There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human's mind against God."
- C.S. Lewis
I am quickly approaching the start of grad school, which, to my great discomfort, comes with many irritatingly unanswered questions. Like, will I pay off all of the debt? Where will I be interning? Where can I find a flexible job? How will I feed myself? Instead of finding practical answers to these questions, I have been filling my mind with questions whose outcomes I can meticulously control: primarily the interior design of my future studio apartment. Should I get a single or a full bed? Should I paint my walls pure white or soft white? How many fuzzy pillows are too many fuzzy pillows? Unfortunately, suffocating the unnerving thoughts about graduate school with millennial pink fuzzy pillows does not make them go away. Instead, they slink to the back of my mind where they manifest in an underlying anxiety and stress acne. Which triggers the cycle all over and I start researching mid-century modern coffee tables (like this cute one from wayfair.)
I have long held the philosophy of “I’m going to trust God, and walk in a direction until He slams a door in my face.” Recently, this faith that God will eventually lead me to the right direction is being put to the test. There are many unanswered questions, which need an answer, and in my opinion, they should have been answered yesterday. So, I start to feel paralyzed by the sheer weight of the unknown. Sometimes, walking without anything happening is the biggest test of faith.
In an attempt to process some of these stresses, I took Lucy (our family’s fluffy Goldendoodle) hiking on a trail near our house. Except somewhere along the way, thanks to my complete lack of sense of direction (as well as lack of a phone), I took a wrong turn and then I ended up on one of the many dirt roads surrounding my house. I looked down at Lucy, who looked up at me with her big eyes and a wagging tail. It appeared she didn’t know where we were, either. So I started down a direction, trying to figure out the name of the road while trusting my gut and intuition. I felt like my physical reality mirrored my mental reality. There were no signs that I was going the right direction, no reassurance. As I walked along, I was reminded once again of God’s faithfulness. Even though I was wandering around in unknown territory, I vaguely had a sense that I was on the right path.
A few days later in my small group, we watched a sermon by Erwin McManus of Mosaic Church in California. His message discussed Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." When our lives “swerve” in such a way where we can no longer see the path ahead, we need to remember the faithful God who has brought us to the place. I know there will be greater swerves in my life other than feeling overwhelmed by the preparation for graduate school (like perhaps actual grad school). Thankfully, we have a God who whispers in our ear, "this is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30:21) even when our brains are full of poor coping mechanisms and a tasteful accent of millennial pink.
A special thank you to our guest writer,
Katie, who will be attending U of M in the fall
earning her mastesr in clinical social work.