In a little less than a month, my whole world is going to change. As I prepare for a four-month journey in another country to finish my undergraduate degree, I cannot help but wonder what I will do once I get back. It’s not like I will be spending the summer at home and then returning to Malone in the fall. Not this time. This time… I graduate. I walk across a stage to receive a slip of paper telling me I am now eligible to live in the real world and become an adult.
As I think about what I want to do after graduation, I am completely lost. I have a passion for just about everything that has to do with serving people and sharing the Gospel, but I also want to further my education, get my own apartment, and get a job. I have considered joining a mission’s agency, such as YWAM, or even join the Peace Corp. I have a list of schools that offer the graduate program I need and have started some of the applications. I have spent 30+ minutes (in one sitting) looking up jobs in my field and saving them in case I want to apply. All in all, there are about what seems to be a thousand paths I could take, and I have no idea which one is the right path.
This is difficult for me because I have always had a plan, with a backup plan that has a backup plan. I have never struggled with gaining vision on where I am to go next or how to achieve it. I wanted to get my associates degree when I graduated high school, so I did. I wanted to spend my summer interning at Focus on the Family without an income, so I figured out how to make it work. I wanted to publish a book, so I wrote one and self-published it. My dad calls me a “go-getter”.
But right now? I am not that. I cannot recognize what I want to do and I can’t figure out how to achieve it. I’m lucky I even remembered to write this blog and go to class this morning. So, naturally, or maybe not so naturally, I took this to the Lord. I said, “God, what do you want for me? Show me your will so I can pursue it”. I said that back in April. Here I am though, in the same position. Nothing has changed. Just when I think I figure it out, I’m unsure again. I keep asking God to show me and open the right door and guide me and give me vision. But God is not saying “this is the path, walk in it” (Isaiah 30.21). In fact, it doesn’t seem like he is even hinting in the slightest direction as to what I am to do. God is silent.
One consistent thing I have noticed during this silence are the specific events that have been taking place. Somehow, I have ended up encountering things that I am passionate about that are reminding me what I truly love to do. A speaker at chapel shared about the importance of aid and development all over the world. I have been learning about Southeast Asia in my geography class. I went to an open house for a grad school… etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and on and on and on. Through it all, I learned to just be silent with God and allow Him to cultivate the passion in my heart that will help lead me to make the decision I need to.
This is not the only time God has been silent. For instance, look at the gap between the Old Testament and New Testament. Where in the world was God then? This is an important question. Silence from God is something we all encounter at some point in our lives. It is something that we, most of the time, cannot avoid. But we have to realize, that even in the midst of the silence, God is acting. Even when the still small voice is not speaking, God is present. Pastor Aaron, in this year’s Christmas series, “Carols”, shares about the incredible works of God in the gap between the Old Testament and New Testament that prepared the way for our new born King. During the 400 years of silence, God dropped the curtain and rearranged the world stage so that when Jesus arrived, the world would be ready to receive His message. You can check out the podcast here: http://www.painesvilleag.com/painesville-ag-messages/?enmse=1&enmse_sid=17
I’m not entirely sure I will ever hear a voice from above say: “Jenny, you need to go to grad school at Case Western University”, but I am confident that he will give me peace if that is the decision I make, just like we receive peace through Jesus Christ. So remember, when God is silent, He is not absent… He’s simply dropped the curtain and is working behind the scenes of your life, resetting the stage, so when the curtain opens, you’ll be ready for what He has next!
Trusting in the waiting,