We’ve all heard the phrase, “Adulting is hard.” It has become so common that the meaning slides past us and we either roll our eyes and call it drama or simply nod and soldier on.
Can we acknowledge it together? Being a young adult is difficult.
We have to navigate tricky situations without someone talking us through it. We have to face our fears without being cheered on.
Gone are the days when Mom and Dad were a few feet away, arms outstretched, promising to catch us and telling us how brave we are. We have to accomplish our goals and be diligent without someone cheering for us, clapping loudly, choking out praise through sobs and tears.
But as believers, we can be certain that God sees every choice and obstacle we face as young adults, and He is proud of us when we overcome them. Just as a father is proud of his children, God is proud of us. Here are 6 things God is so, so proud of you for doing and is cheering you on as we speak.
1. God Is Proud of You for Making Sacrifices
Every day, we encounter the needs of the people around us. Maybe a sister is in college and needs to study but has a three-year-old; maybe Mom and Dad are sick and need groceries, or maybe a ministry at church is facing a shortage of workers and needs someone to share the load.
Wherever the need is, pouring ourselves out for others can be a hard choice to make—especially as a young adult. With so many things to figure out and bills to pay, taking on someone else’s problems might feel like drowning.
But 1 Peter 4:10 tells us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
God notices when you give to others more than you think you have. He not only notices, but He also promises to bless you with even more than you gave!
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
2. God Is Proud of You When You Muster Courage
If I had to pick one word, to sum up, my greatest fear, it would be “unknowns.” But as young adults, we’ve only lived a fraction of our expected lifespan. Our brains don’t even finish developing until around 25, and there is so much we haven’t experienced yet.
With more unknowns than knowns, it takes a generous helping of courage to tackle each day and the new challenges it brings.
Are you flying alone for the first time? Preparing for that job interview? Moving to a new city? Getting married? Having your first kid? Facing a serious illness or injury?
God notices when you refuse to let fear stop you from taking a step of faith. So many times in Scripture, He tells believers not to be afraid.
Paul reminds us “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
And when we muster our courage and step forward in faith, we can be absolutely confident that God is with us.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
3. God Is Proud of You for Growing Relationships
Relationships (romantic or otherwise) are some of the most challenging things we face as young adults. Setting boundaries, communicating, listening, healthy conflict—so much goes into developing and maintaining connections with people—connections that are often fragile and sometimes painful.
We need more than a little courage to muster the honesty and vulnerability needed to have any sort of lasting relationship.
Are you sharing your struggles and failures with someone? Are you confronting someone about a behavior that is harmful to them and others? Are you setting aside your schedule to listen to a friend who needs your support?
God knows exactly how hard relationships are, and He sees the efforts you make to preserve them.
Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
God wants us to invest in each other, and He is proud of us when we do.
4. God Is Proud of You for Exercising Discipline
Discipline, in its simplest form, is self-parenting. It’s choosing to eat only a serving of ice cream instead of the whole tub, saying no to playing a video game all night when you have work in the morning, or scrubbing the bathroom when you’d rather be doing anything else.
It’s making good decisions even though you’d rather make fun decisions, and it’s so much harder when you don’t have someone checking behind you.
Are you going to work? Applying yourself? Studying? Reading your Bible even when you don’t feel like it? Praying even when you’re not sure God is listening? Saying no to things that seem fun but will harm you in the long run?
God sees those little choices you make throughout your day—those areas where you apply discipline to your life—and they make Him happy.
Paul mentions discipline and how important it is in several of his books: “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)
Discipline is something the Holy Spirit gives us, and our practice of it does not go unnoticed by God.
5. God Is Proud of You When You Surrender Big Decisions
College, jobs, marriage, money—starting a life of our own means facing a host of choices that feel like mistakes waiting to happen. There are so many ways to go wrong, and these looming mistakes have longer-lasting consequences than choosing between ham and cheese or peanut butter for lunch.
Are you considering college? Have you been offered a new job? Are you looking for a house? Or maybe you’re thinking about joining a ministry that would take you overseas. Whatever decision you’re facing, you can’t make it alone because you can’t see as much of the picture as God sees.
Give it to God and wait for His input. When we surrender those inscrutable choices to Him—when we give up control—He honors that and prepares the way for us:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
6. God Is Proud of You When You Accept Responsibility
Patterns of behavior are like deep ruts in the road: we slip into them, and they dictate our path, forcing our wheels in a predetermined direction. Many of us establish our patterns based on what our parents did when we were younger. But as we grow older and begin our own lives, we alone are responsible for the choices we make.
Are you accepting responsibility for your actions? Have you recognized destructive behavior patterns and addressed them?
Paul writes, “But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:4-5)
When we take ownership of our actions, God can begin a work of healing and restoration that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. And you’d better believe He is proud.
Not all of us grew up with invested parents, but we should understand the expectation. When a child draws a picture, the parent clips it to the fridge so everyone can see it. When a child steps out in front of a school assembly with knocking knees and delivers a speech, the parent cheers and claps louder than everyone else.
If our earthly parents are proud of our accomplishments, is it so hard to believe that our heavenly Father smiles when we face our fears or surrender difficult decisions to Him?
Adulting is hard, but God sees the progress we make every day and is so proud of us!
Caroline Madison is a freelance editor and writer with a passion for the written word and a special interest in telling and reading stories that present biblical truths in fresh ways. Through prayer, God’s Word, counseling, and the love of fellow believers, she is finding new freedom every day on her own journey of healing from legalism.