Posts Tagged With: Uncertainty

What the Future Holds

You know, I identify a lot with that elephant walking the tightrope at the top of the screen.

Some people seem to have it all together. I find myself scrolling through my Facebook news feed, getting jealous of people who are making vacation plans and purchasing homes and having babies. These people are investing in stable plans for a certain future–they know exactly where they are headed.

I rarely ever feel that way.

I live most of my life in transition. I feel like that guy Nik Wallenda who just walked across the Grand Canyon at 1500 feet in the air, feet wobbling in the wind. Except I’m never quite sure when I’ll reach the end of the tight rope, or what exactly will be waiting for me on the other side.

Nearly ten years ago, I started college and moved out of my parents’ house, a place where I had made my home for the last eighteen years. The bedroom I used when I was eighteen is the same room that once held my baby crib. I even had a place on the wall where I marked my height over the years. It was terrifying to move away from home, because I’d never ever lived anywhere else. Since then, my life has been a whirlwind. I’ve lived in twelve different residences in five different states and one foreign country. I rarely go more than a year without moving into a different house/apartment or switching jobs. Not because I enjoy change, by any means. Change just seems to always find me.

I long to go back to that lifestyle of hunkering down and staying in the same place for years and years. Getting comfortable. Making things permanent. Knowing where I live and where my life is headed. I miss the certainty of that.

But it’s summer again, and summer seems to be my season of change. Being a lifelong student and a teacher after that, I tend to measure my life in semesters. Where am I heading next semester? Where will I be one school year from now? And the truth is, I still don’t know.

A lot of things are up in the air for us right now. Justin and I were planning on buying a house this summer for a long time, but now we’re not so sure it’s going to happen. Financial aid that I was counting on for grad school has fallen through, and the internship opportunity I was hoping for looks like it might not happen. Suddenly I’m re-evaluating whether or not I can afford to finish grad school, and Justin and I are both wondering if Pittsburgh is where we’re supposed to be. Against my will, I’ve been thrown back out on that tightrope again, left to worry that one wrong move could send me off course, hurtling through the air toward my doom. I inch forward, day by day, not really sure of what awaits when I find my way onto solid ground again.

During a phone conversation with my dad last week, I asked, “When will I start feeling like I have it all together? When will I start feeling certain of where my life is headed?” I figured, maybe his answer would be “in your thirties.” After all, theoretically a person in their thirties is a lot more stable than a person in their twenties who is still figuring everything out, right? He thought about it for a moment, and he answered honestly: “I don’t know if that ever happens.”

There’s only one thing I can do during these tightrope moments, when I’m navigating from solid ground to solid ground. I have to trust that God knows where I’m headed and that he’s going to get me there. Do I enjoy having to depend fully on him because I can’t see where I’m going? Not really, to be honest. I like to be in control (or at least feel like I am). But I suppose I need to get used to it. If the past ten years is any indication, there will be many more tightropes in my future.

It’s a Peter-walking-on-water situation. Instead of looking down and getting scared that I’m going to fall, I need to keep my eyes on Jesus, and know that he’s the one in charge of the storm and the chaos anyways, and he’s not going to use it to hurt me. And I’m glad that I have a church here in Pittsburgh to remind me about that every single week and help me re-align my perspective. Particularly, their message yesterday really spoke to anyone who is feeling stressed out or uncertain about the future. You can watch the entire service here, if you’re interested:

We sang a song yesterday by Kristian Stanfill that I’ve heard before on the radio, but I never paid careful attention to the lyrics before, and it really hit me.

“The Lord Our God”

Promise maker, Promise Keeper
You finish what You begin
Our provision through the desert
You see it through ’til the end
You see it through ’til the end

The Lord our God is ever faithful
Never changing through the ages
From this darkness You will lead us
And forever we will say
You’re the Lord our God

In the silence, in the waiting
Still we can know You are good
All Your plans are for Your glory
Yes, we can know You are good
Yes, we can know You are good

We won’t move without You
We won’t move without You
You’re the light of all
And all that we need
We won’t move without You
We won’t move without You
You’re the light of all
And all that we need

Categories: Christian Living | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

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