The Life Lessons of a Recent Graduate
Following my last post on the total loss of control new graduates face, I was so encouraged to find that I'm not the only one who lies awake at night planning out each variable. It became clear that control is an issue that so many of us struggle to hand over to God. Seeing as there are so many of us out there, I thought I would share a few of the life lessons I'm currently learning, praying that they may not be too dissimilar to what you are facing in this moment.
A wise friend of mine recently told me that patience is something we are only taught by experience. I responded by assuring her that I would have done a fine job by learning patience objectively. Apparently God thought otherwise. I’ve made it no secret here on More Precious that I am somewhat of a control freak. I flourish in schedules, routines and to-do lists, and my timelines are punctual and short. Just ask my boyfriend and he will tell you of my deep hatred of lateness (it may or may not have caused an argument or two…).
Yet sitting here I feel like God is late.
I am ready to work, I enjoy working, and yet there is no work. I’m standing in the corridor with doors that have either been shut in my face, or cannot be opened. And suddenly I am at the centre of God teaching me patience by experience.
Believe it or not, I don’t want to stay this way. I am too high strung, even for me, and although I truly believe my “get stuff done” attitude is the way God made me, I need to dial it down. So here’s what I’m learning, or at least trying to learn:
Whilst I’m sat with all these stupid doors staring me down, I have to learn to praise him in the corridor. No matter how long it takes.
Blooming where you’re planted
Apparently God does not pay much attention to my plans. As I’ve said before, I’m convinced this is somewhat of a mistake. I am a great planner… and yet my plan for my post university summer is, well, not going to plan. I had forged a path that I felt would get me to the place that I needed to be, whatever that means. Yet as I walk down this path, I notice that God’s made a few amendments, and the destination, that was so sure if my path had stayed as I had instructed, now grows hazy in the distance.
And I feel like I’ve failed.
If I can’t reach that far-off ideal destination, then what do I do instead? After all, I don’t do this - I don’t fail.
You’re experiencing some of my black-and-white personality, and I’m hoping some of you can relate (at least please tell me I’m not the only one!). I’m not good with grey - I don’t know what to do with it. But God doesn’t see my rerouting of plans as a failure. In fact, the road that I am on, and the destination that I am heading towards, has always been His Plan A. Whilst I walk down this path, looking around in panic at the unfamiliarity, God extends His hand and asks me to follow Him. In the midst of it all, there is a quiet whisper that seems too easy to drown out:
“Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
No, I’m no queen, but for such a time as this? Maybe there’s something there.
The value of prayer
The breakdown came after yet another rejection. This rejection particularly frustrating as I was told I performed well throughout the interview process, but a change in financing meant the company was no longer hiring. In frustration the tears welled up and the peace that had felt so tangible merely an hour before, quickly disintegrated into doubt. Feeling overwhelmed and unable to help myself, I texted Lucy to ask for prayer. It is so tempting to pray for our circumstances to change, and I am not saying that we should ignore our circumstances altogether. But in that moment of disappointment, it wasn’t a job I craved, it was the rhythm of peace.
Instead of asking for Lucy to pray for a job, I found myself asking her to pray that I would be reminded of God’s character and His purpose. I needed to be reminded that God works for the good of those who love Him, and His silence was not representative of His abandonment. As much as God cares about my employment status, He cares far more about the state of my heart. And in those moments of disappointment, it was my heart that was flagging.
It’s not about me
This has been the toughest and most reassuring lesson of all: it’s not about me. Any of it. It’s so easy to fall in rhythm with the rest of the world who tells you that your life story is all about you. The world says your life is about how successful you are, how much money you earn, what status you have, or how single you are. Either way, it’s all about you, and the pressure is on.
God turns around, and with a gentle authority says, “None of this is about you. It’s all about me and my glory”.
The last few months and weeks of graduating has really made me think about what purpose my life has. Do I want to be a career driven ambitious woman? Do I want to pour my time into my community and the relationships in my life? Is my work going to be focused on the home and my family? All of these are good options, and a worthy way to spend your life, but I think I’ve been missing the point. Rather than deciding what my life is going to be focused on, I need to decide who’s going to be at the centre of my life. Me and my desires, or God and His plans.
As followers of Jesus, we are extended a true privilege in an invitation to join God on His quest to save His people. We get to take the sidelines and watch, nose pressed against the glass, as God rescues His children. And I realise that’s what I want my life to be about. I want to live up to my birthright and follow Jesus’s example of loving His people sacrificially. I want God, His message and His love to be at the very core of who I am. And when I realise that, my career doesn’t seem as important. I don’t mean that work is secondary and we should all join ministry. No, what I mean is that God knows exactly what job I need to be in in order to shine the brightest.
God has a plan, much bigger than I, and I need to wait to take my place, patiently. And so I wait, nose pressed against the glass, ready to see miracles happen.
Hi, I’m Hannie, Co-Editor and Social Media Manager here at More Precious. I recently finished my time studying at the University of Birmingham and have since been abruptly dropped into the "real world". I love running, fresh flowers and spending a copious amount of time in coffee shops with friends. I am passionate about encouraging a generation of girls and young women who radically pursue their God-given purpose.