In less than one month, my book Growing Up will have been published for one whole year. In some ways I feel it was yesterday that I sat at a table in Starbucks to type the very first words. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago. In all ways, I am grateful. For you who have read it and for you who are reading these words now wondering if this book is for you.
To the wonderer, may I use this space to share part of the letter I wrote at the beginning of my book? And may I even be so bold as to say if you catch yourself relating to any part of these words that you take the leap and invest in this book for yourself?
I wrote it, yes. More than that, I believe it. I believe in the power of God to meet us wherever we are: at work, at church, at home, and every place between. I believe we all need a little help as we begin a new thing or feel the stirring inside us to begin soon. I believe we are all growing up in some way. And so without further ado, I want to share a sneak peek of the letter that begins the wild journey of Growing Up: Navigating Life Between the Office and the Altar:
The world is overrun with people telling us how to get to the top, how to make partner by thirty-five, how to be the best in our field, and how to become a CEO, but I don’t often see people telling us how to work where we are in the beginning. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ambition. Without a little ambition, you wouldn’t be holding this book right now. The problem is that when we let our ambition become our end-all-be-all, telling us that we haven’t “made it” until we reach the level of success our ambition deems worthy, we forget the beauty of where we are right now: spending our hours in a small cube in a dusty office with little view of the outside world.
The beauty is in the journey. It’s waking up each day, putting in the work for whomever we work for, witnessing in our actions and our words that Jesus is Lord, declaring that all things—including us and our work—are by Him and through Him and for Him. It’s recognizing that we may not be where we want to be, but we are a work in progress, just as much as our careers and relationships.
I’m so grateful you chose to read these words, whatever your reason. You are a prized possession to the King of kings, and I am honored that He might use these words to speak to you, His dearly loved child. God deserves every ounce of glory for this book because He is strong where we are weak. He is sovereign over even the smallest details affecting our lives.
My hope is that in these words, you will find that because you are known and seen and adopted by God, you do not have to prove yourself to be worthy or loved. You don’t have to work your hands to the bone or your health to its breaking point to be a good worker because, in the work set before you today, God only requires obedience, not perfection. I hope you see that you are allowed to feel your fears, but you cannot let them dictate your decisions. I hope you see that you don’t have to check your faith at the door of your office building, and you don’t have to hide your profession as you enter the sanctuary, because God is working in both.
I hope you are reminded that God has created you for community, and you need people grounded in faith around you who are not only willing to celebrate the steps you take but are also ready to reach into the pit of despair and ease you out of darkness. I hope you find that even when jobs come and go, even when you’ve been waiting a while, even when people disappoint you and your work is hard, Jesus Christ stands firm as a foundation on which you build every part of your life.
I cannot promise eloquent words and powerful one-liners, but I can promise I will share with you what the Lord has shown me. I cannot give you the wisdom of professionals more than thirty years into their careers (though I have friends who have graciously offered a few words throughout the book), but I can open my heart and share with you the very same struggles you’re facing now because I’m facing them as well.
I want to give you a space to feel like someone understands, like someone sees what’s happening in your life right now. I can give you a sob story and a joke all on the same page if that is what it takes, because I want to partner with you in life. We are not meant to go through life alone. There will be struggles, friend, but take heart. We have each other, and more importantly, we have Jesus. May you meet Him here.