rebelling against low expectations

Wherever You Are, Be All There


As humans on earth, we sure spend a lot of time waiting, don’t we?

Waiting for the bus, waiting for the microwave, waiting to be tall enough to ride the rollercoaster… plus some more serious things.

Waiting is good! Waiting is an opportunity to learn patience, to prepare for whatever we’re waiting for, and to learn to trust God with His timing.

There are some things in life, though, that I think people unnecessarily wait for. A song has been stuck in my head recently, and my singing it has been driving my family crazy. It’s a song from the Disney movie Tangled. One line in particular has caught my attention:

“I’m just wondering, and wondering, and wondering, when will my life begin?” – Rapunzel

When will my life begin?

Sometimes it seems like we’re here… young people, just waiting. Not allowed to move on, and not allowed to move forward. We feel like where we are right now can’t be exciting, that it can’t be our ‘real life’ yet.

We feel like our ‘real life’ will start once we reach some specific goal we have in our heads: turning eighteen or twenty-one. Or maybe getting a job, graduating, or getting married.

The thing is, right here, right now, this is life! We don’t have to wait for those things that we think will launch us into ‘life’ in order to really live. We can do really cool, amazing, hard things right now!

We also don’t want to miss life today by spending all our thoughts and energy striving for, distracted by, and dreaming of what is ahead all the time. When we have that mentality, we can easily forget to live now.

Dreams are great! But life is now.

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -Jim Elliot

Our culture says that a teenager can’t lead a Bible study or start and write a magazine. Or that even if they do it, they certainly can’t do a good job!

Guess what?

God has allowed me to do these things, and He’s allowed me to do them now.

Maybe as teenagers we are less equipped, and maybe we don’t have experience; but in our weakness, God is strong. Besides, how else will we get experience? We could wait until we’re adults to gain that experience, but why not get a head start now?

Nobody, even adults, are qualified to do these things. Even they rely on God’s strength and wisdom rather than their own.

There’s something I haven’t told you.

I have multiple chronic illnesses that leave me in bed many days and make it hard to think most of the time…which means that I can’t go out in public.

It’s really easy for me to want to just wait until I’m both older and healthy to do hard things for the Lord. Why should I even try to do anything right now?

As I said before, however, God has allowed me to do these wonderful things in His strength: lead a bible study, co-write/edit a magazine, and more!

If I can do it now, you can too.

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About the author

Sara Willoughby

is the 20-year-old author of He's Making Diamonds: A Teen's Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness. She loves to read, write, and have adventures, be it off to Narnia one more time, wading through mud chasing the family dog, or playing a new board game with her two younger siblings. Sara is also a Lymie, TCK, and Bright Lights leader. You can find her at


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  • This was excellent, Sara!! I needed the reminder to do hard things right where I am in life, even though sometimes I feel incapable and weak. Thank you for writing. 🙂

  • Yay, Sara! This is a wonderful article. Your perspective on doing hard things even in your illnesses is a huge encouragement to me. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Your post was such a blessing, Sara. Thank you! What great reminders to trust in the Lord’s strength in our weaknesses and to live fully for Him now. I definitely got trapped into thinking “when I’m eighteen, I’ll be able to do this or that.” Now, at twenty I’m tempted to say, “If I get married, I’ll…” Fill-in-the-blank. I needed this post to help me see, yet again that I can pursue certain skills right now and use them for the Lord. Because beginning life isn’t contingent on circumstances.

    By the way, I struggled with chronic Lyme Disease when I was about your age. My symptoms were scary and kept me home most of the time too. I had lots of brain fog and it was hard for me to do school work. Even though it was difficult, I learned so much during it than I would have otherwise. It is encouraging to see you doing the same!

    Keep fighting the good fight of faith, friend. Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Moriah. 🙂

      Aw, I’m so sorry you’ve had to be where I am too, with Lyme disease. But you are so right… this has been the hardest season of my life, but also the one in which I have both learned the most and grown in my faith the most.

      Thank you! You too! 🙂

  • I’m so tempted to say that I’m impressed, but I think the better word would be encouraged. I feel impression leaves a memory, but encouragement leads to action. It is so easy to look down on young people, but even in my life 1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV) which says; “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” has been somewhat of a mission statement for me with regards to this. And though I’m only a few years older than you, that doesn’t mean that I too can’t get caught up in waiting for milestone events in my life. Love what you wrote, thank you for sharing. Keep doing what you’re doing. Much love, Collins.

    • I am so glad that you are encouraged! Thank you so much, your comment it so encouraging to me! 🙂 That Scripture is a theme for me as well. 😀

    • Thanks for sharing that scripture Collins! FYI, reformed rapper Andy Mineo has a song that has the same kinda theme. It’s called “Young”

  • Good job. I know so many people who say that they’ll get serious about life when they’re older. Maybe I’ll have to show them this 🙂

  • Wow great post! This is so true, way too often we are distracted (cell phones, stress etc’) and we just don’t fully focus on the now, it’s like we are here but not 100% here. Thanks for the great post and reminder!
    Haha I used to watch tangled all the time! Brought back memories you mentioning the song! (:

    • That’s a good point! It’s easy to get distracted by big things like dreams of the future, but it’s also just as easy (if not easier) to get distracted with those little things, too! 🙂
      Lol, it’s one of my favorite Disney movies. 😉 🙂


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  • Amazing post Sara! I actually watched Tangled for the first time about a week ago (I know, where have I been right?) The part where you say “We feel like our ‘real life’ will start once we reach some specific goal we have in our heads” really hit me because, that describes me. God has me in a very painful season right now, one that leaves me yearning for friends, excitement, parties, etc, and that song has been stuck in my head since I heard it. But you’re right, we can do great things for God now. Thanks for your encouragement! Keep it up!

    “Do what you can with what you have where you are”~ Teddy Roosevelt

  • Amazing!! Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and you put it into beautiful words!! I too have always thought I’d have to wait until I grew up to become a real person, but realized, I can do hard things now. Love this message and this article. ❤️❤️

rebelling against low expectations

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