To My Dissatisfied Friend

Dear Friend,

I’ve heard recently about how dissatisfied you are feeling. You’ve got me thinking. I’m wondering if I can share a little bit from my perspective.

I know where you’re coming from. I know that feeling of dissatisfaction and stagnation. I know how it feels to be stuck, and I can tell you: it’s not going to last forever.

My first argument is that, as an adult, you can choose whether to go or stay. Sometimes we have to pull up our bootstraps and do something to change where we are. Adults have the freedom and responsibility to make these kinds of decisions. One of my friends with a bachelor’s degree recently applied for CNA school because she saw the importance of moving in a different, more specialized direction.

Other times, we have to dig deep where we are and make the most of what we have. I have friends who have stayed with one seemingly meaningless job, trying their best and working hard, only to get a promotion or to meet someone along the way who offered them a better job.

Sometimes we must make changes and other times we must stay put. Often, we should do one in one situation and the other in another situation. It is prayer and Christian community that helps us determine which is which.

Secondly, remember that social media lies. All of your Facebook friends have their own problems. It may look like I have my life together, but I don’t. I work 50-70 hours a week and get paid less than a garbage truck guy. I’m building an entire high school English curriculum from a few textbooks. I’m planning a wedding, yes, but I’ve got some less than enthusiastic family members to plan it with. My fiance and I are working through previous struggles and how they relate to our current situation. Everyone has their own crap.

Being dissatisfied is very normal in one’s twenty-somethings. After the adventure and excitement (and lack of quite so many obligations) in high school and college, it is easy to hit the “real world” like a brick wall. It is also rare to get your desired job right out of college. On top of this, twenty-somethings are making big decisions in their relational lives. Making and keeping friends; when, who, and how to date; engagement, marriage, kids… That’s a lot, and it’s okay to feel dissatisfied. But you cannot let it define you.

Here’s what I want to say: You are not stuck here. You have great potential and a great future. God is not finished with you yet. I have been where you are, and it is hard, but it is not forever. Lean into Him, change what you need to, stay put with what you can’t change. Make building a solid, God-honoring community your highest goal, right after becoming more like Christ. Allow your disappointments to sanctify you.

Ironically, this is the same advice I would give myself at my current stage: Allow work, wedding, and relational struggles to sanctify you. Isn’t that every Christian’s goal?

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 Peter 1:7

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