To say that my life trajectory has been confusing lately would be a bold understatement. It’s really hard to graduate college and not have a plan laid out for you to follow step-by-step. It’s true, you really have two options after graduation (and an unspoken third); go to graduate school, get a job, or live with and mooch off of your parents for as long as possible.
My plan had always been to go to graduate school the fall semester following graduation and to continue my education as far as student loans would let me. After all, an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in psychology hardly means anything in the professional field. But silly me made the mistake of putting all my eggs in one basket and applying to one single grad program, and one of the top in the country at that. I’ll never forget that sinking feeling of seeing that small, thin envelope sitting on the table when I got home from class that night, and knowing there was a rejection waiting for me inside. So my dreams of a master’s degree will be put on hold for a least another year.
Option number two, dive head first into the scary, real, professional world and try not to drown. Well, this is much easier said than done because most places do not even give you the chance to prove that you can swim because your resume doesn’t hold enough “relevant experience”. So not only did grad school reject me, but so have a dozen job opportunities. Post-college life is swell.
So, I have opted for the unspoken and highly looked down upon number three; here I am, living at home and trying to survive off of the same part-time, less than $10/hour retail job. “You have so many possibilities ahead of you”, they say, “you can do absolutely anything!” Well, it’s not really as exciting as they make it out to be. It’s quite terrifying and frustrating and mostly the time that I set aside for job applications just ends in tears and wine.
However, recently I have been assured by my reckless alter-ego that making rash and seemly un-thought out decisions would be my current best plan of action. I have recently applied to or have been considering applying to some job positions that don’t quite fit in the psychology realm. This is terrifying for me because how will grad school want to accept me next year if I still don’t have the right experience? This answer is simple, I feel complete assurance from my God.
Whether it be making huge life decisions, hunting for the perfect job, deciding to leave the country, allowing people into my life, or even scheduling what I’ll have to do tomorrow, I am always extremely anxious, stressed, and, at times, neurotic. My choices keep me up at night and demand the perfect decision. If this part of my life doesn’t go as planned, then how will this other part? Will I ever be happy in my field? Will I ever get my master’s? Will I regret these impulsive decisions down the road?
Man, it’s a funny thing when you try to have it all together and realize that you’re failing miserably at it.
Today, I was helping my brother with some college prep stuff because he starts his first year in two weeks and he’s nowhere near prepared. And laugh if you will but I still have a box in my room full of stuff from my dorm at Delaware before I transferred home, so I opened it to see if there was anything I could pass along to him. Inside, I found a package full of all of the cards and letters that I received during my year away from home. As I began to open and read each of them, I was reminded of how many friends and family members were proud of me and supported me during my first year of college. (It turns out that my mother sent a mass message to a bunch of family asking them to send me letters because I was having a “tough time”, but that doesn’t disregard the sincerity that they wrote, right?)
Anyway, I came across a card from my high school YoungLife leader and as I read it, I swore that she wrote it today and not four years ago, because every single word finds relevance in my life right now.
“B- I know UD has been hard – sometimes new things are hard! … I really hope that you enjoy your time there and enjoy the Lord. He has you there for a sweet reason…You are loved, awesome, and have all you could ever need in Christ!”
And she included this verse,
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
I spend so much time, restless, anxious, and full of worry, that I forget that the Lord will fight for me. How comforting is that? I just need to be still. I don’t have to stay up late wondering if I’ll ever move out of my house. I don’t have to feel depressed that my plan for my life isn’t going as calculated. The Lord’s plan prevails, and He works all things together for the good of those who love Him. When I take a moment to sit back and really think about that, to truly tell myself that everything will be alright because God is for me, then that’s when my perspective changes and I can take a deep breath and feel okay again.
The assurance that I feel from God comse from praying and asking for the right way to be shown to me. There is a sense of peace that I can feel when I know that I am right where He wants me to be. And I know that when the right job opportunity comes up, or the right school, or the right move, that I’ll feel the same peace knowing that I have all I need in Him.
So here’s to feeling completely lost and scared when thinking about my future, but also knowing in my heart that, with my God, I cannot fail. People will question my decisions, they’ll get angry and they’ll doubt me, but I’ll stand tall knowing that there is a greater reason, and that it is going to be oh so great.
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