an open letter from a Christian almost-grad

When I was young and imagined post-college life, I never imagined it would look like this. 

 

I thought I’d have things figured out, probably be engaged or securing a stable job. As a freshman in college I wanted to be a teacher. I figured my course of action would be pretty straight forward from there. Even as my career goals changed to pursuing musical theatre, the obvious career moves followed. But things changed again, and it was then that things began to get muddy. I settled on a major I absolutely loved, Art History, but wasn’t sure what I’d do with it. No matter, I wanted to do “full-time ministry” anyway (whatever that actually means, since my life is a testament to God’s grace regardless). I’ve been completely content living in the unknown, believing that God would direct me. 

 

I still live expectantly waiting on God, and even as he has put options in my path, even as I’ve pursued things hoping to find something that sticks, he’s still been letting me live in the suspense of awaited application statuses and unresolved opportunities.

To be honest, I’m trying not to let it kill me. 

 

I hate when people ask what my post-grad plans are, and I have to say I don’t know

I hate when my mind drifts to the myriad possibilities; the anxiety that follows. 

I hate how equally excited I get about each new idea, and realizing how fickle I actually am. 

 

Y’all can tell me “trust God,” in as many ways as you want. I will keep trying, and I will keep being sinful. I will keep on being shown grace. The reality is, though, I really didn’t think that when I got here in life, four weeks before graduation, that I’d be so muddled and confused. It’s just not like me. I always have a plan. But I’m writing this because I know I’m not alone. 

 

GUYS — real life is scary. You can have all the greatest ideas of what you want to do, you can believe that there’s no such thing as real failure, and you can have faith that God will not let you somehow accidentally throw your life away. But nothing is really guaranteed. For me personally, I gave my life to Jesus when I got baptized. Looking out over the precipice of graduating college is like preparing for a free fall – He could literally take me anywhere from here! He could even let me become, *gasp*, a NOBODY (by the world’s standards of success). It’s a nail-biter. I have to fight daily to lay my life in God’s hands, even though I continually snatch it back. Bottom line is: I have desires and ideals, but my life will still go the way He wants it to. It will glorify Him regardless, but I’m selfish and I struggle to trust.

 

Granted, I knew what I was doing when I gave my life to God and I have absolutely no reason not to trust his judgement. He has literally never failed me before. He’s a faithful God. It’s all over scripture, and I find comfort in this. I know that if I walk close with Him, He will use me and put me in situations where I can be helping and loving others, using my creative talents in a way that glorifies Him. He gave me my desires for a reason. But I hardly trust myself to walk perfectly with God, I’m sinful, I forget to remind myself of His faithfulness, and I have days where I freak out and the question lingers, “what if I choose the wrong path?” So I wait for a clearer nudging. Because it will come, it always does. But naturally I will look insane to society who does not think that listening for God is “productive.” 

 

I guess this pressure comes from feeling like I have to choose a path RIGHT. NOW. I felt that same pressure at the end of high school but it wasn’t impending. These last few weeks, though, it’s getting real. It feels like the public eye is on me and all other college seniors: “what will you do next?” I suppose the people-pleaser in me wants to make everyone proud. Do something crazy-great right out of college. Be a prodigy or something. I even applied to grad school, even though I’m not sure that’s right for me just yet. But really: if I drift for a while, which is probable at this point, it’s not because I don’t have aspirations. It’s because this life is huge and crazy and full of opportunity, and I’m just not ready to choose a path yet. I’m more likely to end up being a freelance writer, artist, yoga teacher, travel writer, just because of who I am… but that’s not really what I had always envisioned. It’s not the prescribed life that will make lots of money that my family envisions for me. I’m coming to terms with that, and I think we should all be a little more okay with it. All of you other 20-somethings in the same boat, yeah, you too. We have to give ourselves a little more grace to freak out, and maybe flounder a bit. 

To quote Tara Stiles, “Who made the rules?” 

 

And I guess those are my thoughts on that. #endrant 

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