I recently finished the second month of my senior year.
My. Senior. Year.
What a scary combination of words. At least, I’m really scared by the combination. Of course, I have the usual concerns about doing well in my classes and juggling work and school. But, more than that, I’m freaking out about what I’m going to do after graduation in May.
What the heck am I going to do with the rest of my life?
Get on the Struggle Bus with Me
The (basically nonexistent) cool-and-collected side of me says, “After graduation, I’ll write my book proposal, find a literary agent, and get a book deal. I’m sure I’ll meet a really nice guy soon after that, and he’ll ask me to marry him. Then we’ll get married and have a few children, and I’ll pursue my writing career while homeschooling our kids.”
The (definitely existent) raw-and-real side of me says, “I highly doubt any of my dreams are actually going to come true. My writing goals will turn to mush as soon as I enter the real world and get a real job that pays the real bills. I won’t have time to pursue a book deal. I’ll never become a staff writer for a Christian magazine or website because those jobs are few and far between. And I’ll be lucky if I get married by the age of 40.”
Needless to say, I’m not uber excited about graduation.
Why I’m So Afraid
I tell people that I’m excited, but I’m also really not. College is a safe place—I don’t have to make many decisions about my career. Not only that, but I won’t get a summer or winter break once I graduate. The longest break I’ll get once I enter the workforce is a weekend—and I know my weekends will fill up with various social activities and endless tasks at home.
In approximately seven months, I’ll likely join the billions of people working 9-5 (ish) jobs. I’ll collapse on the couch when I get home from the office. I’ll solely look forward to Fridays. I’ll talk too much with my coworkers about the “amazing” lunch I packed. And I’ll completely forget about my dreams because I’ll be spending my days in a lonely cubicle and spending my nights recovering from the workday.
Now you know why I’m so scared about graduating from college. What can I do with the fears that lurk in the back of my mind? And what can you do with the fears lurking in the back of your mind?
Peace, Be Still
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” (Mark 4:36-41 NKJV)
Though I don’t usually say it out loud, I often think the same thing that the disciples told Jesus: “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (v.39).
Jesus, do You not care that I am worried about my writing dreams coming true?
Jesus, do You not care that my future is a scary and unknown place?
Jesus, do You not care that I feel lonely and discouraged about what’s next?
That’s the thing—He does care about my writing dreams, my unknown future, and my difficult emotions. But He also cares about my faith in Him.
He cares that I have faith to believe He is working for good—even if my writing dreams don’t come true.
He cares that I have faith to trust in His perfect providence—even though the future is scarily unknown.
He cares that I have faith to rest in His fullness—even when I feel utterly alone and disheartened.
When you think about the current “storms” in your life, what do you see? Can you simply see the crashing waves around you and the sinking boat beneath you? Or are your eyes set on your Savior as He says, “Peace, be still”?