Post Grad Blues
Graduating from my master’s degree program was one of the most surreal moments of my life. I was overcome with joy and excitement as I stepped onto the stage. I can still hear the noisy whooping and hollering of my family members in the stadium seats.
As one of my favorite professors began to present me to the audience, she paused before she spoke and asked me in a low whisper, “What’s your middle name?”
“Renee.” I whispered back. She nodded and winked.
“Leighann Renee Blackwood.” she declared out loud and, following her lead, I strutted proudly across that stage like it was no one’s business.
If you ask most people how they felt on their graduation day, whether it be from a two-year master’s program, a four-year undergraduate program, a two-year apprenticeship—even a kindergarten graduation—it’s a day filled with excited chatter, anxious anticipation and overall giddiness. I remember the big to-do that followed the commencement ceremony. Introducing my parents and family members to the friends I so often told them about in stories. Family members and friends from all walks of your life bringing brightly colored balloons, handmade signage and even beautifully ornate bouquets of fresh flowers. Getting pictures with my professors, without whom I would have had a very different, less lively graduate experience I’m sure. Thinking back on that day always fills me with such warmth and joy.
But no one really talks about what comes next. What happens when the balloons start to deflate and hang pitifully low in the living room that was once packed and overflowing with laughter? Or when the flowers that once brightened the food-filled kitchen start to wilt and rot?
For many, as quickly as the feelings of elation and accomplishment come, feelings of anxiety and doubt begin to creep into our lives as soon as the festivities end. Feelings of loneliness, anxiety and yes, sometimes even depression can often follow even our most significant of successes. It can sometimes lead us to question God and his goodness. We ask Him things like: God, why is this happening to me? Why won’t you give me what I have so desperately asked for? What am I doing wrong?
And then, we wait.
If you’re anything like me, the wait is often long and drawn-out, littered with doubt and frustration all geared towards the only One who has the power to do anything about it. We get angry and our faith begins to feel fruitless and grows stale. We start to question whether God really is for us after all. It becomes a spiritual waiting room that no one has the patience for and can sometimes tempt us to walk away from our faith altogether.
But then God steps in. And He reworks everything that you thought was permanently ruined and royally messed up. He steps in and repaints the parts of your life that you once looked at as ugly and reupholsters the areas of your life that you deemed as being in a perpetual state of falling apart.
He rewrites the script. He remodels the foundation. He steps in and renews your broken spirit. Friends, God is for you and I. He is not afraid of our brokenness or intimidated by our big fears and never-ending questions that start with “Why?”. In fact, He beckons us into his presence to ask Him, face-to-face. He welcomes our unknowns and doubts and constant anxious thoughts. He desires for you to bring them to Him—as disheveled and broken and they may be—so that He may transform them into a beautiful testimony for His glory.
In the next few weeks, I will be sharing pieces of my own testimony of God’s faithfulness amidst my own brokenness and mess. I will share stories of how in this weird season of my post-graduate life God showed up and truly showed out. And in turn, I hope that my stories of doubt turned belief, hopelessness turned hopeful expectancy, fear turned courage to trust in God, will change the way you see your own walk with Him. I hope that the stories I share will ultimately bring the glory where glory is due: to the one true God—to our Father who cares so deeply about even the most seemingly minute pieces of our lives.
A few thoughts I’d like you to meditate on in preparation for the coming weeks:
In what places or areas of your life are you hoping God will show up?
What are your thoughts and feelings toward God when you think of the places or circumstances in which you are so desperate for His intervention?
What do you think God is trying to do in your life as you wait eagerly for his response?
Feel free to share with us. Praying for you, always.