God's plan for your life
I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt super qualified to talk about this because it’s something that I majorly struggle with, but I’m going to give it my best shot. Worrying about my future has been a theme all throughout college, but especially recently as I make my way through senior year and slowly approach graduation. Applying to jobs and/or grad schools is a terrifying thing. Am I qualified enough? Do they want me? Where am I going to end up?
Growing up, everyone pinned me into this shape of “nerdy space girl,” and I embraced it because space is the coolest thing ever and I’m definitely a nerd, but I have felt defined by that label ever since. As I’ve grown and learned through my college career, it feels like I have had to downsize my dreams and goals to be more realistic in accordance with my abilities. It went from getting a PhD and training to be an astronaut, to getting a PhD and becoming a professor, to getting a Master’s and doing research, to just getting my bachelor’s and taking a gap year that I fear will turn into a gap-life and I’ll never go to grad school at all.
It’s a pretty scary train of thought, and if I’m being honest, it’s a little dramatic too. But regardless of how aware I am of the fact that God has a plan and I don’t need to worry, I find these thoughts in my mind most days. So instead of focusing on getting rid of these thoughts completely (which is impossible), I’m going to turn them into something productive.
Whenever you find yourself feeling anxious about your future, use that as an opportunity to remind yourself of God’s promises. If you’re having a hard time coming up with them on your own, the book of Romans is a wonderful resource. It’s commonly nicknamed “the book of promises,” and after making Romans my quiet time in the morning, I can attest to that. I have never felt more at peace than when the Lord is speaking right to me as I read his word. If you don’t know God’s specific plan for your life, that doesn’t mean that you don’t know his purpose for your life. Your purpose, no matter where you end up, is to glorify the Lord in your everyday life. Your purpose is to live in such a way that you don’t fear the future because you know that God is already there.
You’re not defined by your major, who you end up marrying, whether or not you marry, having kids or not, where you live, or even the career you eventually end up in for years to come. You’re not pinned into a shape based on other people’s impressions of who you are. You are defined by who you are in Jesus, and if you don’t know what that is, I’m going to tell you: you’re forgiven, made new every day, cared for deeply, and loved unconditionally. Your identity isn’t in the things of this world; you were made for so much more.
Trusting the Lord is no easy task, so don’t feel bad if you find yourself doubting from time to time. Doubt is a good thing, a feeling we are gifted with in order to find credibility in the things we put our trust in. Use your doubt to do your own research and have it fuel your prayers. Pray for discernment to be able to know the truth that God tells you from the lies the world tells you. Romans 12:2 - “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”