Friendship, Identity, Issue 28, Relationships

What I Wish I Knew At 19

What I Wish I Knew At 19

Dear 19-year-old Celena,

I know what you are feeling right now. You’re angry and disappointed at your ‘A’ level grades. You’ve worked hard and even tried to get a good non-academic record just in case this happened, but your appeals to get into a local university have been rejected twice. I know you’re crying yourself to sleep and asking God why your grades are so terrible. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you that it isn’t all bad!

You have a wonderful mentor who is interested in your life’s journey. Speak to her. She will be a lifeline in this situation, praying with you, having meals with you, and checking in on you every now and then. She will be your fervent prayer warrior, asking that the right door will open for you. And it will! Spoiler alert: you’re going to the University of Western Australia and it will be the best time of your life, providing you with an education and a path toward independent adulthood. God will take every one of your failures and set you on a different path that will prove to be beautiful in its season.

There’s something else I have to say. I’m sure you already know by now that you love the bad boys who are oh-so-cool! You think nothing of Christian boys who seem boring, stoic and are too serious for the free-spirited you. “Unequally yoked” is a phrase that does not exist in your dating dictionary, but trust me, it will be a huge mistake!

You will come to know through the next decade that the guys you will end up dating because of this will somehow share the same agenda of fulfilling their physical desires and the relationships will fall apart because there is no common moral ground to hold them together. Hollywood sells you the idea that sex is pleasurable and we should gratify ourselves whenever we feel like it with whomever we want. But the Bible tells us that unless sex is within the boundaries of a sacred marriage, it will be dangerous and even destructive.

Let me be clear though — dating a Christian does not protect you from crossing physical boundaries. There will be the temptation to experiment with sexual activity; you will have to stand strong in your belief that if a guy truly loves and respects you, he wouldn’t demand this of you outside of marriage.

Finally, I’ll share one of my favourite verses with you — “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov 31:30). This amazing verse sums up what you should pay the most attention to. I encourage you to invest your time in learning what it means to fear the Lord, loving Him and loving others. You only live out your 20s once, so make the best of it! I hope that in spite of the discouragements you currently face, the spoilers from the future will help you to make wise decisions for Christ today!


29-year-old Celena

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