I was so set on knowing exactly what I wanted to do when I graduated, which is in three months, BTW. Unfortunately, I am less convinced now than I have been in a while.
Teaching. I was going to apply to Teach for America, the prestigious government program that places you in the most impoverished schools in the nation. The Alum for this program are offered all sorts of really prestig scholarships to far off universities like Harvard, Yale, you know the rest. My application was pretty killer. A high GPA with plenty of campus involvement along with a steady job at the university. I nailed the first two phases of the application process. It was time for the final interview. It was located at Albuquerque, NM so two of my best friends and I loaded up and took off for Land of Enchanted.
The interview was a nerve-racking all day kind of thing. At the end I had to have a personal interview. I was very honest with the interviewer, letting her know about my uncertainties and insecurities, which are many. Overall, though, I felt like I had a great interview. Now it was time to wait.
I waited for a month, feeling pretty sure my fall would be spent in Philadelphia wearing sweater vests and scarves teaching the inner city kids why the Civil War was about sovereignty in the form of slavery. The day came when the email appeared in my inbox. And it said what I had already knew: I had made it.
Nope. Instead, it said “Thank you for applying but we cannot offer you the position at this time.” Oh man, my heart sunk a good ways. No scarves or sweater vests or Philadelphia or Civil War.
I quickly decided I would just take my time to graduate, stretch one difficult semester into two light ones. Christmas break came though and with it came a wind of change. It is time to leave. I have been in the city of Canyon for fourteen years. It is time to leave this beautiful, small, Republican, Evangelical oasis in the midst of fields of sorghum, wheat, cotton, and bovines. So I buckled up and signed up for the hardest semester of my life.
I decided I would go to graduate school. My heart has always desired to attend a Christian seminary and learn all of the deep things of the Bible and theology. Why not go now? Especially when I don’t know what else to do. Thus, I began the ridiculously long application processes for seminary.
Then, after my heart had set on going to seminary, my campus minister asked me some really difficult questions about if I was ready to go to seminary yet. It seemed to him like seminary was more of a second or third choice rather than a first. He also presented me with a number of other opportunities I could participate in next semester. I was crushed and overwhelmed.
My heart was set on seminary, just like it was on Teach for America. It was tired of having made a decision and then being let down. In the midst of this tremendous angst and uncertainty, I went to my loving parents to vent. Thankfully, due to their wisdom and godliness, they offered me some wisdom. First, they told me to chill out. Then, they shared with me their story of how God closed multiple doors before he opened the right one. This made a lot of sense to me and I realized how the certainty of my future had become an idol in my heart, breeding a security apart from God.
I have no idea where I will be in 7 months. Hey, I don’t even know where I will be in 4 months. That’s ok, though. It’s even beautiful. I will continue to cast my fishing pole in every direction in the hopes that I will get a bite. God will provide for me just what I need, as he knows better what I need that I do. I am still applying to seminary but I am putting my name out for a number of other options as well. It will be neat to see what God is going to do. It will take a lot of faith and a lot of trust, but I am confident he will reveal what I need to do all in the right time.
This has freed me up from anxiety and depression. I am free to pour myself into the people of this campus now because I’m not worried about tomorrow. What a beautiful truth. Jesus said it best: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” and “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Praise God.
Some may call me foolish for this dedicated uncertainty. I don’t mind though. Life is an adventure. Part of the adventure is the uncertainty. So, God guide me and lead me and I’ll see what happens.