THE NEXT STEP

Alright, I’m going to be honest. As I am writing this, I am freaking out. As I attempt to walk you through your stress and anxiety, I am giving myself a little pep talk too. Today was my last day of classes for the spring semester which means I have one semester left of college and 7 months until I graduate college… initiating panic mode.

I watched several people in my program give their final speeches today before they graduate and I began to think how quickly these three years have gone. Then I remembered that my sister is graduating high school in a month and my brother will be graduating middle school. My entire family is processing that “next step” in life this year. I know there is a lot of anxiety but also excitement that comes with big life changes. So whether you are graduating, ending a school year, getting married, having your first baby, or starting a new job, let’s all ease into this the right way, shall we?

Amidst all of this change, there is one thing we can hold on to: “I, the Lord, do not change,” (Malachi 3:6). Take a deep breath. Yes, your life changes each and every day but our God remains the same always. When you feel like you are in unfamiliar territory, God is right there with the familiar. When you feel like nothing is the same, God is waiting, unchanged. Despite all of your stress, all of your anxiety at the new things to come, hold on to the fact that we have a God of continuity.

Not only does God never change, but He’s been around for it all. Not just your life but the entire existence of humanity. God has seen more change than we can fathom. From Adam and Eve to King David. From Jesus to the Ottoman Empire. From the Founding Fathers to World War II. Psalm 135:13 says, “Your Name, Lord, endures forever.” I don’t know about you but I find it very calming knowing that the same God who answers my prayers and sees my change today also heard the prayers of those involved in the French Revolution. Before the beginning of time, He saw you walking through this season and He knows how beautifully it will end.

Whenever I enter into a new season, big or small, if I do not take a pause to recognize God, that season is rendered useless. I’ve done countless things without thinking it through with God and they always fall apart. When I spend time in prayer and really seek God’s opinion, I always find fruitfulness and life at the end of it all. Stop sweating the new stuff and start praying to the One who has been here before “new” was even a thing.

The most nerve-wracking part of a new season for me is often the social aspect. I love people and I love talking to people but I am petrified of initiating a conversation or putting myself “out there.” Before I walk into a new school, new class, or new workplace, I always repeat this phrase, “God, give me the right words to say and the confidence to say them.” It works like a charm. Taking a deep breath and taking that leap of faith is simply terrifying but as Psalm 146:9 says, “The Lord watches over the foreigner.” God’s got your back. He’s excited about your new season and wants you to feel the peace and comfort He can give you.

Imagine the next step in life like a rock path you are walking along in a creek. Will it be wobbly? Will you fall? Will it be sturdy enough to hold your weight? Now imagine you are walking along this path with someone in front of you, making sure you step on the right stones. This is exactly what Jesus is doing for us, we just have to look up and watch. Take your next step with the knowledge that the ruler of the universe is looking out for you and it won’t seem so scary after all. x

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