Last Friday was the annual Day of Prayer at APU and it was remarkable to see what a different place I am in a year later. At this time last year I was writing a painful letter (during the personal devotion time…where I also wrote most of this post) full of confusion, fear, and anger at God. I was confused about the direction and purpose of my life six months after graduating undergrad. I felt alone and lost and basically like a failure all around. I can say now that I was very distant from God. I was also still coming to terms about how radically different, incredibly painful, and very disappointing my undergrad experience, and simply life away from home and high school, had been. I was lonely, stuck, and scared.
The most ironic thing about my circumstances between then and now is that nothing has really changed. I am still unsure about the direction in my life; my job is still temporary and therefore uncertain. Plus, a few other personal things have also occurred (or returned) and tore up my being, my life, my faith, and my relationships from October to February. But, what did dramatically change since this day one year ago is me.
I am coming to terms with, and welcoming, who I am. I am God’s beloved. I am closer with God and more aware of Him, His will, and how He is working in my life in a way I haven’t been since high school. I am committed and determined to be content no matter what the circumstances, as Jesus in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) and Paul (Philippians 4:11) said to be. At this point last year things got much worse before getting better and although these circumstances haven’t changed all that much, I have changed and will continue to. I am learning that ultimately that is all one can do. You can remain stagnant and angry and be a victim, or you can make things better. Everyone knows the saying that “the only thing that doesn’t change is change,” so I have to be an adult and change too. You have to take a deep breath, and step forward proactively, and in faith. We are not talking a big step, even a very small step will do. It is these small, almost insignificant, steps that take you down the road.
I have learned that as long as you walk with God He doesn’t care how slow or small that step is, He will be right beside you, holding your hand, placing one brick in front of you at a time to build your yellow brick road to a home and a life with Him. When you look too far ahead it is intimidating and tough to see the path in front of you, but when you look down, God shows you where to keep stepping and when you glance behind you, you can see how far you’ve come.