This is the first September in a long time that I haven’t spent cheering at football games or buried in books. I’m not living with all of my best friends anymore and in so many ways, life the way I have always known it has been turned upside down. I spent my whole summer in an internship that I was almost positive would lead me into my first job, but (to my own surprise) I accepted another job offer at the last minute… and somehow, some way, I ended up here: sitting on an air mattress set up on my friend’s floor, living out of my suitcase and completely overwhelmed by this whole concept of growing up.
…and none of it is fun.
As I was driving home from work today, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to be settled. I want to have a place that I call home and know my job inside and out. I want to get from one place to the next without plugging it into a GPS. I want to be familiar with my surroundings and, put simply, I just want to be comfortable.
Today my mom told me how exciting it is that I get to start this new chapter in my life, the so-called stage of “being on my own.” But if I’m being honest, it doesn’t seem all that exciting to me; if anything, it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever encountered. Life on my own? What does that even look like?
The good thing about this whole transition is that it’s not the first time I’ve ever faced the daunting path of trying something new. I know that the details eventually work out and people fall into routine and what once seemed terrifying actually isn’t that bad. But more importantly, I’ve also come to realize that it’s in times like these, when we’ve ventured far out of our comfort zone, that God does His greatest work.
A playback reel of some of my difficult times of transition was circling in my mind earlier today, and it reminded me of my first night on Summer Project in New York City. I look back on that time with such happiness that I completely forget how uneasy I felt the first night when I realized that I was committed to be there for 5 weeks. I remember crawling into my bed that night before most of the other girls went to bed because I just needed to process what I had gotten myself into, and that same feeling sat for at least another day or two.
I use that example because when Project was all said and done and I came back home, I spent so much time telling people about my trip and one of my favorite statements to make was, “It was amazing to see how much God moved while we were there.” But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was talking about God like He had finally decided to move, when it was really just that I had finally put myself in a vulnerable enough position to witness the power that God has all of the time. Seeing something that amazing required me to test the waters and open myself up to something new, even if it meant experiencing that dreaded feeling of discomfort.
It’s really hard for me to see my current situation in the same way, but with as powerful as God is, I know that it has to be true. It scares me to be enveloped in this world of unfamiliarity, the only tinge of permanence lying in my commitment to stay for much, much longer than 5 weeks this time around. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more God has reminded me that even if my job is awful or my living situation doesn’t work out or whatever the case may be, He has brought me here for a reason. And not only that, but I now have the best seat in the house to witness whatever awesome things He’s going to do with this time of uncertainty.
I’m convinced that if we really want to see God work in our lives, we have to be willing to move. Taking chances for the sole purpose of seeing what God does with them is terrifying, but it also reminds us that nothing is outside of His control. I have a really hard time believing that God will work more in my weakness than in my perceived strength, but the Bible reminds me so many times that His power prevails when we take a step of faith.
Today was hard, and tomorrow might be too. But if you’re going through a phase that sounds pretty similar, we should take heart in the fact that each blow to our confidence and comfort is probably also a sign that the Lord is relentlessly pursuing us and bringing us closer to Him every step of the way. And in the words of my mom, that is a pretty exciting stage of life.