This morning, after I ate breakfast and sipped on coffee…after I spent time on the Word, I thought about how I should write a blog post…to what it should be on…to when it hits, and I type away.
So, I’m a Post Grad, speaking to a Grad:
You’re done with college.
You’ve finished. (Or, about to finish)
Or, maybe you’ve just realized you’re a senior and have no idea what you want to do with your life.
Two common responses to the unknown: slight panic or just plain ignoring.
I’ve always known what I wanted to do with my life, what I felt like God called me to do since I was 9 years old: to be a missionary. Yes, it’s a broad term. But, after multiple mission trips to Mexico and overseas over the last decade of my life, I have felt the most alive on the mission field, like that’s exactly where He wants me. I feel at “home” when I’m getting on a plane to go to another country, or I’m walking up to strangers to build relationships, to bridge gaps, to share Jesus’ love through talking, hugging, smiling.
And, so, I went to Azusa Pacific University to prepare for the mission field after, and to run at a competitive Christian university. I wanted to grow deeper in my faith through academics and through running. And Jesus rocked my world. I learned that Jesus’ love is deeper, greater, more compassionate, more grace filled. I learned that letting go of my “plans” meant that Jesus could step in and transform my heart. I learned that balance in running and academics meant more slowing down, more listening, more rest and less hurrying, talking, and doing.
And, by senior year in college, my idea of missionary and mission field looked different. It is now broader, deeper, wider…filled with a greater sense of compassion, grace, love. And while I have a deep longing to be abroad someday or for a period of time, I know that right now, I’m on the mission field. I graduated with a degree in Sports Ministry and thought towards the end of my degree that it should have been Urban Ministry or something that sounded more like conventional ministry…something that sounded like what I thought I would be doing. What I had planned.
And here I am, doing Sports Ministry as a professional runner, right where God weaved my faith and running together. He knew exactly what He was doing when my mom told me she signed me up for a running camp in Mammoth Lakes, called TUFF camp with Athletes in Action. Years later, the people who I looked up to for their faith and running are now good friends: Sara Hall…Josh Cox…(and Josh’s sweet wife, Carrie).
And, the first summer after graduation came with a wave of emotions. I was excited, sad, nervous, unsure, totally sure…
So, I have some advice for you.
Post-Grad to Grad:
Celebrate that you finished college or that soon you will be finishing college.
Celebrate what you learned, how you grew, how you were challenged.
Celebrate the great years you just had (hopefully) and…
Celebrate the years to come.
But, what not to do: (That I did very well)
Stop worrying that God doesn’t have a plan.
Stop worrying that you might not use your degree.
Stop worrying if you got the right degree.
Stop worrying about your job interview tomorrow
Or, where you’re going to live.
Or, how you’ll make friends.
Or, what people will think if you move back home.
Celebrate, Pray, Rest, Talk.
God has a bigger and greater plan than you could write for yourself and all you have to do is say yes to him.
Pray that God would help you to trust, continue to learn, continue to be challenged.
Rest. Rest. Rest.
Talk about post- grad life with other post grads. You aren’t alone. You aren’t alone in feeling a bit of culture shock or fearing what could come next. Talk: that’s why God made us for community.
College was a long ride, right?
Life is longer.
But, it can be full of God’s grace, His direction, His love, if you let him take the reigns.
There is a life after college, I promise. God also has plans for you after college.