“Certainty is the mark of the common-sense life; gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness; it should rather be an expression of breathless expectation.” -Oswald Chambers
I sit here writing to you 2 days away from starting graduate school. By the time this blog post is actually posted for you to read, I will probably be a couple of weeks into school. I have been out of school for over 2 years now. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2016, and always knew I would be going back to school to pursue a Master’s degree one day, but I never thought the day would actually come. You see, I have always been a great student, the annoying kind that works way too hard and makes perfect grades, but I have always hated school. I used to cry every single year the night before a new school year was about to begin. I was scared. I was nervous. I didn’t want to lose the freedom of summer, and I wasn’t ready for another year of trying to achieve the too high of expectations that I held for myself. I was afraid of the change, the adventure, the risk, and the uncertainty that a new school year held.
I find myself having those same feelings now as I step into graduate school after being out of school for longer than I have ever been out of school before. I’ve experienced a lot of life, growth, and maturity in the last 2 years, yet I’m still the same scared girl that I was in high school when it comes to school. I am never too sure why I have these fears. I am always fine once I start and get back into the routine and habit of school being a part of my life, but I never feel ready for the change in lifestyle every time it resurfaces. This time I have been “free” for 2 years, I’ve gotten a full time job, gotten married, bought a house, and have much more life responsibility and way less time than I did when I was pursuing my undergrad. I think I have this picture in my head of how mine and my husband’s life is about to drastically change as we both step into grad school, and I don’t want it to change. I so much enjoy the free time we have now, together and a part, to do whatever we want to do instead of being chained down by homework assignments and exhaustion. I am afraid it is going to take away from what we love to do, and take away the opportunity to do the things we want to do. However, I say these things, yet don’t truly believe them. Yes, school will be a lifestyle change for my husband and I over the next few years compared to what our lives were like without school. But, as he so wonderfully pointed out to me, this lifestyle change doesn’t need to be something that is feared or viewed as something that is bad. It’s an opportunity to pursue and grow the purpose, the passions, the gifts, and the callings God has so graciously given each of us. It’s an opportunity to really do life together as life constantly shifts and changes. It’s an adventure. It’s a risk. It’s a push and a shove out of my comfort zone. And it is so beautifully woven together by our Creator.
As mentioned before, I realize that the fear that umbrellas all of these fears is the fear of uncertainty. Not only do I experience the fear of uncertainty with how school is going to mess with the life I am now comfortable with and comfortable in, but with the uncertainty of whether or not I am going to be able to do it, do it well, and what I am going to do with this new degree. It seems as though I am seeking the approval of man, causing uncertainty in God. You see, I received my Bachelors degree in Social Work and am now pursuing a Masters in Family Ministry. You may be able to guess some of the questions I have received from others, the concerned and judgemental comments, and the confused looks. I have found myself purposely avoiding conversations with others about grad school because I didn’t want to have to explain to them the change that God has done in my heart and life. How He has shifted my gifts, passions, calling, and purpose from what I thought they should to be, to what He has so uniquely created them to be for me. I was selfishly neglecting conversations where I could have shared how God has spoken to me over the last year. I could have shared Jesus with someone else. A door opened that I chose not to walk through. What I have come to realize and what I have really embraced over the last few weeks is confidence in what I am doing because I know it is where God has called me, and I know it will further me into where God wants me to go. I have absolutely no idea where that is right now, so if you ask I won’t have an answer for you, but I do know that I am certain in God. Even though I may be uncertain in what the future looks like, what future job(s) I will have, or what I am going to do with a Masters in Family Ministry, I am certain that God is who He says He is. That He has called me to it, and He will carry me through it. I need to stop hiding the change He has done in my heart. What opportunities am I missing to be a testimony of God and how He provides by hiding and allowing fear of the uncertain to control me? Where do you need to trust God, and take a step of faith into the uncertain? Stop asking how you are going to do it, and ask what you are going to do about it. Standing firm in Christ gives opportunity to uncertainties. Instead of living in fear of the unknown, live in the adventure of uncertainty that comes with being certain in God.