Friday, October 11, 2013

Dear 25 year old-- Love, Dr. Theresa Hover

Dear 25 year old,

When I was 25, I believed I would change the world. As it turns out, very few people change the world at large. But we all have the ability to impact the people around us. Don’t be discouraged as you go through your years when you realize that your life isn’t turning into the dream life that you imagined it would be. It’s ok. God can change the world, but He cares more about your obedience in following Him in each little thing and each little step of the day.

Stop caring what people think about you. I barely remember my 25th year, but I remember it was a blur of stressful school exams, worrying about how I compared to my classmates, and stressing about my professor’s opinions of me. What a waste of time. If I could have let go of the fear that I would embarrass myself or that I would let someone down, I would have grown and learned much much more.

I wish I would have sat down and had a serious talk with myself BEFORE I was 25, before I started a graduate school program. I would have asked myself, “Is this really what you are passionate about? Are you passionate $100,000 in debt worth? Because that’s what it is going to cost you. Are you passionate enough to put off a family for this? Because that’s what it’s going to cost you.” Maybe I would have made a different decision… maybe not, but at least I would have been thinking a little more clearly. Education is good, but education isn’t the most important thing in life. And education doesn’t guarantee you will be happy, rich, successful or satisfied. Or even employed for that matter. Pursuing advanced education should be a very prayfully made decision.

Invest in relationships. Your relationship with God first (I am the worse at this one), Your spouse next (100% invest yourself in this relationship, in the same way Jesus 100% invested himself in YOU.) Your family is next. I have learned, that 25 years goes by very fast, and every year after that seems to go by faster. We are not guaranteed a certain amount of time here on earth, and neither are our family members, so make the most of this time, demonstrate your love for your family every chance you get like it will be your last chance to show them love on this earth.

Invest in the people around you, especially young Christ followers. God’s word can only be living and active when it is lived out and active in His people! And those actions speak louder to a new follower than any sermon or book. It is super scary and intimidating to share our knowledge of God and Hope in Him, because I feel like if they reject God’s word, they are also rejecting me. But God said that would happen sometimes, and it’s ok. Satan has put fear into us to STOP us from making disciples, BECAUSE he knows that mentorship is a POWERFUL relationship blessed by God.

Don’t live in FEAR!! I have spent the last 2 years of my life living in and out of fear, and I hate it!! God has not given us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of POWER, LOVE and SELF-DISCIPLINE.

STOP Comparing yourself. I have wasted WAY too much of my 20 something years comparing myself to my peers. Being jealous of friends in relationships, being jealous of single friends, being jealous of friends who were engaged. Comparing my engagement “story”, comparing my wedding, comparing my marriage “nest”. Being jealous of friends who have well paying jobs, being jealous of friends working in ministry, being jealous of friends who are stay at home moms. Being jealous of friends who are starting their families and having children… For where you have envy and selfish ambition, you have disorder and every evil practice. Actually, jealousy hurts you more than anyone else.

Let this be the year that you finally embrace who GOD has made you to be and the life he has given you today. Do not let a day go by where you fail to consider all the blessings in your life and Thank God for them. Celebrate for your friends! Praise God for their good blessings. And take time each day to open your eyes to unique blessings that he has hand-picked just for you.

Dr. Theresa Hover
Doctor Theresa Hover is also my beautiful big sister! She is married to Shaun's older brother Ryan. :) 

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