When I was a senior in college, back in Spring 2015, I was excited about graduating. One, I was just done with college and ready to move on. I loved studying but I was tired of where I was. Second, I looked forward to opportunities. I had applied for some pretty cool internships that I felt confident I would get. The day I graduated was the worst day of my life. When it was finally over, I was wicked glad, but exhausted.
Well, life moved on and those internships I was confident about – two were about 3-5 months long and one was for a year – each fell through. I wasn’t who they wanted in any of those positions. I knew life after college would be difficult but little did I know that these three rejections were just the start. Opportunities closed due to finances. Rejections came in abundance. I resorted back to a job I worked during the holidays when I was home for break and it drained me. It was an unhealthy environment but it was all I had.
Quickly and slowly at the same time (how?) my dreams began to fade. People would ask me that ridiculous question, “What is your dream job?” I highly doubt many people have an answer for that. I have many passions, many talents, and that means an assortment of job possibilities. But sadly, things have not panned out how I hoped. There’s nothing wrong with hope. My idea of after college was realistic and attainable, it’s just not become reality and now it seems so far from reach.
I am a month away from having been out of college for two years. That’s two years that seem wasted to me. I have done nothing I am passionate about due to smothering limitations. I have had no opportunity move forward. I’ve applied for countless positions, some that I would like to have and others I could care less about. It’s not that I haven’t put forth effort – that’s what I do every day! – but for some reason beyond my understanding, none of it has been worthwhile.
I cried so hard yesterday. I have cried an absurd amount since graduating (which is not like me at all), including, like yesterday, having my heart shatter inside me. My dreams have faded to nothing. I don’t have dreams anymore. I doubt at times having a future. I don’t see beyond what I have been experiencing, which has been closed door after closed door after closed door. It’s tiring. It’s wearisome. It’s discouraging.
“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but You will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth.” Psalm 71:20 NLT
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 NLT
As a believer in God, I doubt that He would leave me to live in this misery for the rest of my life. I doubt that He would have me lose heart, have shattered dreams, a worn-out body, and a hopeless spirit. I doubt that He would give me dreams and passions and abilities without chances to use them and live them out. I trust that this is a temporary season – hopefully ending very soon! – and that somehow, in all my confusion and frustration, my heartbreak and sorrow, that He will use it. How? Well, only God knows how.
I have to believe that He will restore my dreams back to me. He will give me strength and make me established, standing firm in His promises for a future.
This has been such a trying season to say the least. As a writer and the one experiencing this, I have not yet found the words that appropriately describe what it’s like. To me, it’s probably the second worst place to be behind being a non-believer without hope. That may seem extreme but it is an immensely difficult place to be. I want to please the LORD. I want to use the gifts He’s given me for His glory. I want to spread the Gospel and have Him use me to make a difference in other people’s lives. I want to go beyond this quicksand place I’ve been in and truly live. I want my life to be worthwhile; that it has purpose and meaning. Doing what I can to pursue possibilities only to have the door slam shut and break my spirit is not what I know God wants for me.
So what is it then? Why are no doors opening? Why has life for me been on hold for the past few years? What am I waiting for? I don’t have the answers to those questions. Only God does and right now He’s not sharing. I’m sure He’s working, He has to be, but He isn’t showing what He’s doing. This is when God must be saying to me:
“Come to Me. I will give you rest. I will give you hope. I will place you where you should be. Trust Me and trust in My timing. Don’t lose heart. In Me you have all you’ll ever need. I’ve given you passions and talents for a purpose. Soon you’ll get to use them in ways you’ve never dreamed about. I will restore joy to you. I will restore the years that have seemingly been lost. I will restore your vision and the dreams you’ve once had. I am the God of the impossible; I redeem life and give life. I will breathe new strength and fresh hope into your lungs. I have a plan for you that is greater than your imagination could conjure. I can open doors that no man can shut and guide you on a path full of the blessings I desire to shower upon you. Keep holding onto My truth and watch as I leave you in awe of My goodness and provision. You will not be disappointed in having faith in Me.“
“How abundant are the good things that You have stored up for those who fear You, that You bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in You.” Psalm 31:19 NIV
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” Hebrews 10:23 NLT
“Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23c NIV