What are you going to do after you graduate?
The dreaded question most seniors in college hate to hear. My response changes every day and if you would ask me at this very moment, I would simply respond by saying, “100.” Tomorrow I would say 99 and the day after that I would say 98, because as of right now, I have no clue what I’m going to do after I graduate. The opportunities that are available to me are endless and I’m constantly praying for patience in this time of uncertainty. If there’s one thing I’m certain about, it’s the number 100.
In 100 days, I will graduate.
In 100 days, I hope to provide the answer that pleases my Heavenly Father and everyone else on this earth who won’t stop asking me this question.
In 100 days, I will be doing _______.
The writing above came straight from my journal. I tend not to leave blanks in my writing, but when I wrote this piece I had a strong feeling that a new opportunity was about to reveal itself. I thought it would be cool to come back and fill it in. I pictured myself scribbling in a new job with a different color pen, so when I would look back on this entry it will serve as a constant reminder that everything will be ok. Unfortunately, like most of my plans, the reality of the situation ended up being the exact opposite from what I envisioned.
Rewind to November of this past year. An internal battle between pursuing all of the materialistic things I could ever imagine and pursuing a God centered life was slowly taking over my thoughts. More and more questions began to surface. What do i want out of life? What do I value? What would my life be like if I wasn’t a Christian? With every question, came an answer and the only answer that mattered was that I couldn’t picture a life without Jesus.
We are called to be disciples in the Great Commision(Matthew 28: 16-20) and everything I had learned in my small group had been preparing me to go out and spread the Gospel. I immediately started applying to long term mission programs, but every application resulted with a denial letter that had some sort of encouragement for God’s plan in my life. I was confused, I was angry, and at one point I looked to the sky and asked God, “What do you want from me?” A question with no answer or at least so I thought.
Back to the present. I recently obtained an amazing opportunity to intern for a hospital in East Los Angeles implementing wellness programs into local high schools. I thought this was it! I thought to myself, “Oh man God, you’ve outdone yourself.” I get to work with underprivileged youth and share my passion for a holistic view of health. I started getting my ducks in a row, picturing myself pursuing this after graduation and moving to a full time position.
I finally looked forward to answering the dreaded question I once hated to hear, but then I met Andy. Andy recently joined my discipleship group and is participating in Ride for Water, which is a group of 10 college students who are cycling across the United States to support Charity Water in the fight against the global water crisis. Back in November I jokingly told my friend Aaron that I would drive for the group. Not knowing that Aaron took me seriously, he brought up the idea of me driving to the group unbeknownst to me, which led to debates over whether I would be a good fit or not.
These debates were going on during the times of my rejection letters and my angry conversations with God. Now I’m sitting at table, eating dinner with this guy named Andy, who I barely know. Were talking about God’s calling for our lives and the significance of Ride for Water. Our conversation was extremely uplifting and we were affirming one another in our search for God’s calling. At one point in the conversation, Andy looked at me and said, “I want you to drive. You need to drive!”
I immediately stepped back from the conversation. Questions started flooding my brain. What about my internship? Shouldn’t I get a head start on my career? What about my student loans? If I do this, what does life look like after I get back? I went home and called the one person who would speak truth into my life, my father. I asked my Dad for his advice and was waiting for him to tell me not to do it, but he told me the exact opposite.
What I realized in this moment is during this whole process of discovering God’s will for my life, I made everything about ME. I wanted to be a missionary because it was the admirable thing to do, in MY eyes. I wanted to continue with my internship because it could potentially bring structure to MY life. If there was one thing that was true in this whole process, it was a desire to make a difference for the Kingdom of Heaven and here it was. Here’s an opportunity to make a difference, so through this, God will be glorified. It’s not what I previously envisioned, but by doing this there’s a possibility of providing clean water to some geographical area that a missionary could be working in right now. Same purpose, different mission.
I texted Andy that next night, “I’m in!” Then I picked up my journal, opened it up to the entry you read above, and scribbled in “Ride for Water” with a different color pen. It was now official. It’s going to happen. Most importantly, it’s God providing not only for those who need clean water, but also for a college student who strives to serve in this type of ministry.
Thank you God! You amaze me each day.