Changes, transitions. Two of my favorite words in the English dictionary — insert sarcasm here. It should have been more obvious to me, but my parents were actually the ones who helped me to realize this about myself. Luckily for me, they find it endearing. We moved houses when I was fourteen. We moved, I kid you not, five minutes away from our old house. One would think that I would not find this distressing; alas, I did. Fourteen-year-old me was not having it.
I don’t like this new house. It is not our home.
I complained. A lot. My loving parents’ response? Laughter. They found this quality of mine to be both amusing and semi-quirky.
As you can imagine, college was a tough transition for me. This time, I allowed the change to teach me something rather than let it frustrate me. After a couple of months in California as a freshman, I realized that it wasn’t the meeting-new-people thing that was difficult but the living-in-a-new-place thing that was. I realized I have this ability to create very strong and very sentimental attachments to things like a room, a shelf of books I’ve read, a squeaky door handle, a kitchen table, or a temperamental light switch.
Though my heart never fully left Texas when my body did, I have established new sentimental attachments here in California.
The ever-present grains of sand on my car’s floorboards. The circle tables in the cafeteria. Those horribly uncomfortable chairs in my psychology classes. My roommate’s backpack.
I graduate on April 30, and the further time sneaks towards that date, the further my poor ol’ change-despising brain drifts away from sanity.
But this time, I think I’m using my sentimentality as an excuse for my real fears. Sure, I usually feel saddened and uncomfortable by change, but never before has it made me anxious. Change doesn’t make me anxious. This time, it does.
My real fear lies in trusting God. Every time I have had to endure change in the past, I knew what the outcome would be. Move houses — live in new home. Leave Texas — go to college. Now, leave college — hope to live a fulfilling, meaningful life in which my career satisfies me. Oh, and make sure the career is something that makes a difference in the world. Also, make sure a “perfect” community is on-hand at all times for moral support. And don’t forget to pay the bills and buy the groceries and invest in your little sister.
Okay, so now you see. I’ve gotten to the bottom of my newfound change-related anxiety. I feel the pressure of a post-grad, adult lifestyle. I am not ready to “adult,” as some people now like to coin the scary verb, meaning to sustain oneself.
I cannot imagine the big picture; I cannot see what God has in store for me; I cannot fathom how God will use me. I think, “If I choose X path then I might end up unemployed,” or “If I choose Y path then I might be unfulfilled.” What I’m failing to realize in all of this self-doubt and confusion is that I exist for one purpose: to glorify God. I am here, on this planet, because God placed me here with a specific path to further His Kingdom. So what am I saying when I doubt that God has good things for me, that God will provide, that God will not desert me?
I am saying that I don’t believe the Creator of every living thing has everything figured out.
I sort of just have to chuckle at myself when I read that. It sounds ridiculous, right? As ridiculous as it may be, that is the point I have reached in my anxiety unfortunately: illogical, intrusive thoughts keeping me from jumping into the next chapter, excited for what God has in store.
And, reader, I don’t know if you believe in God or not, but as a person who does believe in Him, I am striving to navigate under the knowledge that God knows what He is doing. I have allowed myself to stray from this knowledge in my time of distress. I have been in a mode of panic, and I have allowed this panic to distance me from Him rather than bring me closer; to the point that I believe that God doesn’t know what to do with me.
And yet, He does.
I am a puzzle piece in His great jigsaw. An instrument in His orchestra. I will not be forgotten or left behind. He chooses me every day to complete the puzzle, to play the final note of His symphony. Though I do not know what tomorrow holds, or next month, or next year, God does and He is so overjoyed to use me for good — if I will allow Him to.
I fully intend on doing that.
I have decided to begin every day by praying for this. My thought in this is: if I’m entering into every day by humbly asking God to simply guide my footing, then I can’t go wrong.
God, order my path today and every day, because I cannot truly succeed in living life to the fullest without You leading me.