The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I'm 21 years old. I have a strong faith in God and love for all Christian denominations. I know this e-mail might seem strange coming from a 21 year old, but basically I'm scared about growing up.

Physically, I've developed normally. I'm a fairly big man (6'1), and I'm quite strong and fit, thank God; for instance, I do boxing and handstand push-ups. I'm at the stage where I shave my face every second day and my chest hair is beginning to spread all the way across my chest, but it mainly grows between my pecs at the moment, so I'm more or less done growing physically.

Overall, I'm glad to be finished with the teenage years. Don't get me wrong, they could have been a lot worse and there's a lot of stuff I wish I was more grateful for back then, but, alas, that's life. I just have to forgive myself and learn from it.

But at the same time I'm scared about growing up. It kind of feels weird being an adult. I can't believe I'm a 'man' now because I still feel like the same old 'John' when he was 12! I remember being like Malcolm and Reese from Malcolm in the Middle, but now I'm more like Francis!

I'm working on a Master's Degree. I'm glad to be finished my undergraduate degree and school. I do very well academically, but I don't like college that much. I've never drank alcohol or smoked before, and I don't party and I'm glad. I've never kissed a girl either or had a relationship with one.

I suppose I don't know where I'm going with this email, but I don't know where my life's going. I'm happy enough at the moment as long as I'm healthy and my family is OK. I hope to get a good enough job where I don't have to do homework anymore! (haha) But I don't know what'll happen after that. I feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes seeing my parents old now and being taller than them. I wish they were young again. I'm just afraid of living alone forever, but at the same time I'm afraid of getting a girlfriend; it just terrifies me.

Any advice of how your life went when you were my age?


Answer

It sounds to me that you have two basic fears: a fear of responsibility and a fear of change. The fears are based in your imagination because you have not yet experienced the changes or responsibilities that you fear. Imagination can make things appear to be worse than they really are. Thus, the solution is to face the fears. There will be some minor struggles, new habits will need to be established, but you will find that life goes on and gets more interesting.

Hi Jeffrey,

Many thanks for the reply. I really appreciate and have taken your advice. It makes sense now that the only thing I really have to fear is fear itself. As you said, the only way to solve this is to face your fears. I'm focusing on getting this Master's Course done at the moment, but once that's finished I'll be moving on to the next stage of my life I suppose.

Many thanks once again Jeffrey. All the best and may God bless.