Sunday, 20 October 2013

Which way?

Maybe it's because it's grey and rainy, and my usually favourite season of autumn 
is showing its unpleasant damp side. Maybe it's the recent changes in my life, or a 
lack of time spent with my Heavenly Father. Or maybe it's just from spending time 
in the presence of good friends facing exactly the same sort of questions. But 
something about life right now seems to be throwing into sharp illumination the 
vague,grey form my life appears to have taken on at the moment. I feel like Rachel,
Phoebe and Monica from Friends in the episode where Rachel realises she has no plan
in life, and Phoebe assents that this stage is 'floopy'. Yes, on one hand, my 
freedom means apparent doors of opportunity, adventure, and possibility ahead - 
but in real life, it usually means a misty fog lying ahead of me, with no clear 
path or even vague light to direct the way. 

What is it about this stage of life - post-university, pre-full blown career, 
marriage, family - that makes me, us, feel so directionless? Is it just that we're
so accustomed to having life directed by the education system, or the ties of 
family, that we are thrown by suddenly having to carve out a way for ourselves, by 

This sense of 'floopiness' can seep into every part of life - not just work/career, 
though for many of us that's the primary example. My year was one of the last who 
was still instilled with the mantra that one should go to university in order to 
get a good job. Now we're out in the real world, and this mantra has fallen flat 
on its face. Graduates are two-a-penny; degrees appear worthless without 
'experience'; that degree exploring how to make the world a better place seems
 kind of unecessary when we find our jobs wrapped up in writing e-mails and 
ordering stationary. The great, ambitious plans of falling into career out of 
university are unmasked as foolish preconceptions of an easy life.

There are all sorts of brilliant talks, books, articles, on guidance, and trusting 
God. I'm aware that so many of our problematic doubts or 'floopy' feelings can 
transpire because of our desire to know what lies ahead and to be in control. 
However, right now, those things don't concern me. I'm not asking for a map-out 
of the next 20 years; I'm just asking for some vague sense of where I go next - 
in careers, in geographical location, in pretty much every aspect of life. And 
I'll admit that I'm impatient; life is too short for me to sit around watching 
life and opportunities to live pass me by. Maybe I should accept that sometimes 
God only allows the fog to lift when we force ourselves to stop and wait on Him. 

At times like this, it is far too easy to allow the bleakness of the weather, 
the relative loneliness of post-studenthood life, and the vague mist shrouding 
all that lies ahead, to get the better of me and be overwhelmed by it. As ever, 
my only choice is to force myself to lift my eyes to Him who has seen the end 
from the beginning, and is intimately involved and actually caring about the 
direction of my life. I have to stand, and fight as hard as I can against the 
strong current which seeks to floor me in the face of uncertainty and options. 
I have a choice about the way ahead: I can put my fears and apprehension about 
the future into the hands of him who holds it all; or I can be washed up by the 
sheer enormity of the choices ahead. I need to choose to be comforted by the fact 
that, however I feel on a Monday morning, my life is not directionless, that I Am 
Not on my own in this, and that God Is still at work in my life, even if it feels 
like He's having an extended tea-break.

I have to continually remind myself that my trust is in Him who is eternally 
loving, who doesn't forget, or get overwhelmed, or 'drop the ball' on us. 
And that, therefore, my future is in the safest of hands, the most reliable of 
" is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." 
~ Hebrews 11:1


  1. Thea. So in response to the part where you write
    'this stage of life - post-university, pre-full blown career, marriage, family'
    can I say that that might be part of what is unhelpful. You feel like you are in limbo because you are waiting for the next big thing to happen. Now when I say this, understand that it is not from a place of having it all sorted - you know full well that I haven't. But please can I encourage you to try and see this stage of life, however long it lasts for, as one of opportunity. See each day as that. Tomorrow will look after itself. But don't put off living life to the full until you get the perfect career, get married, have children, as there will always be something to put off living for until it's sorted.
    Lots of love xxx

  2. Hi love,
    Thanks for this :)
    I hear your point, and I in no way wanted to suggest that I am, or that people ought to be in any way 'aiming towards' these Next Big Things - as though life is on hold until these things happen (and I am certainly not twiddling my thumbs waiting on marriage or kids, in any way!)
    Where I was coming from was more that a lot of us have come out of a very structured existence up until the end of university, and then the rest of life ahead of us can seem fairly Big and Scary, and unstructured in comparison.

    You are very right that it's important to see the value in every stage and season of life, and not as an 'in-between' stage, or 'waiting' for something else to happen. I think I was trying to echo the feeling among my peers I've chatted with (especially people who've come into jobs not really related to their degrees) struggling to assimilate our expectations of a clear career and life path with the obvious reality of real life which isn't straightforward!
    I hope this clarifies xxxxxx