this post started as your typical lamentation of everything a 25-almost-6 year old is thinking about, and everything I’ve posted about for the last couple of years: church transitions, figuring out what to do, where to live, when things are going to happen, etc.
I could write books about transition and how hard it is to get used to things that are new, or that have taken ages to settle into.
But maybe for once we should talk less about the logistics (the who, what, where, why and when) and more about the pain (the how – how it feels.) Maybe we should talk about how it hurts to make yourself vulnerable and try to make plans and have them fail. How easy it is to lose hope that you’ll find a group of people that you’ll settle into. How embarrassing it is to tell someone what you’re thinking that you want to do with your life and three months later, nothing’s happened. How frustrating it is to have free time and nobody to spend it with.
We talk a lot about the details of our lives, but maybe we don’t give enough attention to how it feels.
It’s easy to tell someone that your plans failed, it’s less easy to tell them how it affects you on a day-to-day basis.
These are emotions that every person in a transitional phase of life go through – so what do we do with them?
Lately, I’ve been musing on a directive from Peter’s first letter to the church, when he tells the elders to clothe themselves with humility, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. “humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, for He cares for you.” (5:5-7)
I knew that verse as a kid, but now I’m starting to get it. Now I’m starting to come to the realization that there are very real anxieties that come with very real parts of life, that we can plan our house, but unless the Lord raises it, the builders strive in vain (Psalm 127:1)
The question then becomes: what does that look like? Is it as simple as prayer? On one hand, yes. But I also think that we have to live out that directive – we have to live as though it’s okay if none of our plans come about, either at all or in the way we expected them to. It has to be okay if things don’t happen when we want them, or how we want them, or where we want them. We have to trust the sovereignty of God when we lose control, the friendship of God when we feel lonely, the wisdom of God when we don’t have a clue, and the grace of God when we make mistakes. It must mean choosing to let God carry the burden of our future instead of us.