It seems like just yesterday I turned thirteen years old.
I remember how excited I was. Finally a teenager. That lovely age where you're growing up. No longer a child, but not an adult yet either. A sometimes confusing, frustrating, yet beautiful age.
Now here I am today, at the dawn of turning twenty years old.
After today, I will no longer be a "teenager." My teenage years have come and gone.
I look back on the last seven years of my life and I'm amazing at how quickly they flew by. I ponder the fact that life is a vapor (James 4:14) and our days are numbered. They do not last forever. Time is a ticking clock that doesn't slow down for anyone.
The one thing about being young is that we feel we have our whole lives ahead of us. We think we have so much time. The common saying among teens today is "You only live once."
And that's right. You do only live once. But it's wrong, because it teaches that we can do whatever we want and not worry about the consequences because we can live however we want to. After all, when you're young you have so many years left to live well, don't you? Maybe. You don't know that.
The honest truth is that you don't know how many days you have to live.
You could die tomorrow. You could die in an hour. You don't know.
Yes, you may very well have your whole life left to live and may not die until you're old and have lived a long life. But what if you don't?
Would you be happy with the life you have lived?
It is so easy to put off stuff until tomorrow. Tomorrow is like a beautiful lie that we convince ourselves is ours to claim. We claim control of our lives and try to be our own master by treating our futures like they are certain. When they aren't.
We convince ourselves, "I'm too young to make a difference. I'm only a teenager. God couldn't use me. No one will take me seriously. I need to wait until I'm older to make a difference. When I'm older, then God will use me."
Oh, sweet friend, won't you let me tell a truth that is crazy awesome.
God wants to use you. Right now. Today. No matter how young you are. No matter how old you are. No matter how inadequate you feel. No matter what your past looks like. No matter what your fears are for your future. God wants to use you right here in the middle of your beautiful mess.
Because the great news?
He looks at your beautiful mess and He sees a story He has written waiting to be told. And this story doesn't begin when you turn 20, when you stop being a teenager, or when you become an adult.
No, this story is happening right now in front of us. Every moment God is whispering to you and asking you to join Him on the great adventure He has for your life. Right now He is asking you to let Him use your youth for His glory.
Time goes fast. Trust me, I know. When I was a young teenager--thirteen, fourteen, fifteen--I struggled so much with wanting to be grown up so I could "change the world." I wanted to do something big and great for God. I didn't think I could do that until I was older and so I wasted away my days dreaming about "tomorrow" when I would be old enough for God to use me.
Please, don't do that.
Please, don't waste your youth waiting to be older, waiting for God to use you. In the most mundane of tasks, God can use you to change someone's life, so don't you dare say for a moment that God can't use you right where you are. Because I promise you that He can. And He wants to! That's the amazing part of it. He doesn't need us, He wants us.
By God's grace I've published four books, started my own magazine ministry, created a blog, and have had other wonderful opportunities during my teenage years. God has been so amazing to me. I look back on what He has done, not just in the last seven years, but over my whole life, and I am blown away by His love for me. He loves to give good gifts to His children. He loves to give good gifts to you.
This is my challenge to you today.
Seize your youth. Seize today. Look to Jesus and ask Him what He wants you to do today to bring glory to His Name. What if it was your last day to live? What would you want to do today to show Him how much you love Him before you see Him face to face?
Serve Him today. Serve His people. Love Him today. Love His people. Glorify Him in everything you do. Let Him use your youth to do something amazing, something only He could do. You are not too young.
He has created you for this moment, right now. Seize it.
Make today amazing for Him, before today is yesterday. ♥
Isabella Morganthal (20) is a homeschool high school graduate who loves Jesus with all of her heart. She is a drummer, writer, creative arts director, and modern-day abolitionist.