Learning to Trust in Times of Transition
I graduated from college almost a year ago…..crazy, it seems like it’s only been a week. Although 11 months have passed between my graduation day and now, I still feel like I’m adjusting to this new “adult” life. I find that each of my friends is in a similar boat. We’ve all spread out across the country, pursuing different things and living in different places. We are teachers, nurses, social workers, grad school students, and missionaries. Our days each look completely different, and yet “life is hard, but good….but hard” is a familiar mantra I’ve said and heard in so many conversations.
Maybe you can relate. I often find times of transition to be incredibly trying and often the seasons in which my faith and trust in the Lord are tested the most. They are also, maybe not so coincidentally, the times when I need to trust the Lord the most. This past year has been a roller coaster of letting go, anxiety, fear and finally…..peace. In the few short months after graduating, I moved into a new apartment with a new roommate, said goodbye to many friends and loved ones as they pursued careers and missionary work in different cities and states, and tried to adjust to my own new job as a sixth grade teacher. Everything was new and unfamiliar, and although I had taken several big steps into “adult” life, my future has felt more unknown and ambiguous than ever before. For those control freaks and plan book loving ladies like myself, you’ll understand how anxiety inducing this can be. My fears regarding the future, or rather, my fear of a lack of a future, kept me awake at night. I had achieved everything I set out to achieve in college, and I found myself with no more plan, no sure, well-defined, next step.
It’s a good thing the Lord never gets tired of listening, because there have been a great many distressed prayers cried out from my anxious and tumultuous heart. Prayers for freedom from anxiety, prayers for direction and wisdom to know, “What’s next?” Over and over, I have cried out to Jesus, “Lord, I don’t know where I’m going! Show me the way!” In these moments, I am often reminded of the familiar story of the Lord’s calming of the Sea of Galilee. For me, times of transition always feel a bit like I’m caught in the middle of a rainstorm and I can’t see more than two feet in front of me. As the storms of life’s transition rage around me, as the unfamiliarity of my daily life and the anxiety of an unknown future threaten to knock me over, I hear the Lord so gently whisper to my heart, “Daughter, where is your faith? You can trust me.”
“I have learned that trust is not a “one and done” kind of decision (as much as I would like it to be). It is a daily choice to surrender control and let go of fear.”
I have learned that trusting the Lord does not mean He will give us the “game plan” we often desire, or make our struggles go away. It is choosing to live fully in freedom, despite not having a game plan. Each daily choice and morning offering, each surrender of my control, my desires, my dreams, is met with abundant grace and tremendous peace. The Lord will call us to a great many things in our lives, big and small. I have found that the hardest, yet most freeing, piece of it all is the often forgotten but important first step: trust. Like Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water, may God grant us the grace to follow Him down a path we cannot fully see and do what we may not fully understand.
Maria is a sixth grade teacher in Columbus, Ohio. She grew up in a wonderful, faith-filled family and spent her college years living, growing and serving in a campus ministry organization called St. Paul's Outreach. It was in these years that she developed a passion for building community and bringing women freedom through powerful sisterhood. Maria enjoys being outdoors, is a frequent visitor to all of her city's metro parks and coffee shops, and loves anything that involves spending quality time with good friends, new friends, and family.