20 is a weird age. I'm halfway through my college career. I should have very little worries considering how blessed I am. I have nobody to take care of other than myself, and my only heavy responsibilities include getting good grades and keeping my parents in the loop. At the same time, I'm trying to figure out what the heck I want to do when this period of my life comes to an end. Here is a glimpse into the questions that keep me up at night:
"Where will I end up after graduation?"
"Should I play it safe and live close to home? Or should I pick up and move somewhere fun since I'm young and the world is at my fingertips?
"What grade will I teach? Will I even get hired right away?"
"Am I even fit for this job? Is this what God is calling me to do?"
I could go on and on.
I'm always worried about what's to come, but am also trying to stay present in the now. It's a constant battle. In one way or another, I feel as though I've failed every single day. I'm consumed with bettering myself, however, this leads to striving to be the best "me" I can. But what exactly does it mean for me to be the "best me"? Whenever I find success, I find some way to criticize myself. I’ll compare myself to the other students in the education program, or convince myself that I’m not good with the kids that I work with in the elementary schools. I’ll stand in front of the mirror and ask myself if I should start dieting like my friends. I’ll tell myself that I heard what God was saying to me all wrong. The internal comparing and tearing myself down rarely stops, but I’m improving.
I know that when I don’t feel like I’m enough, the enemy is working his hardest to suppress what I know to be true. My job on this earth is to be present in the period of life He has me in now and glorify Him. The only person I need to be working for is my God. If what I do each day is pleasing to Him, then I’ve done what I need to do. That’s where I’ll feel like I have the most purpose.
I’m also learning to rest in the fact that God knows where I’m going to be tomorrow, and next month. He knows where I’m going to be next year, and in 10 years. He’s not going to leave me to fend for myself. Sure, it doesn’t mean that everything is going to fall into my lap, but if I obey Him and follow where He directs me, then it will fall into place. Nothing in this life is an accident. Nothing in this life surprises our God. Remind yourself of this. No amount of chaos is a surprise to Him, and no beginning or end of any relationship or season in our lives is an interruption to His plan.
I keep having to tell myself, “God knows where you’ll be teaching in less than two years.” “God already knows who your students will be” “God already knows how you do on that class presentation.”
So, this is what I’m learning from all of this. Life’s less than ideal circumstances are unavoidable and will knock you down out of no where. Worrying about the future is inevitable. Striving to meet expectations will never completely go away. Asking God for peace is the only thing that will bring me rest. You can’t find peace by worrying more, or trying to figure things out for yourself. Enjoy where you are in this life right now. Enjoy where God has placed you— He’s making something wonderful out of it.