooks I have for writing down all my sporadic ideas, questions, and musings, or expound on the TED talks, classical music, and award winning novels that come when I’m “off the clock” at 6:00 p.m. Or the reality that by the time 8:30 p.m. rolls around, this human in the prime of her youth yawns and grabs her journal. 9:00 p.m. means lights out.

My summer is strange. It’s not typical to print out an academic schedule so that you can create a self-imposed summer schedule.

But I have dreams. I have goals. I’m tired of not chasing them, and I desperately don’t want to waste my life.

I don’t want to waste my life.

This is something that I’ve not wanted to do since I was a very small child. (Think an eleven-year-old having a mini “mid-life crisis” when realizing her life is probably about 1/8 over and she’s yet to accomplish anything substantial.)

I then proceeded to read Do Hard Things at age twelve because I was reforming my ways and wanted to know how to make the most of the teen years before I even reached them.

I’ve been plagued by not wanting to waste my life.

This didn’t really have that many negative consequences when I was younger. But as I grew, this desire only grew as my death seemed to grow nearer. Wasting my life had stopped being an option long ago. But doing something incredibly large with my life now seemed to be what I had to do.

And feeling incredibly obligated that you have to do something? Well, I’ve got a little rebel in me and that doesn’t fly super well.

I tried ignoring it and doing my own thing, but that still left me feeling empty. You see, I had tried so hard to figure out what it was that I had to do with my life so that I wouldn’t waste my life. I over-analyzed everything in a desperate attempt to just find God’s will.

But I didn’t find it. All I found was more frustration with myself, more fear of taking any action because it could be the wrong one, and a life of inaction and dissatisfaction.

I never could be satisfied with my life because I was determined I was wasting it, and I didn’t know how to fix this.

The fullness of this realization is still fresh. I’m still processing through what I’ve learned because of it and the steps that I’m now​ realizing must be taken​ (and I have a lot of thoughts).

Another post will have to ​follow expounding on that, but I want to know something first.

Can anyone relate to this? Do you feel like you’ve developed an unhealthy, out of proportion pressure that you have to find God’s specific will for your life and change the world?*

Or am I the only one?

*And I’m not talking about a healthy, Do Hard Things bred notion of engaging with the teenage years and beyond in a really good, healthy, and beneficial way. I’m talking about a twisted version of that idea where you just feel this distorted (and enormous) pressure.

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently __ Comment(s)

Photo courtesy of and Flickr Creative Commons.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Deborah Spooner

- a college student and pastor’s kid - is a city loving and avocado eating cultural enthusiast, creative, and dreamer who is addicted to dipping words in candor as she writes for her blog Hope Shining. Her hope is anchored to a man who came to earth around 2,000 years ago – Jesus of Nazareth – and she just wants to know Him and make Him known.

Do Hard Things Community
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →