Your Coming of Age Crisis

87c255c475015f01ddf848b740825fbbNo one gets to opt out. For most of us, it happens somewhere in our mid-20s. But it can begin earlier, or later. Usually there’s an external trigger, possibly more than one: the death of a family member, a physical illness, a bitter break-up.* But it’s more than the trigger. “It” is the result of your bio-chemical legacy, passed on by your parents and blended in the secret laboratory of DNA.

It’s not all “nature,” there’s some “nurture” thrown in. But it’s as real as a short leg or a curved spine. And if you ignore it, you’ll be far less whole than any merely physically handicapped person.

The new warts-and-all you may have a label: OCD, ADHD, bi-polar, asperger’s, addictive personality disorder. Or it may go unnamed: subtle narcissism, a hair trigger temper, charming pre-sociopathology (a genuine inability to understand those unlike yourself).

It’s the challenge from which all other challenges stem. No, “it” is not all you are. But it shapes and colors every choice you make. Not recognizing it, is like not knowing what country you live in. Learn your pathology and turn it into a toolkit. All pathologies have a silver lining, and all people have a pathology, therefore all people have a silver lining: Michael Phelps channeled his ADHD into becoming the greatest swimmer of all time. Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill learned to temper their bi-polar mood swings into inspired insights…as have thousands of great artists, inventors, and leaders.

The second greatest challenge is to mentor others, to come alongside those whose struggles you recognize. Befriend them, model the journey to wholeness for them. But be patient, and then be still more patient–remember how you were (and are). Show them what they can be by living it out before their eyes. This is the only way you’ll ever complete your own journey.

But most important of all, seek the one “who formed you in your innermost parts, who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13). The One who knew before you were born why you were uniquely—and intentionally—made this way.

Talk to the Designer.

* To read the story of my own coming of age crisis, click here.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Your Coming of Age Crisis

  1. pkadams says:

    So true. I don’t know any ‘normal’ people. Do you? Some problems are harder to hide, but we all have something.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. roninjax says:

    Wonderful wisdom Mitch. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I had mine when I turned 20. I realized I was no longer a teenager and that I was going to have to be an adult…for better or worse. I would not go back to being a teenager for anything! Thanks for the post and the reminder!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. abeaustin says:

    I’ve heard it said that “God love you too much to not give you a problem bigger than you can handle.” A life where nothing goes wrong, a life where we just don’t need Him…it would be the most boring and unfulfilling possible existence.

    One of the universal silver-linings to each crisis is that it gives us an opportunity to say “I simply cannot handle this…so will you come help me God?” God is always ready to show up for us in these times (if we let Him), and then life is never the same again.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Craig White says:

    Superb mate..😉


  6. I had mine when I was in my mid 20s. I had family though to help me get through it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    Praise God he comes alongside to show us how to turn our foibles into a toolkit. His word the Bible makes a great instruction manual –full of affirmation and encouragement also!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. revruss1220 says:

    I love this… especially the reminder of the importance of mentoring others in ways to appreciate and even USE their particular personality quirks as unique gifts from God. Thanks, brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ann Coleman says:

    I am in awe of your honesty! And you’re right, we all have “something.” The trick is to recognize it, deal with it, and don’t let it hold us back. That way we can help others in the same boat. And I love that last line…yes, our creator knows us and loves us, exactly as we are.

    Liked by 3 people

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