I laid next to one of my best friends and talked through life: summer, this semester, our futures, how everything seems different now.
She talked about how before this summer she felt that she was on a steady path, making her way to the end goal, something that she at once felt so sure and clear about that has now become hazy. After this summer, she said she feels like she’s stuck in the mud, hitting the gas in an attempt to get out, only causing her to sink deeper.
“What can I do? I’m just stuck.”
“You’ve just got to wait for the mud to dry.”
I always find it funny how the Lord can use your own words to teach yourself a lesson. This is one of those moments.
This summer was one of the best of my life. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend 6 weeks in the best city on earth (that’s you, NYC!), getting to know the coolest people and focus on Jesus’ work. Throughout those 6 weeks I would have random moments when I would be overwhelmed with the fact that I was going to have to return home. I dreaded it. I didn’t want to leave the city, the setting of my future goals; my team, my new family; Little Zelda, our new hangout with the cool baristas.
I jokingly scoured the bulletin board at the coffee shop and proclaimed I was planning to sublease one of the listed apartments. We laughed with sadness in our eyes because we knew the time was coming to leave.
I returned home, began prepping for the fall semester, for my Bible study, for school. My heart still longed for the city; my mind wandered to my future in New York.
Scrolling through Instagram on one of those waiting-for-the-semester-to-start days, I saw a listing for an internship… for the fall… in New York City… for Cosmopolitan. My heart hit the soles of my feet.
I immediately texted my friend, “What do I do?!??!”
“Apply for it.”
So I did. I spent hours thinking it over.
What about my Journey group? What about school? What about my friends that are graduating?? But it’s NEW YORK!!!
School started, Journey groups began, football kicked off. I heard nothing.
I prayed and prayed and prayed
“Lord, this is what I want. But also, I want to be here. I don’t want to miss anything. I want to make the most of my time here with my friends before they leave. But also, New York.”
I finished that prayer (multiple times) like I do often, especially when I don’t want responsibility: “Your will be done.”
Now, I’m not discrediting that prayer, but, man, do I use it for the wrong reasons.
When I can’t (won’t) bring myself to make a decision, when I start to like a guy, when I don’t trust He’ll do what I ask. I’m not thinking of His will being done, I’m praying with a safety net. I’m not trusting His will, I’m doubting His goodness, His sovereignty, His faithfulness.
I was so overwhelmed with the happiness around me: I was reunited with my friends, I had met the most wonderful group of freshmen girls to lead, Alabama football had made its grand return (ROLL TIDE!), everything was going perfectly.
But in the back of my mind I was questioning it all. What if…?
I was on a path, I believe I’m still on my path, but somewhere along the way I let my focus wander. I began to create scenarios in my head, envying the made-up me in my brain that got to live this wonderful life, meet these fascinating people, be this incredible person.
Yet here’s the kicker: none of that is real.
The situations I fabricated in my daydreams were just that, daydreams–they will never come to life. And you know, I’m pretty grateful for that. Because, regardless of my repeatedly ill-intentioned prayers, God’s will is good beyond all measure.
So here I am, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, impatiently waiting for May 2018 (don’t freak out, I’m not wishing away my college years), so I can run for the New York skyline to do God’s will, both where I am and where I’m going. I am on my path. He has set me on it and reminded me to set my sights on Him so I can keep it up through His strength.
I’ve hit this muddy patch–maybe you have, too–and, boy, do I hate the feeling of being stuck. Yet the path is right outside my window and, from what I can see, the sky is blue with no sign of rain.
So, friend, let’s stick it out and wait for the mud to dry. We’re where we are for the most specific reason and it’s all about the journey anyway, so let’s live this moment with all we have and rejoice in all its goodness, knowing the best will come in due time.