Longer Than I Want To Be
“Longer than I want to be.” The words pounded through my head as the weight of self-condemnation loomed over me. The words that I secretly answered inside while what showed on my face were a cheery disposition and positive speech about the awkward insecurity I was battling regarding my post-grad life. And “longer than I want to be” wasn’t the answer to just one question, but to the deeper longing to not feel stuck. So when someone asked something like, “How long have you been working there,” I tacked on a few extra words to the question in my head. The question then became, “How long have you been working in that job that has absolutely nothing to do with what you spent four years of college working towards and what you really don’t need a degree for?” A simple question could pull out the deepest insecurities of my heart. When the answer was inevitably, “I’ve been here longer than I want to be,” I started to assume the person on the other end of the conversation was thinking the exact same thing. I believed that if I thought my life wasn’t very impressive, they certainly didn’t either.
Now I’m not one to be dramatic. Extremely analytical, yes, but dramatic, no. So when I write these things, it’s out of a desire to be honest and open. No matter what stage of life we’re in, we do this. We project our insecurities onto others and into our daily conversations. What this reveals in us is a lack of trust that what God has us doing is enough. I struggle all the time with the fear that I should be further from home, that my job isn’t giving me the technical skills I need for a media-based job in the future, that I need a wider range of friends and that I need to experience a life outside of Athens. The list goes on and on.
Maybe you’re going though a post-grad, quarter-life or mid-life crisis. Maybe you just really wanted that job to work out or that relationship to finally last. Maybe you don’t even know what you want in life and that’s driving you crazy. It could even be that you’re experiencing a tremendous loss in your life right now and you can’t make sense of why God has allowed it. Whether it’s one or none of those things, we need to stop trying to understand all of the intricate details. We will drive ourselves crazy if we do this because we’ll never have all the answers we’d like.
Recently I was talking with my dad and discussing some uncertainty I was feeling about the future. I remember the conversation ending with two simple truths. He said, “Thank God for what you have. Trust God with what you don’t.” I’ve realized that taking time to thank God for what He has provided me with can greatly shape the way I view my place in life and even how I view God. One of my favorite passages of Scripture is when the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:11–13, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
The Bible is full of Scriptures that speak of God’s goodness to us. The question remains, do we believe that He is?