A year ago, I graduated from college.
365 ago, I sat in my last classroom, taking my last formal test, carrying my last backpack full of school books and pencils and scantrons.
Ever since I was 4 I’ve spent nearly every Monday through Friday at school. And then one day, POOF! I finished.
Boy did I throw my cap high at my graduation ceremony. I celebrated the day with 18 members of my patchwork family – laughing, sharing stories and eating cake into the twilight hours.
I had come to a major milestone – so blessed by the events, people and places God brought in my life, even more excited about the future steps He had for me.
Like most graduates, I was raring to go to that future destination – wherever that was, because honestly, I didn’t really know where I would be a year after graduation. As I sit here typing this, I never would have guessed that I’d be here, doing what I am, feeling how I feel.
This last year has been TRUST, JOY, TEARS, UNKNOWN, AWE, UNCERTAINTY, RISK, STILLNESS, PATIENCE.
Fellow graduates, twenty-somethings, anyone who has come to a crossroads, do you resonate with any of these words? Did you ever anticipate the rough patches, the mountaintops and valleys?
Were you there, punching the coordinates into your GPS only to find that the route looked much different than you anticipated, that as soon as you started driving down that fast-track highway, the device said, “recalculating,” in that annoying little GPS voice that makes you go, “oh goodness, where did I take a wrong turn?”
Because that’s how this year has felt. I’ve said to God plenty of times, “Abba, are you sure this is where you want me? I don’t think this is what I had in mind when I graduated. Remember those dreams, those plans? Why aren’t they happening right now? Let’s forget this road and get back on that highway. I’m ready, Lord, really!”
Little naive me. Little human me.
My plans are so different from God’s plans sometimes. I think I know what’s best, that my ideas would be so wonderful. My education and past shaped me to go full throttle, knowing where I want to go, when I want to go.
It turns out that this year -filled with physical pain, emotional introspection and my ongoing battle to wait and sit still, even when my heart cries to run and dance- has taught me the biggest lesson, which none of my “formal education” ever taught me.
It’s not about my plans. It’s not about what I think is right or best. It’s not about me coming to God and asking Him to bless my dreams.
It’s about humbling myself before Him, acknowledging my weakness and how I so desperately need His strength to get through each step of every day. It’s about saying, “Lord, if you would like me to be part of Your blessing, I would be honored.” It’s about letting him take the driver’s seat in my life.
I’m curious, what have you learned in the ever so awkward, uncertain period after graduation? What would you tell someone who just tossed their cap and is ready to run into the “real world?” Because don’t all of us wish we had someone talk to us about this roller coaster we were strapping ourselves into?