Put ‘Quarter-Life Crisis’ into the Google search bar, you’ll see a Wikipedia definition: “a crisis ‘involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life’ which is most commonly experienced in a period ranging from a person’s early twenties up to their mid-thirties.” You’ll also see that 72% of young Brits have this issue according to LinkedIn, and the Independent gives you: “15 signs you’re having a quarter-life crisis”.
So it’s definitely a thing although I’ve never heard of it before.
Fortunately, Rachel Jones has more and better advice on how to get through your Quarter-Life Crisis than just ‘talk to a friend’, ‘just tell yourself this is normal’, ‘do some side projects’. Rachel Jones is just like one of us, described on the book front cover as ’20-something and trying to keep it all together’, ‘is married to no one, has zero kids and frequently questions where her life is going’ on the back cover. So to read Rachel Jones is not like listening to someone who is old and grey, who has been through it all and knows it all. It’s more like hearing a friend who’s in the midst of it and has thought hard on this topic and sharing her lessons along the way (sometimes it reads like she’s talking to herself).
And I have to confess, the book way surpasses my expectation. It identifies twelve common issues. A couple of issues have been written on and spoken on more than enough, but others I’ve never heard any teaching on before. So the content is very fresh. Her voice is very fresh too. What I like best is the overwhelming sense that Christ really is the solution to every headache and heartache of life. And she often directs me to this conclusion from surprising and seemingly-unlikely passages:
- For dissatisfaction and discontentment, she finds a guy who sounds like spending too much time on social media comparing his life to others’ in Psalm 73.
- For regret and nostalgia, she holds Israelites in the Book of Ezra as a mirror and speaks with the words of the prophets Zechariah and Haggai to us in 2020. Honestly, this is such a brilliant chapter, I shamelessly copied most of it to my ‘About’ page (which is under construction at the moment).
- For the doubts we have about God, she quotes Peter: To whom shall we go? “It’s a phrase that I keep coming back to when there are teachings I don’t like, or feelings I can’t handle, or when following Jesus just seems too hard. ‘To whom shall I go?’ What are the alternatives? What else will satisfy?”
- For longing to be known wholly by a friend, she suggests looking to God for that kind of friendship. The reasons are in Psalm 139.
- James 4 is definitely an interesting passage on the topic of marriage.
- On ‘getting old’, she shocks us out of the deceptive term of ‘ageing’: “We’re not ageing. We’re dying.” And don’t worry, she explains herself why coming to terms with this helps ultimately.
- Ever wondered what’s the point of it all? The author of Ecclesiastes has famously distilled it as ‘meaningless! meaningless!’ after elaborately recounting all his grand achievements in scroll after scroll of parchment. Rachel takes me to Matthews 16 and tells me again how to find life, and to Matthew 25 and reminds me to invest in the Kingdom.
I would recommend this to all friends in the age brackets. Plus you can’t miss a book with such a wacky front cover!