When Life Doesn’t Turn out Like We’d Hoped

when life throws you lemons

I’m a single female in my late twenties. So I’m in that stage of life where I literally cannot open Facebook without seeing another couple engaged or pregnant. I’ll be honest, there are days where it irks me so much I have to get off social media.

It’s because of “the list.”

That’s right, society has a list. It’s a checklist of: “you are this far along in life, therefore you should have achieved these things.” For the post-grad the list is: an immediate steady job that can be transitioned into a long-term career, if possible in a cool hipster city. For young marrieds it’s a baby and a cute home. It seems that for a single woman my age it’s a husband, a steady boyfriend… or at least some exciting dating life worth bragging about. If you don’t have these things, you are woefully behind in life and worthy of pity or shame.

It can be paralyzing. And demoralizing. The more you look at “the list” the more boxes seem to be unchecked in your own life. Everyone’s great life news is suddenly eclipsed by the feeling of being left behind and left out.

Society claims that these achievements—relationship status, careers, income, location—are the benchmarks of success and meaning and self-worth.

I know I’m not alone in this. When I graduated college and grad school it seemed as if the majority of people I knew went through some sort of disillusioned frustration that termed the “quarter-life crisis.”

We all felt that if we jumped through all the college hoops and played our cards right, we were entitled to check the life boxes of “stable job” and “clear career decision” off our life lists immediately upon graduation. The reality was that it rarely works like that, and as a result many felt like society (or even God) had sold us a bill of goods.

The truth is, “the list” is a lie. Society claims that these achievements—relationship status, careers, income, location—are the benchmarks of success and meaning and self-worth. That’s simply not true. Our worth is in who Jesus says we are—and He says we were worth dying for.

There was a time in my life where I felt like God stripped away all the things I tend to place my identity in besides Him. It was like He unchecked every box, and then looked at me and said, “If I tell you now—with none of these achievements to your name—that I love you and that you are worthwhile and important, will you believe me?” That question was difficult to answer.

I had to fill my head with the truth of what the Bible says in order to undo the damage all the world’s lies had done to my self-worth.

Here are just a few of the other things the Bible says we are:

• A dearly loved child of God (Col. 3:12)

• A co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)

• A conqueror (Romans 8:37)

• God’s workmanship, created for good works (Eph. 2:10)

• Chosen (Eph. 1:4)

• Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

The list goes on and on. If you are also feeling plagued by “the list” you are not alone. I know how holidays and time-markers like the start of a new year can amplify the unchecked boxes.

Let’s fill ourselves with the truth of who God says we are, what He says are the important check marks in life (hint: they don’t include a white picket fence and 2.5 kids).

Let’s do our best for Him moment by moment and leave our worth for him to determine.

And when we start to look to the list, let’s fill each other up with truth again.



  1. Luzka Rangel

    April 13, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Jenny-Ulyses Gonzalez

    • Jenny-Ulyses Gonzalez

      April 13, 2017 at 1:41 am

      Yes!!! I just read it and thought about you!!! I almost commented on this post and look you did it! I love it. Praise God for direction, correction and “be still”!!!!! Love you nena

  2. Jenny-Ulyses Gonzalez

    April 13, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Ana Cabrera

  3. Doreen Doreen

    April 12, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Sheba Praise,Florida Kinyajui

  4. Miatta P. Cooper

    April 12, 2017 at 12:30 am


  5. Cathy Ume

    April 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm


  6. Kalimungabo Susan

    April 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm


  7. Kalimungabo Susan

    April 11, 2017 at 6:56 pm


  8. Ama Aframbea

    April 11, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Really inspiring

  9. Lesley Costa

    April 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm


  10. Kim Timmis

    April 11, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    Breanna Glembin

  11. Paula Mansfield

    April 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Esmeralda Monroy please read…

  12. Laura Randolph

    April 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    oh wow u r right . i have been thinking i am being punish braking off 2 engagement in my life.

  13. Υβέτ Ασεβέδο

    April 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Time to realign my priorities to match His.

  14. Rhonda Morrow

    April 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm


  15. Destiny Mcintosh

    April 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I trust in God

  16. Theresa Nyirongo

    April 11, 2017 at 11:03 am

    On point, sure!

  17. Blessings Mpunga

    April 11, 2017 at 10:02 am


  18. Anaelle Kikomba

    April 11, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Amen,still where I am for a reason,thanks God!

  19. Florence Mupunga

    April 11, 2017 at 8:02 am

    It uplifts the spirit ,

  20. Ashibuogwu Angela

    April 11, 2017 at 8:02 am

    But its taking more time, I pray he brings me out from this, bcus theres nothing he can not do.

  21. Machingura Peggy

    April 11, 2017 at 7:47 am


  22. Irene Mathias

    April 11, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Amen, thanks for the encouragement… God bless you

  23. Upendo Richard

    April 11, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I trust in you my Lord, and my confidence is in you my provider, for your word says you will never leave me not forsaken me,in the precious and wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen

  24. Olga Mosiane

    April 11, 2017 at 5:34 am

    Jeremia 29:11

  25. Mercy Kafwana Kyembe

    April 11, 2017 at 5:14 am

    It’s great we keep talking about this, that our worth is in Jesus and not job or a husband even though we might desire these things they shouldn’t really distract us.

  26. Roseline Igbadumhe

    April 11, 2017 at 4:00 am

    On point

  27. Roxanne Nicole Tactay

    April 11, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Great post Gloria Rizzuti

  28. Emma Qualls

    April 11, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Amen keep the faith do good

  29. Gigi McFinster

    April 11, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I try to think this,way..

  30. ZuBy Masih Kahn

    April 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Basyrat Khan Farriah Khan Poonam Mehmi ❤

  31. Joanna L Kearns

    April 11, 2017 at 1:29 am


  32. Frances Jones

    April 11, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Amen,My God is my Healer,

  33. Brina Doc

    April 11, 2017 at 1:07 am


  34. Catty Soto

    April 11, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Oh wow! I have been praying for God to fill my heart because I have been feeling a little down since my list is uncheck. What a beautiful remind on how Much God loves us.

  35. Izay Saye Zhaye

    April 11, 2017 at 12:48 am


  36. Jane McArdle

    April 11, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Where i am now can not be what His plan is

  37. Christine Gregory

    April 11, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Halea Honey Dipped Clark

  38. Beverley Van De Venter

    April 11, 2017 at 12:12 am


  39. Gloria Rizzuti

    April 11, 2017 at 12:11 am

    LOVE this!Amen

  40. Tracey YG

    April 11, 2017 at 12:07 am


  41. Debbie Crosiar

    April 11, 2017 at 12:01 am

    This really hits home today.

  42. Terry Daley

    April 10, 2017 at 11:57 pm


  43. AnTanique Edmonds Buckley

    April 10, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Avante Edmonds

  44. Ellah Reu Cabaya

    April 10, 2017 at 11:42 pm


  45. Daisy Butler

    April 10, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    So hard sometimes BUT GOD…

  46. Joycelivinnd Lovinlife Potter

    April 10, 2017 at 11:28 pm


  47. Brittanie Nicole

    April 10, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Thank You God

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