Posted in Life phases

Taking the Next Step

A few months ago, I graduated from college.

Wow. That hasn’t quite sunk in.

I gravitate toward the “back to school” sales, and then remember that I don’t have to. Doesn’t stop me from buying house stuff that’s on sale 😉

Everyone asks during your senior year, “what do you plan to do after graduation?”

Talk about pressure!

Thankfully, I had already felt God’s call to the beautiful city of Philadelphia. I had visited and attended dance classes and researched months before my first semester of senior year started.

My reply was usually, “I’m moving to Philadelphia. I’ll work as a nanny (pays better) and take dance classes. I’ll audition for the companies in the area. And I plan to start freelance writing.”

Ha!

I knew what I wanted to do. But it’s been a lot harder than I expected, even though I knew it would be hard based on my research.

1. Nannying 8 hours a day is exhausting. At school, I worked with children occasionally, but I mostly worked as an office assistant/receptionist and as a writer. Very different type of work.

2. Driving and parking in the city…for a girl who grew up in small towns – frightening and frustrating.

3. Figuring out how to set up my own utilities, internet, and transferring my state residency…it’s been a real pain. But it’s slowly working out.

4. Everything is so much more expensive and I have had to find new stores and brands for much of my regular buys.

5. Making connections and new friends is also a long process. I’m a friendly person, but I also tend to stay home if I have no reason to go out.

Even with all the new challenges of living alone and paying for all my expenses myself, I am thankful for the people I’ve met and the places I’ve gone over the past few months. As I move into my first fall out of school, I look forward to a new type of business and scheduling. And I pray that my fellow recent grads are trusting God as they figure out their next steps. 🙂

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Posted in Christianity, Life phases

A time to change

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

In my 21 (almost 22 years) I’ve often wondered why we make resolutions for the new year. I thought it was ridiculous because most people break them anyway, right? Most of my resolutions have been rather silly and then I didn’t actually keep them. Probably because I made it on a whim . . . which isn’t really a resolution is it?

I’ve thought about it a lot over the past few months. Every season has a time and my season is changing. I’ve been considering all the changes that are coming up. . . graduating college, moving, trying to get a job, making new friends, actually adulting. . . sometimes it’s rather terrifying. But, it’s also exhilarating. My time now is a time of transition, a time of change.

With all the things floating around in my brain (One semester left of papers, tests, and being with the people I know. How will I deal with leaving this place I’ve lived for 4 years? Should I buy a car for myself? Where should I look for an apartment? How do I get that job? What about utilities? I want a cat, how long should I wait? Will I be able to start working right out of college? Or will I have to live with my parents for a while?) sometimes I forget to rest. I forget to give myself space. I forget to trust. And then, I go back to the verse above…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

And I take a deep breath as I read the rest of that passage in Ecclesiastes 3.

“2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”

It’s still stressful. And my season is still one of change. But each season has its time, and mine will shift from change to something else. There are a lot of unknowns, but there were a lot when I prepared for college 4 years ago too.

I guess my resolution this year is to keep my head up during this season of change and keep trusting God to bring me through as He has before. He has the unknowns that try to worry me in His hands along with all the seasons of my life. So, I’ll keep my head up, my life and heart on His altar, and do my best to love Him and love others in my time of change (and after).

 

Posted in Life phases

A Reflection: Overcoming Moving with a Sprained Ankle

It is three months before my fifteenth birthday and my father has started interviewing for a new coaching job which will better provide for my family of seven.

This is also when I sprained my right ankle for the first time ever. The sprain is a problem for me since I am a “ballerina in training” as I like to call it. But it is a minor sprain so I push through it because I love dancing so much.

Move forward to a month after my birthday…My dad is living in a different state having started his new job. As for me, I have sprained my right ankle a second time. Of course it is worse than the first one as my ankle is still weak. We are in school, packing the house, dealing with bullying, and trying to keep the whole family together without too much anger and frustration.

May comes around. My ankle is almost well! I will be able to play games, play the piano, and dance without hurting myself constantly! I am pumped up and decide to play a game with my friends, one which involves much running.

Running and I’m going to score!

They will all congratulate me!

A misplaced step, finding myself on the ground so sudden, and feeling…PAIN!!

Pain from my toes up through my back, I can’t move, tears streaming down my face like a river. Blurry faces, being carried, my mom, arriving at home…”You need to ice your foot” … EXCRUCIATING PAIN! “I can’t do it, I just can’t!” I cry and scream in pain.

What has happened to cause so much anguish? I realize that I have stepped into a large hole in the ground while running backwards. I have severely sprained my RIGHT ankle…again!

Next few weeks pass in a blur…crutches, ice, trying to help pack and feeling useless and in the way as a cripple, goodbye tears, moving, new faces, and fear. Living in a small town, near to where my father works, my family enjoys walking into town. This is a frustration for me as I have a sprained ankle and must limp everywhere…when limping 10 feet makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. Eventually things begin to settle…

You may ask why I decided to relate this in the way I did. It is simply the way I relate to those frightening and painful months. So, what kind of meaning does this contain to me?

I view those months and incident as a lesson for me. I learned in a painful way the consequences of not waiting until you are fully healed to begin participating in fun events. I have seen what it means to be helpful and how to “see the job you are capable of and do it” as my dear mother likes to say.

Those months were long and hard for me.

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The feelings of uselessness, of being a cripple, and other such thoughts can cripple one mentally causing a difficulty in learning and in relating to others. I had to learn how to overcome these feelings and those of fear, anger, and sorrow.

“How can I move with this ankle? I can’t do anything! Couldn’t we wait just a little bit longer before we move?”

These are just a few of the self-pitying thought I had. I had to overcome this!

I knew that this was tough for my mom and my siblings, especially my older brother. I was determined to be strong for their sake.

In the dark and when alone, did I truly feel this way? Of course not, but I thought it was necessary.