Saturday, May 8, 2010

On turning 18, fear, and trust

Turning 18 gives me mixed emotions.

I'm an adult, which is pretty cool. I get to buy lottery tickets, smoke, go to jail, and vote. More importantly: my words hold a new weight coming out of my mouth. I can be recognized as some one with an opinion, and not just merely viewed as a teenager shouting into the wind. I get to be viewed as an adult shouting into the wind!
Ok, maybe I'm being a little too snarky and sarcastic about this whole thing. I really do view it as more than a legal "coming of age". 

To tell you the truth, I have a serious conflict about this whole turning 18 thing, and it really doesn't have to do with my birthday at all. April 23rd 2010 signified that I am one huge step closer to leaving home and starting my own life. As anyone who has experienced this knows, that's both one of the best things and one of the scariest.

In a little under two months I'll head off to college. I'm going to West Point, located in New York, so there really is no transition period. I'll be living in Boise one day and be living in barracks at USMA the next.
I really am excited for this experience and lifestyle. This has been my dream since I can remember having dreams. I am excited to be bent, broken, and recast. I'm excited to truly learn what it means to lead.

None of this comes without a cost. I have to leave my family, girlfriend, friends, and home town. This is the hardest and shittiest part of the whole thing. I'm being 100% real: more fear then I've ever known rises in me when I think about it. Fear that I may not see some of my closest friends for years. Fear that my relationship and friendship with my girlfriend will change because I wont be there for her when other people are. Fear that one day I'll wake up at age 30 and wonder where the last 10 years went.

Fear isn't healthy, and I know that. I also don't know any other way to combat this fear save two things: ask Papa for a shoulder to lean on, and make every effort to be here now, at every moment. I'm striving to enjoy every moment I have left in High School.

It's almost like I'm an adult in everybody else's eyes but mine. To me, I'm just a kid who doesn't want to leave his loved ones, and no matter what I tell myself I keep coming back to that. And yet I am most definitely not a boy; I'm a man, and a peaceful, free, and stupendous man at that. I'm finding being "peaceful" and "free" is a lot harder when that's not at all how I feel.

And right now I kind of feel like this blog post is depressing. I really and honestly don't mean it to be: this is just where I'm at. I don't want it to sound like turning 18 was a bad experience and now I'm dragging my feet; that's not it at all. In fact, I'm finding that I want to be more present from moment to moment now then ever before. This whole going to college thing is starting to bring things into focus. It's hard, and I know I'll be glad for it in the long run.

It's easy for me to say that I trust Papa to take care of everything while I'm gone: my relationships, girlfriend, and family. It's a lot harder to believe that in my heart and to actually trust Him. I'm working on it, but I'm not there yet. What I do know is that Papa has a plan that's a whole lot better then mine. My hope is that that plan isn't going to be emotionally stressful and that it won't hurt. My hope is that my worst fears don't come to fruition in that plan. I'm having a hard time trusting Papa because I feel like if I do, it somehow gives Him permission to use my fears to stretch me. I know I probably need to check my heart about this stuff, and I bet most of you could show me verses that prove me wrong. Nonetheless, this is where I'm at now. I want God's help, but am having a hard time trusting Him. How's that working for me? Not very well.

For now I want to enjoy every moment, which includes (but is not limited to): staying up late and blogging, going to opening night movies, doing crazy stuff with friends, hanging with my gf as often as I can, hanging out with my friends at every opportunity, and focusing on being all there with my family when we are having fun together. A couple of those things already have a check next to them.

Prayers headed this way would be awesome,


  1. Thanks for sharing, Phace.

    Becoming an adult is a scary thing. And it'll continue to be scary. But if I ever knew anyone up to the challenge of keeping himself true to who he is, it's you.

  2. You have a good head and a good heart, Colin ... your future will unfold one day at a time. Trust Him and trust yourself.

  3. A faithless fear might not be of God. But the man who has faith in God will find himself shaped through the process of facing those fears with Christ. Fire might burn and destroy, but when understood, conquered and utilized, it brings warmth where there was nothing but stone cold ice.

    Don't deny the fear. Face it with Father. Because He will never burden you with more than you can stand. Whatever else remains is for your benefit.

    Go get 'em.

  4. You're awesome and I'm so thankful for your "realness". We will miss you and we will visit. Growing up is a really shitty thing sometimes, yet it's worth it and I wouldn't go back for anything! Love you!

  5. As someone who doesn't know you or your family, I can say without predjudice that you are an amazing young man and I have no doubt you will do well in life. As far as God using your fears to stretch you I must say this: In my experience when God has stretched me it has not been through using my worst fears. Instead I have been blindsided by things I didn't even think to fear. That probably sounds negative, but I mean it to be encouraging. You can let go of your fears because God will stretch you in unexpected ways. And always, God is good.

  6. @bristowmom
    Thank you very much for your kind words! I appreciate your wisdom and encouragement.

    Out of curiosity, how did you find my blog?

  7. You have expressed your feelings beautifully! I am going to turn 18 in few months too!!! Can't wait to experience being an official adult!!!

  8. Another wonderfull thing about turning eighteen is religious freedom.