I’ve got exactly what I’ve been praying for after four years of university, and more. I’m an accomplished woman. I’ve achieved my goals, I’m where I need to be, but why am I still searching for more? As if I haven’t fulfilled everything I’ve wanted up to this point; I want more success, more acceptance, more enjoyment, and more motivation.
I dedicate this post to anyone who can relate to life transitions and the reality of the adulting struggle. From student to “adult” – this life stage is the scariest and most exciting roller coaster I’ve ever strapped myself into. Needless to say, it’s a life stage we all have to go through and I hope some of you can relate and encourage one another with your friends and/or family who also know of people going through such changes.
This post is inspired by Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke’s book, “Spoken For”. The titles of these posts are directly taken from the book (with a little modification on my part) each a reflection of how I’m personally growing closer to Jesus.
I pray that as you read, you are reminded of who you are and whose you are 🙂
I’d love to hear from you. Send me message or comment below ❤
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This was the first line in the story called, “Express Lane” by Pastor Tacyana Nixon in “Faith not Fear.” She described an experience she had while waiting in the express lane at a grocery store. That quote was on a magnet and she couldn’t help but think, Yeah, right… Thank you, Neale Donald Walsch.
I reread the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and let the words sink. I thought to myself – how many times have I been stretched BEYOND my comfort zone in the last four years? I had to adapt to new roommates, the whole “living on my own” lifestyle, learn to manage my time, money, and relationships. My entire undergrad experience was built on “life beginning at the end of my comfort zone.”
This blog post was the most difficult to write because I wasn’t ready to “let go”. I didn’t want to let go of my university experience. It was only at my October convocation that I felt like it was over. I finished my last undergrad course back in June before working at a summer camp and was ecstatic that it was over. While working at summer camp I was looking forward to my 8-day Florida grad trip with my roommates, then while I was in Florida, I was counting down the days to starting my new job. I guess you could say that the last four months have been very emotional and mentally draining.
Upon finishing school in June, I was counting down the days to submitting my last assignment and writing my very last exam. I was looking forward to my job search and actually having time for myself after summer camp. Little did I know that I’d already be employed for a job I’d been meaning to find before I started university – all before my official graduation! All of these new beginnings and transitions presented ample opportunities to step out of my comfort zone.
While all of these new things brought excitement to my life, there were many doubtful thoughts and anxieties that filled my mind. You’re not a scholar, you’re the eldest and everyone is looking up to you. Be an example and do your best. Make your parents proud. Show everyone that you’re not weak and don’t fail! Life just gets more complicated from here. You don’t have many friends, you’re lonely and you should just stay home. Forget going to the gym, you never keep a consistent routine anyway. Want to start another project? – What for? You’re a pro at starting and never finishing. These thoughts flooded my mind for some time, well before starting my new job, even while on vacation in Florida.
It was only through the support of my friends and family, and prayer that I can actually finish writing this post for you all to read. Those lies I’d listen to, time and time again caused me to burst and cry like I’d never cried before. My girl friends reminded me of my blessings, and my family never failed to show me how much they love me. Better yet, how much God loves me.
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
They reminded me of how far I’ve come and that God wasn’t done with me yet. They told me I was going through a transition where I would really have to cling to God’s promises and stay prayerful. Come to think of it, I really did have everything I’ve wanted – the opportunity to live away from home, a job while in university that truly impacted the students on campus (all whom I will never forget ❤ ), closure with relationships, amazing friends who I know I can always count on, healing with my parents, and so much more. Is life after grad really supposed to be this good?
I’m going into week 8 at my new job and am finally starting to rise up again. Those negative affirmations and lies I was listening to were eating away at my joy. My joy that is only found in my Saviour.
“…looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” – Hebrews 12:2
I had to endure my anxiety by being drawn away from the Joy-Giver with the expectations I was placing on myself. Thankfully, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5b. There’s no way that I’d have graduated, gone through summer camp, and travelled to Florida without the joy that having a relationship with God brings. The fact that I currently have a job, and mind you – was employed before even graduating – that’s all God.
I remembered the reason I chose to go back to school in the first place – I knew I wasn’t meant to stay there. I was too comfortable and I got bored. The changes and lessons I learned through my university experience (both in and out of the classroom) were essential for me to be where I am today. To be employed, living at home, and smiling.
The diploma framed on my bedroom wall is more than the degree awarded to me at the end of this undergrad experience. Being done school and starting a full time job meant that my lifestyle was really taking a turn. I wanted to bring back “the good old days” while at university, but those days were over. This new chapter called for being okay with not being okay… yet.
I realized I was disconnecting myself from God, while God never disconnected Himself from me. Through all the change, God never left me. He found ways to remind me that it’s just going to get better and it’s okay to miss “the good old days.” Through His word, friends, family, mentors, and music He’s never failed to reveal Himself to me over and over again. It was all me – I chose to disconnect myself from God because I wanted to have control of how my life would look like after school.
“Life begins when you’re uncomfortable; life begins when you allow yourself to be stretched. Life begins when you have to leave all you’ve known and cling to the promise of something new. Life begins here once you walk into it boldy and confidently, knowing Jesus is calling you and beckoning you forward into a glorious faith-walk with Him.” – Tacyana Nixon
My diploma is an achievement, a milestone, and a foundation to the career God has led me to pursue. The stress, tears, sleepless nights, Starbucks study dates, club meetings, work appointments, random bus stranger conversations, and the list goes on – are memories that I’ll always cherish when I look at this huge diploma on my wall. The last four years was a season that made and broke me to be more than I ever was.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says,
“He has made everything beautiful in His time. And He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”
I’m not a scholar, and I’m not the prettiest or tallest girl out there, but I am a daughter of a Father that loves me unconditionally. He never lets me go, always hears me when I call, and exceeds the patience and understanding of any friend or family member that’s been here for me through the years. There’s always something to be grateful for and I’m blessed to be loved by Him.
Moving forward in life is difficult when your whole world is shaken. Your routine changes, the people you used to see regularly are doing their own thing now. As you walk into a new stage of life with its own challenges, you learn that you’re still the same you, but have new challenges to conquer. The stresses of finishing assignment, writing papers, and studying for exams have become getting to work on time, performing your job well, and managing your time.
Life isn’t about impressing your professors or winning favour from your boss. Neither is it about making your parents proud or showing off your merits with your classmates and comparing achievements with friends. Life is about drudging through the drudgery, pushing through the mud, filtering out the garbage from what’s worth keeping. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised, so today’s the only time we have to make it worthwhile.
So keep pursuing, keep pushing through. The God that loves you will help you overcome all your obstacles and is capable of showing you its purpose in His time.
“Encouragement is contagious, so spread it.”
Photo Credits: Isabelle Cruz and Brock Photographer