For the Girl Freaking Out About Graduation
“What’s your plan after graduation?”
We’re asked this question for the millionth time by everyone we know...and we cringe.
Suddenly the venue’s tech team cues the oh-so-bittersweet “pomp and circumstance” graduation song...and we find ourselves walking down an aisle surrounded by hundreds––if not thousands––of people. From cheering relatives with obnoxious neon, congratulatory signs and friends bull horns, there's no shortage of people there to celebrate with you and your fellow graduates.
It’s not that we’re not excited.
Who wouldn’t love to be done with the late nights, early mornings and coffee runs of college life?
But it’s that every time we’re asked this question, there’s a sense of discouragement that easily overtakes us and makes us feel as though we’re not capable or that we are somehow failures because we simply don’t know the answer to that question.
And it’s one-hundred percent okay.
Not knowing the answers to life’s biggest questions simply confirms an even bigger reality––we’re not God.
Do you know who the original Superman was? Christopher Reeve! He was a sensational heartthrob who so many people looked up to in the late seventies and early eighties. Not only was he a success on the big screen, but he graduated at the top of his class from the prestigious Juilliard Conservatory and Cornell University––good looks, charm and intellect!
But everything changed when he suffered an injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He shared this thought during one of his interviews:
“A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.”
Maybe we weren’t meant to know everything there is to know. And that is one of the most beautiful aspects of our humanity.
It frustrates us to the core because oftentimes we crave control and stability. However, the inability to know causes our faith to activate in moments of uncertainty. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 17:20 when he said, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
What would happen to us if we chose to live by faith and not by what we see? Our physical eyes are miraculous in their ability, but if we’re not careful, they can keep us from believing in the promises of God.
When I graduated from college, I experienced an overwhelming amount of rejection letters from various companies where I had applied for jobs. I started feeling completely incapable and talentless. I began to question my identity as a creative and wonder if my degree had wasted my time.
I reached an all-time low.
What felt like one hundred plus applications later, I received a text from my mom about an opening for a marketing coordinator position. I intentionally prayed and asked God to bring clarity and confirmation. After interviewing, I received an offer within a week.
If I can tell you anything from my personal experience, it’s that God’s timing is perfect. He doesn’t leave us to fall; He comes to our rescue just in time. We’re called to trust Him––especially with our future plans.
Trusting can be challenging, but when we choose to trust, we are placing God before our desires and our plans. He calls us not to worry about tomorrow because He is already there. His faithfulness isn’t contingent upon how good of a person we are.
With or without us, God is unchanging.
So many times I rush to ambition to find my identity when it doesn’t compare to the identity I find in Jesus.
Life isn’t always the fairytale we pictured it would be. We’re not always going to end up with the dream job or with the title we thought we deserved. But when we choose to be content with what we have, our life blooms into a greater picture of who we are and who we could become.
We can’t let anxiety and fear overtake us. We have walk confidently in our lane and own our moment. Whether we end up scrubbing toilets or being the CEO of a massive corporation, let’s strive to make the most of every opportunity.
Apply for every job, hope for the best and remain faithful by appreciating what’s in front of you. The older I get, the more I realize how invaluable relationships and people are––rather than the job titles on my resume.
Maybe you’re reading this and you have no idea what to do with your life––can I encourage you? None of us really know either. We have big dreams and make big plans, but ultimately, our lives are in God’s hands.
When we find contentment in our small beginnings, the doors we’ve been consistently knocking on will fling wide open. Or if they don’t, even greater opportunities come.
Be at ease and aggressively seek to find joy in the season you’re in.
Graduation is an incredible milestone! Enjoy it! Don’t allow the unknown to keep you from celebrating because you’ve worked so hard to get here.
Place your trust in the One who holds tomorrow. One day, you’ll look back and be so grateful that you did.
I know I am.