rebelling against low expectations

What Every 18-Year-Old Needs to Know


It seems like everyone over thirty writes a letter to their eighteen-year-old self.

They’re usually full of advice about graduating or dating, future hopes, and reminders to trust God. (Pretty much all the things they wish they had been told.)

I’m eighteen now. And since I’ll probably have a lot of other things going on in 15 years, I figured I’d go ahead and knock this out.

So this is my open letter of things I keep telling myself.

1. This life is not forever.

I’ll admit, this is more like something I’ve seen than something I tell myself. But it’s been in my head a lot lately, so I’m including it.

Life is extremely fragile, and, though it feels weird to say, that’s actually a good thing. It means that even if you don’t get everything out of this life — if you miss the opportunities, your dream job, that relationship — if it all falls through, it’s okay.

You’ll still have Jesus, and he’s more than you could ever ask for. Because guess what? Unlike the here-and-now, your hope in him will last.

He is forever. And he’s so, so good.

2. Your pain is not forever.

Yes, things are hard. And yes, it will only get harder. But God is still good, he’s in charge of this, and he’s coming back. This will end. Every tear and drop of blood now will only bring you more joy when he comes.

3. God is smarter than you.

It’s okay that you don’t have it figured out. It’s okay that your furthest plans are next week’s work schedule. God’s the one in charge, he’s the one working, and if your life is going to be useful it’ll be because of him.

He knows what he’s doing.

So keep going, trust him, and be faithful with what you do have.

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About the author

Faye C'Naim

(pronounced "fake-name") is someone who, having first donned her alias as a security measure, has grown rather attached to the old thing and plans to keep it. She hopes her writing helps and encourages you.


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By Faye C'Naim
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 →