The more I sit and think about the past few weeks, the more true peace and security seem elusive. I always thought that graduation would be this momentous occasion where all of my life’s questions would be answered. I thought completing my thesis and doing well at it would bring me such fulfilment and accomplishment and purpose. I thought getting a job would calm all of my heart’s fears and secure a bright future for me.
All of those things have happened. I graduated, with a good result. I got a dream job. But there’s something missing.
I know, I know, I sound very spoilt and ungrateful. Yesterday a friend of mine told me that in these past few weeks, all I’ve done is complain despite having a lot to celebrate. I don’t know why, but that’s very true. I’m searching for a true north, for some place where I can lift my eyes away from the banality of daily living.
I should never have taken a break from blogging. I forgot how much joy and peace I derive from sharing the Lord’s goodness on this tiny slice of the internet. But I did take the break, because I wasn’t in the best place mentally and I didn’t want to write unless I had the best and most uplifting things to say. Unfortunately, I don’t, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I work through all these emotions and thoughts myself.
There’s a fear that has been bubbling in my heart for sometime now; that I would get to the end of my life and look back with only one question: and then what?
That was the same question I had on my mind after submitting my thesis, and after receiving my results, and after getting my job. And then what?
It’s the same question that woke me up today at 4am and that left me staring and staring at the rising sun, until I dragged myself out of bed and into my quiet time with God.
I have concluded that in all of these things, if we don’t have God, then we don’t have anything.
I am literally living my dreams. This is the period when I should stand on this cliff, just before I set sail into my glorious future, embarking on a remarkable career, and making lots of money, and supporting my family. Just as I have always dreamed. I have waited, and prayer, and hoped, and believed for the days I’m living now, but there’s just some feeling in the back of my mind that I can’t shake off.
It has manifested in many different ways over the past few weeks. It’s come as disillusionment, fatigue, and worse of all, envy. Extreme envy. I don’t consider myself a jealous person, because life has humbled me enough to know that someone will always have something better, and that my worth is not based on the standards of the world. But some days ago, I heard the best news from someone very close to me, and in the split second before I shared my congratulations, I questioned God. Why does this person keep winning at everything? Why can’t they just feel a little pain or suffering? Why can’t I have this one thing that they have?
That’s a very dangerous place to be, in fact, it’s the most dangerous place to be. It takes the focus off God, and causes us to not only glorify the idols in our hearts, it also causes us to hate others and spew negativity.
I have been very afraid of confronting these feelings because I don’t want to sound ungrateful. Yesterday my diploma came in the mail (because there was some delay in balancing my accounts so I didn’t get it on graduation day.) When I opened the envelope, I stared at the glossy piece of paper, all written in Latin, and said a quick prayer to God. I finally had it; a diploma to state that I had completed my undergraduate education at a prestigious institution. I was officially released into the world to do great things. But I looked at the diploma and thought how much it paled in comparison to the many questions I have on my heart.
I always thought that my pre and post graduation season would be plagued with questions like where am I going next? Would I get a job? Bla bla bla.
All those are answered, and somehow, God has come through to show me that in all things, it’s only He that matters. We can attain perfection in the eyes of the world, but if Jesus is not exalted above all things, nothing really matters.