June 12, 2005, is a special date in my life. It is the day that I will graduate college and move on to the wonderful adventures that lie ahead. It will be the end of an important chapter in my life and the beginning of only God knows what. As I think, contemplate and casually consider the question of what lies ahead after this date, my mind goes blank. All my thoughts, plans, hopes, dreams and fears have faded into this blurred, vague answer of “I don’t know.”
I keep regressing back to a time full of hope and expectation. A time when I was young, naïve and confident. A time when I was captain of the speech and debate team, salutatorian and voted most likely to succeed. When I was in high school, I was so sure that I could achieve anything and that everyone would always love and adore me as they had all through my adolescence. However, as this date of graduation approaches, none of my expectations are even close to happening. I thought that I would have a great job lined up by my senior year in college or at least acceptance to some prestigious graduate school. I also thought I would be engaged, or at least seriously dating someone.
Currently, I have no idea about where I am going to be working. I am not engaged, seriously dating or even the interest of anyone. It’s like I have been in the waiting for four years. At first I was optimistic about the future, believing the trite cliché that good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately, after almost four years of waiting I am starting to wonder if God really cares about my deepest desires, my passions or my future. I feel like the day of my graduation should be the beginning of my life as an adult and that the waiting should be over. The waiting isn’t over … it’s only intensified. I often think that I am at fault for my life hanging in continual suspension. Maybe if I were prettier, I would be married by now. Maybe if I did more internships, studied harder or went to Harvard, I would have a job by now. The reality of my life screams something completely different to these hypothetical situations.
I don’t think my lack of beauty is why I am not dating anyone; I was voted one of Ohio State’s 25 most beautiful people. I don’t think my intelligence is at fault either; I have a stellar G.P.A., I studied in Spain, and I have worked at various internships. Apparently, there’s not much else I could have done. This is not a level of pride or vanity, just reality. Furthermore, I constantly battle with thoughts of inadequacy. One recent smack in the face happened at church. When I was leaving one night, I saw the only two guys that I have ever been interested in pursuing the two girls who they wanted to be with. This perpetual cycle of rejection not only occurs in my social life, but also in my purported future.
I applied to countless internships for journalists, and the only job offers I receive are from banks that offer me financial planning positions. Seriously, I know nothing about banking and could care less about 401(k)s and mortgages. Sometimes, I feel like God is just laughing at me, and I hope to wake up from this horrible, taunting nightmare. Waking up has not occurred, and I now realize that this is life. Even though I feel like a puppet suspended and dangling in the air, I realize that my future is in God’s hands. He is in control, and I am not. This scary realization takes so much time and so much heart, often draining me of emotion and filling me with disappointment. However, I come to God broken, and He fills me. He has given me this peace that I do not understand. My anxiety and worry are only manifestations of my doubt in God’s sovereignty and love for me.
So each day as I encounter another heartache or tell someone else that I have no idea about my immediate future, I learn to trust Him more. I am growing in my faith in a God who does not always give clear answers or promise a perfect life. I am realizing that this growth is messy and often painful, and in my brokenheartedness I surrender. I know my place is with Him always—whether in prosperity, in progression or in the waiting.
READ MORE LIFE | POST COMMENTS BELOW