This May I finished my last full semester of college. I still have one class left and I won’t walk until May of 2014 (long story) but for the most part, life as I have known it is done.
And this is scary to me. I no longer have the pattern of summer, school, break, school, summer. I just have… life…
And frankly, there isn’t really a plan. This is frightening because I am a planner. I keep endless lists, schedule my life from here to eternity, and always have a vague idea of how things should probably go. but not anymore. Right now, I know what is going on up to December. That is approximately six months of knowing what’s up. Then… I don’t know.
And that freaks the crap out of me.
In my mind as a kid, I always figured there was going to be college and then some time and then marriage. I never really wondered what was going to happened in that “some time” phase. It was just supposed to be this magical period of traveling and “finding myself.” Now, there is this big blank void that stretches from now until the end of the world. (Frankly, marriage is a vague dotted line at this point.)
There are so many options, dreams, and possibilities, it just seems so overwhelming. I need a job, I want to travel, I want to invest myself more at my church and my community. I want to stay in my comfort zone, yet grow as a person. Those things don’t happen simultaneously.
In this stage of life, it seems so easy to be displaced. I’m an adult, but I’m clueless. I have a degree, but no experience. I have dreams, but I have no way to get there, monetarily or otherwise. This is the age of “getting there” mixed with “not yet.”
It is in this period of tension that God is found. He has a plan, though I have no clue what it is. I have to trust in that plan. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. But in my limited experience, whatever He’s got up his sleeves is better than anything I’ve thought up. I can dream up all the plans I want. It is not until I’ve committed them to God that anything seems to work out.
So this is post-college. I sit here in my grubby running shorts, trying to write, never knowing if anyone will read my fiction, dreaming of the day I can actually be a “grown-up.”
A beautiful prayer from Thomas Merton’s book Thoughts in Solitude has brought me great comfort in these last couple of months:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does no mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doin. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
This has been my prayer for a while now. God is good. God is God. He’s in charge right now, so I guess it’s about time I buckle in and prepare for the ride.
Here’s to the journey!
2 thoughts on “Who’s Planning This Thing?”
I've never graduated from college or faced THAT sense of purposelessness, but I do know what it is to not know where it is you're going, or to not like the path God has chosen for you. IT's not easy to face the unknown. I admire your trust.
Thank you. When I was approaching this post, I was thinking this wasn't a feeling exclusive to post-college folks. The unknown surrounds us in all stages of life. I think it is important to voice the challenges. One of Satan's greatest tools is isolation. We are not alone in this. As a body of believers, we can stand together, knowing that we've all been there and that we're not alone.