Of Uncharted Waters

Just over two months ago, I pressed the “submit” button for the final assignment of the final course for my English degree. After you-wouldn’t-believe-how-many tests, after reading plays and poems and stories, after writing and editing and writing again, after deadlines and background music and tears and work, I was done. I’d done what I’d been wanting to do for years.

The exhilaration lasted less than a day.

I’d reached my destination only to be cast out on the sea again, and on a sea that was much choppier, amidst winds that howled louder, than the one I’d been sailing across for the last two-and-a-bit years.

What was my identity now that I wasn’t a college student? I wore—and still wear—other hats, of course, but none that gave me the same security or identity, or the same ready answer to the dreaded question of “What do you do?”

How was I to use my time now that I had less to do?

How was to I adjust to the fact that I’d always hoped to glide from a degree to marriage without that messy in-between stage, but here I was—my degree consigned to a previous act with me still awaiting a significant other to walk on stage?

And what was I to do next?

The last one seemed easy, initially. I had a plan to which I’d given hours of research.

But then it didn’t work out.

(And no, I’m not going to insert the “mice and men” quote here….)

And so there have been tears. And worry. And frustration. And wasted time. And searching for open doors.

I’m holding my breath now, as another door seems to be opening. Perhaps my little boat will have landed on a new shore in a few weeks’ time. That’s what I’m praying for.

But perhaps it won’t.

I shared this quote from Jared Wilson back in March. (It doesn’t appear to be on his website anymore, so I’m just linking back to my original post.)

“You know, it’s possible that God’s plan for us is littleness. His plan for us may be personal failure. It’s possible that when another door closes, it’s not because he plans to open a window but because he plans to have the building fall down on you. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Will Christ be enough?”

And, as a sweet friend told me recently, not just “enough” in a passive I’ll-close-my-eyes-tight-and-get-through-with-this sort of way, but “enough” in a way that draws us out of ourselves to create beauty and to love others, no matter how far our circumstances are from being what we want them to be.

This is my challenge. One that, frankly, I’ve failed miserably at.

How does Lewis close his essay “A Slip of the Tongue”?

“ Our morning prayer should be that in the Imitation: Da hodie perfecte incipere—grant me to make an unflawed beginning today, for I have done nothing yet.”



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