No one really prepares you for the transition that happens from college to post-grad. I guess it’s because it looks a little different for everyone. Some friends have started entry-level jobs; others have gotten married and moved across the country. Some have moved back to where they grew up. A handful are in grad school. It’s not the same story for a single person.
And so it’s been a little weird to find a rhythm. This is my second time moving to a new place, but this time it’s been different. I know the Lord so much deeper now than I did when I moved to Auburn, and that has given me the confidence to believe that He has me in Nashville for a reason even if I don’t see the entire picture just yet.
I’ve watched God work in my friends taking them places all over the country, and even though all of our seasons look a little different, I’ve seen how hard it is for everyone to transition out of a comfortable place into an unfamiliar one. Yet social media makes it seem like every moment, every place, every month is perfect.
I was talking to one of my friends recently, and we were catching up about everything that’s been going on. I told her that she looked like she was thriving in her new city, to which she replied, “Social media sure makes it look like that doesn’t it?”
We have to be reminded there are a lot of ugly, hard moments going on behind-the-scenes of social media. It’s also shown me the importance of checking in on my people. As we all begin to find community in our new cities, it’s taken me back to freshman year and the fight it was to form friendships and find my people.
The other day, I went to Radnor Lake and was going to walk my usual trail, but I decided that I had a little time to venture off onto a path I’d never been on before. I had been walking for a while and had been climbing to the top of this trail when I realized how far up I had gotten.
I started walking faster and faster anticipating the view that would be at the top. I reached one point that had an okay view but kept walking because I was certain this couldn’t be it. This couldn’t be the point I had walked and walked to reach. I started to realize that I was going down again, and then it hit me that maybe I was too busy racing to the next checkpoint to soak up what I had just passed.
And I’m beginning to think that’s how I’ve been treating this season too. I’m tired of school, I’m tired of being a part from my people, I’m exhausted from trying to get plugged in and invested into this community and what I’m doing, but this is exactly what I spent years praying for.
I’ve been praying to end up in Nashville; I prayed for really good roommates; I prayed for a house that would help me feel safe when this new season didn’t feel secure. I prayed for a church; I prayed for friends in Nashville. I prayed for so many things, and I’ve seen a lot of prayers answered.
But instead of soaking in the moments, I’ve raced on to the next thing. Never bothering to look around and see what has been really good. I’ve been thinking I need to climb higher to get where I want to go, but maybe the point hasn’t been to get to the top of the mountain, rather it’s been to realize I don’t have to exhaust myself sprinting up a mountain to see that Jesus has already climbed it.
I think I’ve overcomplicated my situation and underestimated the ability of God.
Every time I think about how comfortable I was in Auburn, I think of the quote from The Chronicles of Narnia where Susan asks about Aslan and says, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion. And Mr. Beaver replied, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
God isn’t safe, but He’s reaaaal good. He isn’t comfortable, but He’s the truest form of joy I’ve known no matter how hard the circumstances. So why am I trying to avoid what’s been uncomfortable? He isn’t.
While I was driving to Nashville with all my stuff for the big move, I felt pretty nervous. I had no idea what to expect or what the next year in Nashville would be like, so I prayed that the Lord would help me see, know, and believe that this is where He wanted me.
And then I felt Him say, “We’re going to make big waves.” It really caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting Him to answer so clearly in that moment, but it reassured me that I wouldn’t be in this alone. I wasn’t going to be the one making waves. He wasn’t going to leave me to watch while He works. He asked me to come alongside Him and further bring glory to His Kingdom.
He didn’t promise a life without storms, but He did promise to be with me as we weathered them together.
Lately, I’ve been going through the four Gospels day by day. I learn something new every time I read, no matter how many times I’ve read this before.
The other day I was reading Matthew 23 and in verse 27 Jesus is talking to those that have been hypocritical and says, “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.”
I don’t want to be a whitewashed tomb. I don’t want to pretend like things have been perfect when they haven’t been. I can’t act like the first few months I was perfectly content and okay. I felt lethargic and tense, but I’ve had to keep coming back to what is never failing and always consistent in my life: Jesus.
And so here we are. Making waves, big and small. Together. God didn’t need me, but He has allowed me to be a part of something way bigger than myself. Way bigger than what this Earth has to offer. And I will try to daily choose what’s better, what’s consistent, what’s good, what He has to offer.
I have been reminded to not wish away this season. It’s what I prayed for. And with each month that passes, I feel more at home than the last. I feel confident I’ll look back so grateful for this season just like I was for the last one.