Do you remember when it was important to let people know you were now a BIG kid? Maybe someone asked if you enjoyed a certain book and you said, “No! Those books are for little kids,” and your voice was slightly sneery. Maybe you and your friend were bored and she suggested a game. “No, that’s a baby game,” and you came up with a much more sophisticated option.

Maybe your parents sometimes acted silly and you wanted to hide in a hole because of all people they should know how to behave in a dignified, adult manner. Or maybe growing up was pushed on you with words like, “Big kids don’t cry,” or, “At your age, you should know better.”

I remember longing to be a grown-up. I didn’t see kids getting much respect or freedom and I wanted both badly. I told myself, “When I’m on my own, I’ll like what I like and no one will say I’m bad for it. I will not be looked down on. I will matter and I will choose.” I noticed most grown-ups were only half-alive, no enthusiasm or hopefulness left, but I hoped I could manage to be in charge without losing all of that.

Now that I’m grown, I sometimes feel I’m still trying to fit into shoes that are too big. I announce, “I will do it myself!” only to find I’m unable to follow through. My lip starts to quiver and I think what a sorry excuse for a grown-up I am, but God doesn’t agree.  She whispers to my heart, “Your helplessness is a perfect match for My helpfulness. I never meant for you to get so big, you never needed any help from anybody! Even a grown plant needs the sun.”

I announce, “I will do it myself!” only to find I’m unable to follow through.

The truth is, as adults we still need help and according to God, that’s perfect. We were never meant to do anything on our own. We were created to work hand in hand with God, yoked up together, the Vine producing the branch. The world will hold up its ideal of bootstrapping independence and say you don’t measure up, but God does not look down on you. Welcome to the reality of adulthood: You matter, God respects you and gives you the freedom to choose.