So here you stand, a college degree in one hand, a pile of student loan bills in the other, a tiny apartment and a job (whether or not you enjoy it), and the worst now what? feeling in the world. You’ve been flooded with advice on prayer, money, how to choose a spouse, how to read the Bible in its historical-cultural context, the list of fifty books every Christian should read, and enough strength-finder tests to start your own small group. Graduation has come and gone, you’re applying for jobs like Christ is returning tomorrow, and you have absolutely no idea what next week might bring. Welcome to the world of the 20-something.

I graduated from Northwestern College in 2010 and consider my time there to be a true gift from God! I learned about God’s hand in every culture. I listened to world-class speakers exhort us to live fully for Christ. I took classes and read books that challenged me, frustrated me, and made me dig into the Bible even more. I was one of thousands to pass through a Christ-centered institution and be given tools for deeper Bible study, practical life application, and more. It was wonderful. It was a firehose treatment at times. But now, at 23, I feel a bit like a construction worker, loaded up with all the most useful, expensive power tools in the world but no building materials.

It’s no one’s fault. Certainly not our professors or parents or pastors. This is the stage of life where we are transitioning from learning amazing things about God and life to actually putting them into practice. It’s the stage when we’re learning how to manage our own budget and our own time, because no one’s around to wake us up in the morning or tell us what class we’re supposed to be in right now. It’s the stage when we second-guess our college degree, the person we’re dating, or what it is we truly feel called to do. In short, we’re wrestling.

Let’s not miss the obvious, though. We shouldn’t be waiting for life to begin. Our life, right now, IS the construction project. Break out the tools! Carpe diem! Too often 20-somethings feel that until we’re married or have a job in our field, life hasn’t really begun. We’re in a holding pattern. Wrong. Life is NOW. Right now, today. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! It’s a blessed day, and we serve a blessed God who won’t leave us wrestling.

So on behalf of 20-something millennials everywhere, let me offer these pearls. Be patient with us. Mentor us. Model godliness for us. And give us some room to live in the tool box.