I was not ready for this year.
I am not ready to graduate in December. I am not ready to sit down with my parents and look at the next 10 months and how much it is going to cost and where I am going to find a job and where I am going to live and how I am going to make it out there in the “real world”.
I was not ready to try to balance two jobs, a leadership position, and being a full time student. I failed a lot this year at all of those things. I missed days at work and turned in papers I was not proud of and repeatedly let down my team and my organization.
I am not ready for right now. While my roommate packs her boxes and my best friends write graduation speeches and I stand in front of people that I love and tell them goodbye when I feel like I only just said hello.
The tension between here and now is something that I have never experienced in this way before. I have always been ready for what is next. I was ready to move to Tennessee. I was ready to go to Lee. I was ready to start the new jobs. I was ready for everything because for so long God’s plan for my life seemed to come with an instruction manual. First grade, second grade, middle school, high school, college. Then this time comes where we don’t get to know exactly what that next step is. You have to wait. It reminds me of Dun Aengus.
Dun Aengus is a battlefield in Ireland on the side of a cliff on the Aran Islands. The trip up to the cliff was pretty brutal for me. I may seem like a wilderness explorer, but I would say my comfort level in the great outdoors is about the same as your average 7 year-old. I hiked up this big hill over slippery rocks as slowly as I could. Clinging to walls and my friend Graham the whole way. I was terrified. I hated it. I wanted to cry and I was so out of breath. I just kept praying that I would make it without falling.
And then we got to the top. It was so incredibly beautiful. I walked out to the edge of the cliff and I looked at the powerful ocean.
I stood there and I thought about how God called me up there. He calls me out there into the powerful ocean that absolutely no sane person would ever willingly travel into. There is no boat or equipment that could help prepare you for the rocky cliff or choppy waters. I know “Oceans” is basically a joke at this point but I just kept thinking, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.
And while this year has felt like I have been climbing up cliffs and falling in the waters I know that God has called me to come out even deeper. That is what graduating early means to me. Post-grad at 20 is a giant terrifying cliff that I hate climbing but the life God has planned is an incredible, beautiful view that I can’t experience any other way.
I can’t complain, because even though so many times through out this journey I couldn’t catch my breath, people have never stopped cheering me on. Even though I was not in shape to make this journey God has placed the people and support that I needed in order to make it through this year. Just because it wasn’t easy to get here, doesn’t mean I didn’t make it to the top.
I think the mistake I have made at this point is that I thought that finishing this year meant that I had to stop, get off the path and make way for someone else. After all, I am done with my leadership position and I only have one semester left. What good can come of one semester anyway?
Well, this is what it looked like from the top, just before you go into the battlefield where you can see the ocean and the cliffs. This is where I am right now. It is so beautiful and I fought so hard to get here but I still have one more battlefield to cross. God isn’t done showing me where I am going yet. This next part is scary, but we are all going there eventually. And when I get there I am going to be glad that I fought to get there.
So with that I say:
2017, what do you have for me next?