Sunday, April 30, 2017

After 15+ years as a student, who am I now?

Dear Rachel,

What exciting life changes coming up! While I can't identify with moving to a different state and getting married, I definitely could speak to what my experience was like shifting from a student to a worker and moving from college living back to home.
I encourage you first and foremost to see these transitions as things that God has prepared in advance for you to do and altogether an adventure that He has the strength and power to take you on as you trust in Him. Going into this season of transition with the mindset of hope rather than fear will keep you focused on the good to be found that overcomes your feelings toward the difficulty of life change.

Guard your heart and mind, and constantly wash yourself in truth - this will be your anchor.

I think the perception of many college graduates is a silly "what the heck is life going to be like!" and others have named it "one of the hardest years of my life" due to the complexity of transitioning out of being a student and what that may mean for a person.
However, the good news is, we don't have to endure these transitions alone. And we don't have to accept the social constructs that many before us have made of "post-college" life. We can stand by the truth of God's word and look fearlessly toward the future. He invites us to!
We also have God as a captain and companion for the journey ahead, and lucky for you and me, we have supportive and uplifting parents and friendships. Lean into the people who knew you in your old roles, those who knew you as a student, and those who you have built trustworthy bonds with, as they will be tangible reminders for who you are.

You don't have to be an expert at each new role you've been given - give yourself grace to embrace each perceived 'failure' as learning experiences. 

You aren't supposed to know how to walk when you get out of the learn to crawl and then walk, and you fall down quite a bit :)
This past year of transition has not been a paved road ahead. There have been many twists and turns in my spiritual walk, my thoughts towards my job and career, and just like you said--my sense of "identity." And it has surely and admittedly been a windy storm of emotions and feelings and anxieties.
Did I do the right thing? (fearfully reflecting on the past) Am I doing the right thing? (the nagging fearful question of the present) Am I headed in the right direction? (fearfully looking ahead)
These have all been questions that fear has driven me to ask myself. But when I remember I am loved first and foremost, that God's banner over me is love, fear can be extinguished in Jesus' name.
I strive to put my value and worth into my job description, into my lifestyle choices, rather than in the One who created me and has called me loved, chosen, blessed, and broken-by His design.
Keep trying to walk, keep falling, and chuckle as you feel God's smirk shining down on you as a parent would on their own infant attempting to walk for the first time.

Keep learning.

Honestly, driving on the freeway to work, with traffic-dreading individuals in shiny metal cylinders can be quite draining and fatiguing on your intellectual spirit of curiosity that so many books and insightful teachers at Westmont gave us. After deadlines and due dates for papers, it truly is up to you to develop your own education or let your curiosity dwindle. I never noticed this until I did-HA. I was bored with myself, bored with my mind, bored with life! Then I would listen to a podcast or read a thought-inducing book on theology (Thank You, Henri Nouwen) and get so stimulated and almost transported back into the Voskuyl Library with my pretty highlighters and glasses. You can be a student your whole life (as you create your own flow as an adult!)

Wow, I had more in me than I anticipated! Much of that was therapeutic processing for me so thanks for being gracious and giving me the space to process. ;)

Okay, so there was a lot of "do this" and "don't fall into this mental trap" in here. I hope you know that this list is not something I have yet succeeded in and/or have even accomplished. Most of these are reminders to myself of the tensions I encounter daily-to choose to fear what I see or to choose to hope in what God promises for me. 

Is there anything that you're particularly nervous for? Excited for? Wanting to try something new? New form of exercise? New way of studying the Bible?
With your job? As Connor's soon-to-be-wife? As a soon-to-be-Coloradan? Living far from home?

Cheers to your final week as a student! May God bless you with wisdom to know His will for your life and patience to give yourself time to learn how to walk in this new, exciting season!

Much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment