April 2, 2010 - 10:00 PM
I am pleased to report that I am working through the anxiety that I have been feeling regarding the end of my academic career and stepping out into the "real world". I have had a pretty big knot in my stomach for awhile and it took sitting with that knot and looking at it for awhile to be able to loosen the twists and folds enough to be able to unravel it. Now instead of that anticipatory knot, I am feeling a deep joy and peace about what's next for me.
True, I am still just as clueless about work and life outside of being a student as I ever was but I'm able to reflect back on other big transitions in my life and take a few lessons from them to apply to my situation now. I have this image in my mind. It's like I am walking in a path where the footsteps are already laid out for me. It is pitch black, or maybe I have my eyes closed, and I am stepping out of one solid stable foothold and stretching my toes out and feeling around. I am blindly tapping and allowing my foot to be guided to that next sturdy place. This process if much easier if I keep out all ideas about what that next step should and will look like. You don't know and I don't know, so why try and force myself to figure it out? When I do, I only complicate matters, fighting against that unknown faith-filled process. I end up tired, discouraged, and often trying to step in the opposite direction of where I should be. The sure footing sometimes feels different than I would expect. I can sure be stubborn but I do eventually resign my efforts and put my trust in that next step.
Well, I can either look at the next step in my life and work hard to fight and make a step where there isn't one, or I can relax and trust that God will guide me to where I need to be. He always has in surprising ways. I can always tell when I am trying to take over the process because I start to work really hard. I work and I work and I push, shove, rearrange, and frustrate myself. When I listen and am obedient I am not stressed and I never have to work hard. I step out and before I know it, my foot is where it needs to be with no complications. But I make a mess out of it when it's me.
I am tapping my foot in the dark. I know I can't act until I know for sure and I'm not about to fill my mind with dead end roads. So for now I will wait and soak up the joy and peace I am feeling with the unknown and the assurance that I will be able to take the right next step. This feels so much better than a knot in my belly.