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A Beautiful Letdown

It is that time — the end of a four-year journey that has taken my life, shaken it, dropped it, picked it back up and then set it back down. I’m five weeks from the end of an era: college.

The next step after college, naturally, is to find a paying job. I’ve always gone against the grain — ask my father — so initially I wanted to go back to the country that stole my heart. The Netherlands moved me, and it is where I truly became the woman I am today. So, I made connections and contacts, and I e-mailed and Skyped until I thought I had my next step all figured out. Then it fell through.

So on to plan B. I guess I’ll stay in the U.S. I connect and call and drive and interview and create a seemingly flawless résumé and shake hands and smile and e-mail and then — Merry Christmas — a second interview! Then hope and then Monday — the day that ended with an e-mail saying that I was great but not quite great enough.

Now I’m a little lost, a little bruised.  

I guess this is all part of the great job hunt — the release into a big world of people trying to pay the bills and feed the family. This letdown left me with a desperate feeling: Now what? Where? I only have a month to get a job. God, please don’t make me go home and work on the farm. And with this desperation, I forgot about the one thing that would have been most important. Instead of falling to my knees, I hopped online and job hunted like there was no tomorrow. I found new job ideas and began to convince myself of options that seemed crazy the day before.

When I realized how caught up I had gotten in the “search,” I sat back for a moment and let the disappointment surface that I had been trying to ignore. All too often I want to do things on my own; I pray that God will do His will, but when the moment gets desperate, I forget that the most important thing to do is to take these worries to Him. I finally saw the beauty in the situation — this was one of those times when I have to give it all up. And I mean all of it. If I am earnestly praying that God leads me where He wills, then before the next apply-call-résumé-smile routine, I need to be still, read His Word and pray.

God’s plan is perfect, and the moment I let myself think He has it wrong, the straying begins. When I lose sight of the true magnificence of God’s plan for my future, I convince myself that door No. 1 is the only door that exists, when really, it’s not about doors and windows, but about the sovereignty of an omnipotent God that just begs me to trust and obey. When I prayed for that job, God answered with, “Not this one, Child,” so now I must wait to see where He leads next.

This is an exciting time in my life. I greatly anticipate putting these four years of education and nourishment of gifts to work that I can barely contain myself. I’m ready to be released from the confines of college and set out into the world — to love it and change it and work for the furthering of God’s kingdom. The best part of it is I’m following the lead of my Creator who knows my gifts and abilities better than anyone else. He knows where I’ll go come May, and as long as I continue to be diligent in prayer and searching and listening, I have no doubts that the path God has prepared for the next step of my life is going to be a great one. No, I didn’t say perfect, smooth and painless, but it is going to be great.

Soon I will be able to look back and understand why God moved me in these directions, but until then, this lesson in letdowns is a humbling yet beautiful one.

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