A Year Ago

Sometimes I like to think about where I was a year ago today…

I like to think about what I was feeling, what worried me (something is always worrying me!), what I loved, what I invested my time in…..that sort of thing.

I was a senior in college, just a few weeks into my final semester of college. All around me my fellow seniors were counting down to that one date on everyone’s mind: graduation. Many of us had great reason to be excited: some were getting married, a particularly fortunate few had already landed jobs that they were eager to begin, a large number were headed to grad school in the fall. I belonged to another group. I belonged to a group that was scared to death of change and, however stressed and sleep-deprived I was at the time, the thought of leaving a place I had grown to love over the past four years terrified me. I got sick of all the countdowns, all the planning for the future, and all the chomping at the bit just waiting to graduate. I was becoming a real graduation Scrooge.

At this time, I was also in a play that physically exhausted me but that I loved vehemently because the opportunity to act on stage has always been worth it to me. It was a huge ensemble cast and I formed many deep friendships with many of the people I worked with. It was the brightest spot in an otherwise angsty semester. I look back on it with many fond memories.

A year ago today I considered many things. I remember sitting across a desk from my advisor, stumbling through my answer as he asked me what my plan for the future was. The shame really gripped me whenever I was faced with the big question. I simultaneously loved and was fed up with my courseload. My final semester of senior year was when I really began to put in minimal effort and I barely showed up to most of my classes. Some mornings I would wake up and just not want to go to class…and sometimes I wouldn’t.

I basically fell to pieces and ignored God that semester. I never prayed. I was burdened with idols, adding a new one to my back almost every day until I nearly buckled.

That semester was also the first semester when I woke up one Sunday and decided I was too depressed to go to church. So I didn’t go. My roommates tried to get me to go, telling me that when I didn’t want to go was when I most needed to be in church. Ultimately I stayed home and wallowed in my own little misery stew.

I was scared. I was scared of what was happening and I was scared of what was going to happen. I barely made it through most days without bursting into tears. Nothing was going as planned. I was losing control. The more I needed God, the less attention I paid to Him. I was in a vicious cycle that kept circling downward and downward. I needed to breathe but I was suffocating.

Fast forward to now.

I still carry quite a few of those idols on my back. A lot of them I have thrown far away, enjoying the euphoria that came with letting them go. I have greater clarity. My life is somewhat quieter. My relationship with God is being mended over time. I don’t know how the rest of my life is going to go. I don’t know how tomorrow is going to go.

But I hope that a year from now, I will have learned a greater sense of peace and that I will be more patient. And that I will be talking to God every day.