Building My Trust Muscle

 

HELLO, I AM BACK!!!!

I haven’t written a blog post in ~months~ and I figured I’d end my silence today. Not that everyone is waiting on bated breath for my blog posts, but still, I hate just dropping off the face of the earth like that. So here’s what happened me with me.

I got engaged and subsequently entered into a frenzy of wedding planning, which is basically like a full-time job on its own. But there’s something more than wedding-induced stress that’s kept me from writing.

I’ve fallen into a slump of unbelief. Lack of faith. I read my Bible every morning, I highlight all the important verses, I encourage myself as best as I can! But my heart still feels a little deflated. I feel discouraged from the lack of direction I have in my life about where Devon & I will live, where we will work, what we will do. I definitely thought that by now, I would have a better picture of the future- and by “the future”, I mean when we get married, which is LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AWAY! There are still a lot of unknowns leading up to our big day, and I’ve dissolved into a huge puddle of stress about it.

A year and a half ago, I spoke about the future with confidence. I thought, “God’s got me taken care of, He will work out my future!” But what happens when God doesn’t show up like I thought He would? Or should I clarify, when God doesn’t show up in my timing? (How demanding of me! *eye roll*) Because that’s me right now. I expected God to have done something a little more obvious by now.

“God, hello? Hey, it’s me! Yes, I am in fact still here waiting, and I am in fact still stressed out! So could you please go ahead and do what I want you to do? And could you possibly make that happen like right now? “

(Not that I’m actually praying in those words, but when I really think about it, that’s kind of what I’m saying.)

So can you guess what God’s saying back?

He’s saying a big, fat, NOPE!!!!!! Not yet!!!!

God has gone ahead and SHUT ME DOWN! He has put me in my place!!! He has humbled me and has been very clearly saying, “You are not the boss of me! I am doing things how I would like to do them, thank you very much! I am in fact aware that you’re still there and still stressed, and I am in fact waiting for you to realize that you don’t need to be and never will be in control! And that you have zero idea what you’re talking about anyways because I know what’s best for you and you don’t! And I think I’ll have you wait a little bit longer so you can learn a lesson! :)”

And so I’m just here, counting down the days until my wedding, and kind of laughing because God is being a very last minute kind of Guy and it’s stretching me past my little breaking point in the best way possible. (Also if you think I’m some sort of crazy person who is actually having a legitimate conversation out loud with God like this, I plan on writing another post about what hearing from God actually sounds like, so stay tuned for that).

I hope this hasn’t offended anyone, because I had fun writing this. Sometimes I make God out to be this stern & serious no fun kind of Guy. But that’s not true, and it helps me understand Him more if I can kind of translate things into my own language.

Right now I have a mustard seed of faith, (Luke 17:6) and that’s all the Bible says I need. “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). I know God is good, I know He is fighting for me, I know He has already won! I know He has written my story, I know He will ALWAYS take care of me, and I know He has blessed me far more than my often ungrateful heart will ever be able to comprehend. I know my mind is too small to grasp what He is doing, and so I’m just riding out these emotions and fears and building up my trust muscle.

And let me also be VERY clear in saying that I realize that my life is amazing. Like, I have absolutely no reason to complain. Absolutely none. I am engaged to literally the most amazing human being I have ever met on this planet, and just that alone is a gift more valuable to me than I will ever be able to quantify. I have an incredibly supportive family and awesome parents who take care of me and tons of friends who are always there for me. I have an endless list of things I’m grateful for. But in this one category of my life, I’m very overwhelmed- and that doesn’t negate any of the other blessings! I just wanted to share this one chapter of confusion, & be more transparent. Thank you for reading along!! I genuinely appreciate it.

 

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What I Wish I Knew When I Graduated College

I’ve finally figured it out. After months of uncertainty, confusion, and overall anxiety about what to do with myself post-grad, I have realized what’s actually going on here.

I am nearly positive that all adults are getting together at some huge annual convention where they collectively (and secretly!!) decide to pretend they know what they’re doing!! Even if they have no idea!! I’m currently waiting to be invited to one of these meetings.

For real though, the moment I realized we’re all just “winging it” was a huge relief. As the end of my college career approached, I naively assumed that when I graduated, things would immediately fall into place. I genuinely believed that within a few months, some fantastic opportunity would fall out of the sky directly into my lap. I thought that a couple of job applications would result in an awesome, fulfilling job.
So when a few months passed and that didn’t even come remotely close to happening, I felt a deep sense of failure. I felt like I was stuck in a cloud of anxiety that obscured all truth and direction from my life.

I wish someone had told me that it would feel really strange to graduate. I felt out of place, left out, and lonely. Many times I wondered if it had even been worth it for me to work so hard to graduate a whole year early and in turn, feel completely isolated from my friends. I felt like I graduated with grandiose ideas, but then just floundered in anxiety and uncertainty for months. I waded in negativity instead of focusing on all the amazing blessings in my life.

The reality of life is that things take much longer than you think they will, and probably much longer than you want to wait. It took me a while to get this, but I am finally understanding just how important it is to take the pressure off of myself, be patient, and be okay with figuring things out along the way.

Nobody ever gets an instruction manual or a map of where they should go. Can you imagine if there were some life map where everyone had a different colored line to follow like a subway line for their life? Like Google Maps but for life decisions instead? That would be awesome. But actually, that wouldn’t be awesome.

The unpredictability of life is what produces character in us. Challenges are what make life meaningful, and without them we would miss out on the deepest kinds of joy. Like the joy that comes when you finally reach a higher understanding and feel like a light has turned on and reached the darkest corners of your pain, or the joy that comes wrapped in sorrow, or the joy that comes from the best surprise of your life. The uncertainty of the future reminds us that we are not on earth to chase pleasure. We are not here to idolize happiness or money or success. We are here to live with purpose and grow every day. And not knowing where we’re going humbles us and helps remind us of the insatiable yearning we all have, deep down, to live a life of meaning.

I think we all walk around with anxiety weighing on our shoulders. We buy into the lie that we have to get everything perfectly right, and we end up taking on incredible stress about it. We hold onto our plans with white knuckles and melt down when things don’t go according to that plan. It’s probably going to feel uncomfortable and even unproductive, but letting go of your timeline and accepting God’s timeline is the best thing you can do for your anxiety.

I’m trying to remind myself this every day. It’s a daily challenge for me, but I know that giving up control actually leads to freedom.

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