The past view months have been a whirlwind of exciting events: graduation parties, becoming alumni of my high school, fun trips, memorable hugs and notes and gifts, orientation, and much more. This season, particularly for all the graduates, is a season of excitement and hope and looking toward the future, whether it is college or something else. Coming off of orientation I couldn’t be more excited for going to school in the fall. There’s so much to look forward to: meeting new friends, independence, having a fresh start and getting to experience some of the best years of my life.
There’s so much uncertain. As exciting as this season is for me and my fellow graduates, it is also a scary one. What if I can’t make friends? What if I am homesick too much? What if I don’t like my school and wish I had gone somewhere else? There are so many pieces that have to fit together just right in order for all of us to have the college experience we want, and we are not in control of 99% of it.
All of these doubts and fears came to a head one night last week. I was on the phone with a friend talking about all of these challenges. I was nervous about orientation and scared about college and anxious about all that was to come. I started to cry. I cried because everything felt uncertain: my summer, going to school, leaving my family, and not knowing what was coming next. As pumped as I am to experience this world, I am also afraid of it: afraid of its uncertainty and challenges, and of what it may or may not offer me.
This is when my dear friend spoke some serious words of wisdom to me that I have henceforth thought about everyday. He said to me, “Kate. I know that everything feels uncertain, but you have got to stop worrying about tomorrow. Remember that verse about tomorrow? It says that it has enough troubles of its own. So remember that, and take a deep breath. You’ve got to stop being so scared about the next thing and enjoy each day as it comes. No good comes from having anxiety over things you cannot control.”
I did take a deep breath then, and his words sunk deep into me. I remembered the verse he was talking about: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matthew 6:34. I particularly like the way the Message paraphrases it: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
What a beautiful verse. What a beautiful truth! There is no rhyme or reason in worrying with what is to come two months from now, because here I sit, in the palm of God’s hand, and there is no better place to be. What good is worrying about tomorrow? It only corrupts today. What better way to live each day for Christ than to honor him by trusting him in the moment? There is so much peace and rest in trusting the Lord of all creation to hold it together for you. Wanna know why? You cannot hold it together yourself. Remember what I said before, about every piece fitting together exactly as we want it to? Here’s the truth in that: it will NOT fit as we wish it to, and that is completely okay.
I am a planner. I like to know what is coming next and what my plan is several days, weeks, maybe even months ahead of time. I had a plan for this year, and it wasn’t executed like I thought it would or wanted it to. It was a set plan and God took it and turned it upside down. There was nothing I could do but cling to His truth and trust His plan one day at a time. Everything in my senior year was different than I expected, but it was beautiful, and God took some hard things and made them good.
It is so important for me to remember these next few months, as I transition into college that I live under a God who is bigger than my worries. He is strong enough to carry me through whatever happens, and I am able to trust Him completely, knowing His plan is good. Even when I can’t see it, I trust that His plan is good. How wonderful is it to know I serve a God who is better and more creative than me: whatever plan I have, He has something different and something greater. I am not going into college without an ally who holds the whole world in His hand.
If the biggest thing you have to trust is yourself, then you SHOULD be anxious about tomorrow. But I don’t. That’s the beauty of Christ: I lean on Jesus and his truth, and that is what gives me rest and hope as I prepare to transition. And the beauty of the gospel is that it is timeless: there is rest for the anxious college student, struggling mother, hurting child, every age and life stage. This truth isn’t just mine today, it is mine everyday and forever. And it is yours: grab hold of it, and make it your foundation.
It is this truth that has caused me to sit back and breathe these last few days. As I look ahead, I don’t worry (as much.. it’s a process ;)), instead I look ahead knowing that whatever lies in tomorrow is already known by my Father in Heaven, and He holds me in the palm of His hand. That is enough. I pray that will ALWAYS be enough.