“So how is school? What are you up to now?”
Oh, no actually I graduated this past December.
“Oh how great! What are you plans for after graduation then?”
This is a conversation I have at least once a day. My response usually ends up along the lines of: “Oh wherever the Lord leads me,” or “I am note sure, I’ll let you know when I get there,” or better yet- the cold hard truth, “Um I actually am just taking it day by day because I am kinda freaked out about teaching and scared out of my mind to move forward and make an adult decision.”
That one gets ’em. But then something miraculous happen. Whoever I am talking to starts throwing encouragement at me from left and right. They say things like, “My daughter is in that same spot!” or “You know, I remember being where you are now, and I know it is scary, but you just have to trust yourself and go for it.”
Heck, who knew I wasn’t the only one freaking out about my life plans?
But the best response that I received was from my high school youth pastor. I ran into him at a friend’s wedding, and since I had been student teaching in another state, out of the country, and graduated from college since the last time I saw him and his family, we had a lot to talk about. And of course, the regular college graduate question came within the first few sentences exchanged: so what are your plans now?
HA. Since this guy knew me well, I gave him the cold hard truth, admitting that I didn’t want to be home, that I was scared out of my mind to start my adult life, and I ended with, “I don’t know, I just thought I would be moving forward with my life right now, and I feel like I am just here, stuck at home, making no progress at all.”
And to this he said, “You know, you say you’re not moving forward, but here you are. You graduated, you’re working- every day is progress and every day you are moving forward in your life.” (Bryan, sorry this may be paraphrased slightly)
Man was this a slap in the face. But one of those super, wonderful, God moment kind of slaps in the face.
I am moving forward. I am waking up (which is a daily struggle in itself), going to work, signing up for/taking all 6 of my teaching license tests, and applying for substitute positions. When I do anything throughout my day, that means I am moving forward.
I really, really stink at pushing myself too much, giving myself such high expectations for my life plans, goals, whatever it may be. I expect perfection and because of the broken human that I am, I am constantly falling short. And when I fall short, I feel defeated, incompetent, and worthless, and I end up telling myself that my life is going no where, especially compared to everyone else’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
But what my youth pastor said was so dang true. I have to stop being so hard on myself. I graduated college early gosh dang it, successfully passed and exceeded my student teaching oral defense, taught overseas, and graduated Summa Cum Laude-yet I still tell myself that I am not doing the best that I can. I still tell myself that I will fail in any classroom I step foot in. And worst of all, I let myself believe it all.
If you are a soon to be college graduate, high school student, or anyone else reading this for that matter, we all can relate with these lies that a sneaky little Liar tells us. Lies that we hold tighter to than anything else in this world, but let me speak truth to you today: this life is tough, and because of the broken people that we are, living, achieving, and succeeding in this world is tough sometimes But guys, it is okay. We (especially me) need to stop reaching for the best of the best because we are missing all the greatest moments that are right in front of us. If we keep reaching for perfection, we will keep missing the ordinary, wonderful achievements that we accomplish every day.
This world will keep telling you to be better than you are, to have it all figured out, and to be perfect from all angles, but let me tell you something: we aren’t called to listen to this world.
We are called to listen to The One who created us perfect and beautiful. We are called to listen to The One who covered us in His blood, making us spotless and whole in Him.
Which means, that no matter what this life throws at us, no matter how many times we feel like we have fallen on our faces, we will always fall into His arms.
Progress is progress. And moving forward is a daily battle- but we have a Savior who has already fought and won the battle for us.
So keep moving forward. Keep seeking Him, trusting in His plan, and seeing yourself as He sees you, and I promise He will never fail you.
See you soon,