When processing who to ask to give a few thoughts on navigating through 2012. Kaitlin Kubassek came to mind right away. Not only have I enjoyed watching her through the years of SLI (Koinonia's after highschool program "Student Leadership Insitute") and twenty20. I have been blessed to have her teach my three oldest girls in the children's ministry. I am so excited to have women like Kaitlin in my little women's lives to look up to through the years.
Thank you so much Kaitlin for taking the time to put this together. Your life is a testimony of a young woman focusing on God and reaping many blessing because of it. Continue setting the example for all of our young ladies!!!
"Society constantly feeds us crap."
by Kaitlin Kubassek
Nicole asked me to share about being a young woman in 2012 and how I have stayed focused on God while growing up in today’s society. So I've put together a couple thoughts...
Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on what's important when society constantly feeds us crap. "How to look like this celebrity!" "How to get a boyfriend!" "How to live it up in your 20's" etc, etc, etc. Sometimes when I read stuff like this, I can begin to question or doubt things..."Wait, I'm 22 already, am I really living it up?!? Hahaha, it sounds ridiculous, but seriously, if you see that garbage as truth you're in big trouble.
For me, it comes down to a few simple things:
1. I'm blessed to have godly parents who have set high standards for me and always asked the tough questions. In high school, I wasn't such a fan of "Be home by 11, please." Seriously?!? I didn't get it at the time, but they were teaching me things. I'm so thankful for their diligent praying over the years. My mom and dad are so faithful. I’m so glad that I can now sit down with them and ask them absolutely anything and they offer me the best advice. And it's free! :)
2. To follow high school, a large part of my maturing as an individual, daughter, sister, and friend came from the time I spent in SLI. This was a time of learning to die to self, although I do realize that this is a life process and constant journey. I was given the opportunity to make my church mine, not just the one I’d always attended or the place my parents picked when I was 4 years old, but really embrace what our pastor has called us to in "Building a House to Belong to." I wasn’t cool with just being a spectator anymore. There were so many other lessons that run deep from that year, but I can't go on and on...just ask me sometime! :)
If I was a parent, SLI is something I would strongly recommend. I feel that for kids coming out of high school, myself included, it's nearly impossible to already know what you're going to do with your life! Why not take a year and invest it into discovering more of what makes you tick? What do you have to lose? Let me help you out: NOTHING! Instead, there's so much to gain. It's a great opportunity to work through the things you've experienced growing up and find out WHY you believe the things you do. For those who may say, "It’s not for everyone..." I would completely disagree. However, it’s not a cure or a fix-all program; you’ll get out of it exactly what you put in.
3. My more recent revelations in this area come from lessons I’ve learned in the area of friendships. Who am I accountable to? Do I have someone in my life who can tell me when I screw up or miss the mark I’ve set for myself? Who I can tell absolutely anything to? Someone who is going to challenge me to be better? I'm thankful to have a friend like this as well as an amazing sister. I must say, I’m super blessed.
If you're thinking, "Man, I wish I had someone like that in my life!" it's never too late to begin to develop new relationships and invest in the people in your world! But be warned, relationships take work! You have to be willing to invest your time and be open and vulnerable, which actually means you could get hurt, but any relationship involves risk. For me, it's been totally worth it.
4. Finally, I’d say a huge part of this journey is in replacing the things that society says about you with what God's Word says. There are the more obvious things like "I have been made in an amazing way" and "I am a child of God" that will destroy messages from our society such as "Look like this!" or "Do these things to get noticed!" But for me it's been about stopping fear before it can take me down a scary path. I feel like I’ve been on a trust journey for most of my life, and learning to place my life in God's hands day after day. I have to choose to trust because worrying about the future insulates me from doing the things I can do today that will affect my future in a positive way. For example, if I get worrying about my health, I am distracted from the things I can actually do to ensure a long and happy life, like eating healthy and exercising. Or if I get into fear about what my future holds and what my next move should be, my focus drifts from the things I can do to affect the things I want for my life, like reading God's promises, investing in relationships, saving money, etc. These truths come from an awesome teaching I heard recently by James MacDonald. Bottom line: fear and worry have no place in my heart and mind. I can choose to give in to them or I can live free, it’s my choice.
If you are in your teens or early 20's and you would love some more advice on how to get through different situations in your life feel free to ask. We would love to answer any questions or thoughts you may have!!!