Well, it happened. I graduated. All day the emotions have been coming in waves. I battled fear today. I walked across a stage (tripped ever so slightly, but not enough for anyone to notice) and celebrated the completion of a degree.
I said goodbye in a hurried way to friends I no longer live down the hall or across the room from. I fought an upset stomach. I cried a little. I smiled ecstatically and posed for pictures.
I finished what I set out to do.
When the ceremony started this morning, a man stood and read a scripture. Philippians 4:6-8 and following. I can’t remember how far he read because I was too busy glancing in my Dad’s direction. His finger was pointed to heaven and his expression was awestruck.
That passage of Scripture has basically been my life verse since early elementary school. It was the verse that first taught me to trust God, and was my first step in battling anxiety and fear. That verse and the truth behind it is why fear did not win today. It is why I got out of bed and told myself that there was nothing to fear. It was why I forced myself to eat food even though fear was doing well nauseating me. It was why I called on the name of Jesus multiple times this afternoon as the waves of reality began to roll over me.
Yet, in that ceremony, hearing that passage today, the waves sweeping over me were that of grace and extravagant blessing. Hearing that passage was like a seal on my time at college, a reminder that God carried me through it, He made Himself known, and He was there celebrating with us. It felt like God was smiling down on me. (I think I might have freaked out the guy sitting next to me, though. Only five minutes after the processional and already I was fighting tears. Oh well. It was a God moment and I let it sweep over me.)
It’s weird, though, being on the other end. For so long I have wanted a place to call home. I’ve wanted to stop all this moving. I loved college, but I was not a fan of feeling like the child of divorced parents, packing and unpacking, moving back and forth between school and home. Now, I sit at the end of this season. That desire of my heart to have a home is here and part of me wants to run and hide–or at the very least drive back to campus and see if I can stick around a bit.
This constant moving has been my life basically for the last decade. Once I would get settled, it was time to leave again. Now, I’m home for the long haul. It’s time for roots to go deeper, time to settle in and figure out my place here. I’m going to have to give myself grace and realize that it’s going to take time to adjust. Tears will be a part of the process as I grieve those little things along with the big things that ended today–daily relationships have turned long distance, the loss of community living with a great group of girls, no more chapel services, and those people who have poured into me these last four years are far away.
Life’s changing and I’ll adjust. The adventure ahead is one I’m excited about. But right now, I think it’s just a time to cry, to remember, to just let myself do what I need to do to be all here.
I keep picturing myself standing on a hill. The sky is painted beautiful colors and all around me is expanse. The opportunities that God has in store for me seem limitless. All of my tomorrows stretch out before me and I have no idea what to expect.
But one truth hasn’t changed: God is still God.
His love is boundless. And while emotions may be sweeping over me like waves as reality sets in, I will not drown. This is good and healthy and normal. God is holding me, supporting me, helping me, loving me. Once again I am so humbled by His love. I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve any of the blessings and words and opportunities and relationships and gifts He has so lavishly poured out. Yet He keeps giving.
If you’re in a season of transition–of reach goals or unrealized dreams, of the new and exciting or the anxious and uncertain–cling to this truth today.
God is still God.
He is still in charge. Still holding you in His strong arms. He knows the story of where you’ve been, and He knows where you’re heading. You are not alone. Neither in the joy or the sorrow.
Keep moving forward. Take the next step. And trust that the Lord goes with you.
Live in His love!
Related: Jesus Holds You Through It All