A New Season of Trust

I don’t usually cry because I’m sad or hurt. I yell instead. When I’m happy I cry, and I cry when I’m angry–really angry to the point where I can’t even yell anymore because I’m too exhausted.

And I’m proud. So ridiculously proud.

I am fiercely independent. Except for right now. Right now I don’t have enough skills to be independent. I’m very dependent right now, as a matter of fact, which damages my pride, which makes me angry.

I’m also a millenial, born at the end of the generation who has watched one world vanish and another, much more hostile world appear. Or so it would seem. Or so seemingly everyone says. In my early years, we were told that anyone could be anything in America. Then I reached my teen years, and it didn’t seem true. Now, in young adulthood, I’m disillusioned. I’m disillusioned by the economy, the job market, the political system, and college.

Especially college.

WAIT! You’re telling me that I’m spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on my college education so that I can work at McDonalds or Walmart… or go to grad school in order to defer loans and hope that I can actually get hired in my field with a second degree?! And you’re telling me that the likelihood that I’ll ever work in my field is HOW small?! Then WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING?!

WHY AM I WASTING ALL THIS TIME, EFFORT, AND MONEY?!

I don’t want advice. I don’t want consolation. I want someone to tell me why. And so far, no one has given me a satisfactory answer.

I wish I were artsy. Because then I’d move to a big city and draw on cafe chalkboards for a living. Or maybe work in a coffee shop or organic food shop. Or maybe I could just work on my jazz repertoire and sing/play piano in one of those places. After all, it must be pretty hard to fail at being a hipster. This is the level of disillusionment to which I have sunk. I used to be ambitious–I’m still ambitious–but it’s probably not going to get me anywhere.

Entry level jobs are a lie. Grad school is life’s great pause button. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. *Reads Ecclesiastes* *Reads The Great Gatsby* (My high school English teacher said the theme is the same. He was right.)

My one consolation has been the fact that I actually made it through three years of school without any debt. Three years, no debt. That’s unheard of. Maybe I can beat the odds.

Now, at senior year, after many phone calls, mathematical calculations, and angry tears, I have signed my life away to the federal government because I’m poor. And I want to finish so that I won’t be poor. Except that I probably will still be poor. And this is going to keep me poor for a while. And sitting out will cost me more in lost scholarships than staying enrolled will in loans. There’s no way to win, and I am angry.

This wasn’t how my twenties were supposed to go. This isn’t what the future looked like in my head. I look at the money (or lack thereof), the crushed dreams, the flattened ambition, and I am SO ANGRY!

Or maybe I’m so blessed. I went through two years of boarding school and three years of college with no debt. My family and I never knew where the money was coming from, but I have a high school diploma and six exam permits to testify that it all came somehow. I should be up to my eyeballs in debt by now, but I’m not, and I won’t be.

Actually, knowing where the money is coming from this year is worse. It’s scarier. It’s so long-term and so binding.

Or it’s exactly the same feeling, because I’m going to have to rely on the Lord for the loan payments. I’m going to have to work hard and pray harder, just like I’ve always done. I don’t know if I’m being incredibly trusting, incredibly foolish, or both.

He holds the future. He knows whether I’m going to be able to get a second job this year, whether I’m going to be able to find a job after graduation, and whether I’m going to be able to go to grad school. He knows when and where. He knows what my paychecks will look like. I have to trust Him, now more than ever.

I think. I hope. I really hope that this is actually a step of faith. I really hope my brain isn’t doing rationalization because finishing school is what I want. Lord, please don’t let this be a horrific mistake. (See how well the trust thing is going?)

Trust is my number one struggle. Or maybe it’s pride–I’m proud, so I don’t want to trust. Regardless, I must learn to trust Him.

Simply trusting every day,
Trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Brightly does His Spirit shine
Into this poor heart of mine;
While He leads I cannot fall;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Singing if my way is clear,
Praying if the path be drear;
If in danger for Him call;
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Trusting Him while life shall last,
Trusting Him till earth be past;
Till within the jasper wall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

“Trusting Jesus”–Edgar P. Stites

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