So it’s been awhile.
I would like to say I have been working on something really great for you guys but the reality is I have just been MIA. College is hard y’all. But I am DONE, praise the Lord! I graduate on Friday.
While I have some good blog material, I am polishing up some of the really classic-comedy (like my one-eyeballed tumor-fish) (or the time I camped in a tsunami, kind of), and I don’t want to jump the gun on those. Instead I have decided to write something a bit more serious, as I am quickly approaching a pivotal moment in my life and I should probably keep my friends and family in the loop about my future.
This is not going to be funny, but if you are interested about what has been going on in my life please continue. I am excited to share.
I am sure you have heard this saying: “Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today is a gift; that is why they call it the present’. Here in Texas we have all sorts of sayings and idioms, like “bless your heart” and “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” and this expression about the passage of time is one I have heard often. (I am pretty sure it was even in the movie Kung Fu Panda, so clearly it is credible).
The true subject of the phrase is the “present,” and the purpose is to urge you to appreciate where you are without focusing on what has happened already or what is to come. I always, being the way that I am, focused on the “future.” I would laugh because while ultimately the future is a mystery, I was so good at planning my life that I was like 99% sure what my future was going to look like. And I was going to work to make sure it looked the way I wanted it to.
I had never been the kind of person to just ‘go with the flow.’ I like to know the schedule. And have a packing list. And know the cost and who was going and what the food situation is. I like to plan… And I like to be in control.
So when my life started to get out of control I panicked.
Three semesters ago I was having a rough go at life. I was consumed with the past and the implications it had for my future. I was overwhelmed with school and life in general, and I decided that something had to be going on with me. I was fundamentally changing as a person and I had no idea ow to deal with it.
Let me be clear that these changes did not happen overnight, in fact, it took pretty much from that moment a year and a half ago until now for me to figure out what was going on. But I can say that I am a COMPLETELY different person than I was when I started college, and even than I was a couple of months ago. And it is all because of one thing.
I have decided to stop caring.
Let me elaborate so I don’t send my family into a panic. I do not mean I am going to stop showering and brushing my teeth and paying my taxes or anything.
I have simply come to the realization that I have been trying way too hard to make my life into what I thought it should be. I have spent 21 years trying to please everyone at once and make sure that it always seemed like I had my life together. To be the person that I thought everyone expected of me. (These are some deep rooted personal problems that I will deal with for probably ever, but I am dealing so don’t worry).
I started to think. A lot. My mind running 100 miles a minute, 24/7. I kept up with work, friends, and school (kind of) And as I am a Christian who has grown substantially in my relationship with the Lord in college I arrived at one single question. What if I am doing what the world wants from me instead of what God wants from me. And I prayed.
I prayed for 7 months straight for the Lord to show me His will. I prayed that His will would become mine, and that I wouldn’t just interpret what I thought He was doing in my life, but I would feel a peace deep in my inner being that what I was doing was what He wanted.
Then He answered my prayer and it freaked me the heck out.
I needed to take a year off from school and do some sort of ministry.
For those of you who know me, my plan from the beginning was to graduate college in 3 years with my BS then go straight to grad school to get my masters and become a speech-language pathologist. So the fact that the Lord wanted me to take a break was a bit scary. What if taking a year off looked bad to grad programs and I couldn’t go back to school? What if I couldn’t find a job? The list goes on and on.
In my state of shock I then decided to challenge the Lord because I apparently have no fear of consequences. I began to tell God that if I got into grad school I was going, no matter what. I told Him that this was the plan and basically gave Him an ultimatum. And then because He is God, he showed me who was in charge. And I didn’t get into grad school.
This was an extremely difficult pill for me to swallow, and if I am being honest, this is the biggest “failure” I have experienced in life thus far. Who am I anymore if I am not successful academically? Most of my identity has been formed around my intelligence, and clearly I was not at the academic level needed to reach my goals, so what was I supposed to do now.
And then again because He is God, I was reminded of a critical point of my faith. *THE critical point of my faith. I believed in the crucifixion of Christ, and I placed my faith in Him-meaning that, according to Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
My identity should be in nothing but Christ.
It is not in my intelligence. It is not in my abilities. It is not in my failures. It is in the God who died and make Himself so accessible to me that I don’t even have to worry about these things.
This was a huge revelation for me. As a Christian, what am I even doing with my life if I am not following Christ? I decided then that I was going to take that year off and go to a discipleship program that would allow me to grow in my faith, build community, and learn more about the God I love so much.
After making that decision I have felt the greatest peace I have ever felt in my whole life…which is crazy considering 5 months ago if you told me I was going to start living my life without a plan I would have thrown up on the spot then probably had an aneurysm.
So, in summary: I am probably not the person you used to know. I am actually pretty chill now, and a lot more confident in my faith and my purpose. I am going to graduate from college on Friday and then I am going to take a year to follow Jesus. Starting in August I am going to be taking classes, helping run church camps, taking trips, and serving at The Forge in Tyler, Texas. I am going to be surrounded by love and support and a group of young people who want to run the race with me and I could not be more excited.
Then after that, who knows. I hope I will still end up being an SLP. I would like to use the skills I have gained in college to serve others. But it is not up to me anymore. I have put my faith in the God who *literally* created the universe…I am pretty sure He is more qualified to be the one in charge. So I am done planning my future. My only plan is to follow the Lord. Other than that…
I am just going with the flow.