IN THE WAIT
I’m going to let you in on a little bit of my life. It’s not a very pretty season. It has actually been one of the longest, specific waiting seasons I have ever experienced. It has been incredibly hard, but I also think one of the most powerful things is when we talk about what we’re going through. We need to share our stories and experiences because these are the things that bring encouragement to others. We are not alone in this. You are not alone. There is someone else who is going through something very similar to you at this very moment. I bet if we all broke down our walls, and talked about our current seasons a bit more, we would hold a lot of similarities with the people around us. More than we might think.
So here’s my current unknowns, doubts, confusions, joys, expectations, worries. Here’s my season in the wait.
This Current Season
The funny thing is, I am in the exact same season that I was this time last year, except the wait was quite a bit shorter. I was nearing the end of my sophomore year, I had applied for maybe two or three internships and jobs, and a few other leadership positions in my community. I was a bit overwhelmed, but also so confident that the Lord would open the doors He wanted for me, and close the ones that were not going to fit into my life at that time. He did exactly that. I got two internships, got one leadership position, but not the other. It was a busy summer, but I was so excited. It was also one of the hardest summers I ever had, but even in my frustration, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.
Fast forward to now, and I am in the exact same position - times ten.
I have applied to twenty-six (yes, I wrote that correctly, TWENTY-SIX) jobs and internships in the last four months. I got one interview, of which I ended up never hearing back from. I had three people email me to set-up an interview, and then never continue the conversation with me once I responded. Two people said no after my application. One of them, I am still in the process of. The other nineteen, I never heard back from.
The majority of these positions, I know I was overqualified for. I am typically not one to believe that I am qualified enough, but for several of the internships, I had above and beyond the perfect resume and cover letters. I had every type of experience you would ever want for that field, and yet I was left without even a response.
On top of a job search, I recently found out that I will be graduating early. I always planned on graduating in the Spring of 2020. I actually have enough credits to graduate in the Fall of 2019, but I will be stretching it out to the end of Winter quarter, so I have a little more time.
Pop the confetti and champagne, right!? Yeah… not quite. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared for anything. Ever since I started college, I have wanted to finish. I constantly was looking forward to graduation, getting into the real world, doing something I love. Now I’m here, and I’m terrified. I have no idea what I want to do. I am discouraged beyond belief at how few opportunities that have been opened up for me. I am so fearful of getting another “no”, that I have considered not applying to things that I have been looking forward to for a while. I have been struggling with my purpose and where the Lord wants me. What am I doing here? How am I fulfilling anything? What if I end up having to work full time as a barista for a while because I can not find a job in my field? There’s nothing wrong with that - but it is not exactly the post-grad life that I had planned on.
But a few weeks ago, the Lord said that He had something very specific for me this summer, but it might not be unveiled until the last minute.
What does that even mean? How long do I have to wait to know if I have a job or not this summer? At what point do I go to my backup plan? At what point do I stop trusting, and cave into the belief that the Lord did not provide for me this summer?
I feel forgotten, quite honestly. Being so excited for the plans that are being developed in the lives of my closest friends, but also being so confused about when parts of my plan will be revealed.
Orphan vs Daughter Mindset
I can promise you that I will continue to be unsure of all of these things. Even in the midst of laying these things down at the feet of the Lord constantly, I still go back and forth between surrender and trust. Something that I have been struggling with is having an orphan vs daughter mindset. Here’s what I mean by that:
When we have an orphan mindset in relation to the Lord and what he provides, we grab onto anything we can. We hoard for fear of losing anything. Whatever is placed in front of us, we take, because we are not sure when we will get another opportunity. In an orphan mindset, we forget our incredible worth to a Father who gives good gifts to His children. We feel forgotten, rejected, and scrounge for the leftovers that we can get. Then we hold onto whatever we find, so tightly. We have no room for new opportunities or gifts to be given to us because our hands have been set in a white-knuckled grip for so long.
When we have a daughter’s mindset, we know our worth. We are in constant connection with the heart of the Lord, so when an opportunity comes, we can turn to Him, and He will reveal to us “yes, this is from me” or “I know that looks so cool, but I have something even better for you.” We don’t take whatever comes our way, and instantly hide it for fear of losing it. We let it fall into our open hands, while still keeping our hands open. Being confident that at any point, the Lord can take that opportunity and replace it with an even better one.
I know that especially in the last few weeks, I have been sitting in an orphan mindset, and I know the Lord knows that. Any offer that comes my way, I can almost guarantee you, I would take it and hold on for dear life. Even with the Lord saying that He has something incredible for me this summer, I haven’t quite gotten it to run through my mind that I can trust Him in this aspect of my life.
I Don’t Know
Yeah, so I still don’t know what I’m doing. Surprise surprise, I didn’t have some major revelation or job offer in the process of writing this blog post (that would’ve been nice though, right?) I also am not fully engrossed in a daughter mindset. Even while writing the words I just did, I am still incredibly discouraged. But, there is that little light of hope that there is something. Even if it may be slowly, I will continue to just lean into that little light. I don’t think we need to have anything big. We don’t need to go shouting from the mountain tops how much hope and trust we have, just trying to fake it until we make it. But rather, it’s a constant process of laying these things down at the feet of the Lord, feeling the fear creep back up, and doing it again. Allowing myself to grieve the things that may not happen this summer, but also being excited with the little bit of hope that I do have that the Lord will provide something better than I had dreamed.
So you have space to grieve if you are in the waiting or feel as though things have passed you by. The Lord is not sitting there, expecting you to suck it up. He understands that from your perspective, everything you are feeling is valid. He knows how you feel. He is the Great Empathizer. But hold onto that little part of you that hasn’t given up yet, even if it takes all of your energy.
(Featured photo by Emma Studley from the Undivided Retreat)