I learned about faith when I was in fourth grade and my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I learned about loyalty when my best friend made a life decision that I didn’t quite agree with. And today I learned about grace while trying to jog through a break-up.
I’m a 22-year-old graduate student. I came to graduate school as a means to escape getting a “real job” for another year, and considering the stress and tears that this past year has spawned, maybe a “real job” wouldn’t have been that bad of a decision.
I’m excited (and admittedly scared) about what the future holds for me once I graduate in December. I have a great family, supportive friends, and for over a year and a half I had a relationship with a boy, a great boy. In 22 years I’ve never been broken up with, but that streak decided to end last night.
I really don’t hate him for doing it. In fact, I completely understand his reasons why we shouldn’t be together. But still, it’s a break-up, and my heart definitely got broken.
The past semester has been an absolute haze. I started a new job and new classes and now a new chapter of my completely single life. And if you were wondering, no, I’m not coping as well as I’d like to. In fact, if not coping at all were a category, I’d probably fall into that one.
This morning when I woke up I had a huge knot in my stomach. You know the I know that something bad happened last night but I can’t remember knot. That one. The remembrance of the break-up hit me at the same time as the tears, and I was reduced to a crying ball at the end of my bed. I started to pray, but sometimes in those situations something happens when you become the prayer—when words aren’t enough, when words can’t even be spoken—and the little crying ball of you becomes the prayer.
Once I composed myself (and called my mom) I went for a jog. As I was running, I started to tear up as I thought about all of the uncertainties that this year is sure to bring. I started to get absolutely terrified as I thought about graduating in December and having to move again and looking for a new job and doing it all without the support of the wonderful boy.
And I just felt like giving up. I felt like quitting school and quitting my job. But mainly, I just felt like quitting jogging. I felt like I had been so drained mentally and emotionally over the past couple of months and now, with a quarter mile left, I felt completely drained physically. I started to talk to God about how I felt, about how all of the uncertainty and weakness was feeling like it was just too much to bear.
“I have enough grace for you. I have enough grace for you to finish this mile—in your life and on this track. In your weakness I am strong.”
That phrase kept ringing over and over again in my head and heart. I knew that what God wanted me to hear was my own personalized version of 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
I have no clue what is going to happen this year. It’s a horrifyingly exciting thought that in one year my life will be totally different than it is right now as I type. But today I finished the mile, and I know that I will finish this yearlong marathon before me.