We all go through stages and phases in life. As a kid you may have gone through a phase where you thought you were a dinosaur. Or you may have gone through a skater/punk phase in middle school like me. We go from living with our parents to living on our own at college. But what about the stage after college? The stage of moving out of your parents house and going to college is a relatively smooth transition. Sure, there is the stress of waiting to see if you get into the school you want to go to and figuring out the best way to pay for school, but there’s really nothing else to it but that. The stage of life after college is a totally different animal. There is no guarantee. There is no “community college in your hometown and your childhood bedroom” fall back plan (no shame). It’s messy. It’s stressful. There is also a lot of pride. You’ve already been on your own for 4+ years and a lot has been invested in you, what if you don’t succeed? What if it was all a waste. It can be scary.
Sometimes we think of life as being a movie. Where the scenes transition seamlessly with no breaks or hiccups; where everything goes according to plan and according to our socially acceptable timeline. Unfortunately, life doesn’t transition like a movie. Life is more like a play. There are awkward intermission times. Sometimes life pauses and all you can really do is take a pee break, grab another beer, and prepare for the next scene to start. Sometimes for us college grads that intermission time is filled with late night waitressing jobs, crappy apartments with roommates you found on craigslist (or even back with your original roomies, the parents), and selling herbal tea on Facebook. When the new scene starts it may even pick up in a totally random spot. But you know what? Thats OKAY! At least the play is still going on.
Life can seem like it’s in a standstill. It can feel like you aren’t transitioning from intermission to the next scene. But, these are the times that you learn the most about yourself and about life. You learn what you’re capable of and just how strong you are mentally.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.” Marianne Williamson
One of my favorite quotes. This quote got me through some of my toughest moments in college. Having to sit out my senior year of college volleyball, not graduating when I expected to, not having the scholarship I expected to still have. All of these things brought a huge halt to the play of my life. My life was in transition at that point and I had to re-navigate it. I was discouraged and scared of all the unknowns.
“Who are you not to be? You are a child of God.” Anything is possible for you. God can do immeasurably more than all that you ask of Him (Ephesians 3:20). A lot of times we pray for something so specific for our lives and we get disappointed when God doesn’t show up in that way. But there is a big difference between our desires for our lives and the Lord’s desires for our lives. We get so caught up in how we envision our life to be, we forget to stop and ask God what He wants it to look like. Because no matter what, His timing is perfect and we just need to chill the heck out and be patient.
Now we can either waste our time pouting about the awkward transitions in life or we can realize that we are “powerful beyond measure” and keep trucking through. We can either tell God what we want to happen, or we can ask Him what he wants of us. The first produces false hope and disappoint; the latter produces a life fulfilled and potential realized.
So what if you’re not married and pregnant at 25? So what if you don’t have money to travel the world like you want to right now? So what if you haven’t “figured your life out” yet? Whatever that even means. The point is, life in transition doesn’t have to literally be the worst. You can learn about yourself and what God really wants to see for your life. So take a pee break, grab another beer, and ask God “what next?”