To say the past 8 months have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. Grad school is infinitely more difficult than I could have ever anticipated.
I’m a lifelong academic and trying to juggle a job, my academic endeavors, and a social life has proven virtually impossible (and I’m only pursuing my Master degree, kudos to all y’all out there that are going for a PhD.). I am uncertain of so many things; I don’t know where I’ll be living in six months, I’m unsure of how my current relationship will play out, and I’m uncertain of my own ability to meet (all) the impending deadlines that face me. In the midst of all this uncertainty, however, I feel an incredible peace. If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be this confident and this determined in the face of all this uncertainty I would never have believed you. I would have told you that I can’t handle uncertainty, I need to know what I’m doing, where my life is going; I need a 6-month plan. I don’t deal well with a blank page; I like having those bullet points and deadlines. While many things may change in my life, that hasn’t changed (and I doubt it ever will). However, this season is teaching me patience and faith. I don’t need to know God’s plan for me in order to have faith.
I don’t need total clarity, I don’t need to adhere to a 6-month plan. I don’t always have to know where I’m going. Ceding that control has, without a doubt, been one of the greatest struggles of my life. I’m still working on surrendering to his will, and I’m constantly leaving my fear at the altar and trying to turn my uncertainty and insecurity over to God, and yet there’s that selfish, anxious part of me that constantly grabs all my fear and uncertainty back. I’m constantly engaging in an internal battle between faith and fear, but I’m slowly learning to cede my fear and select my faith.
Sufficed to say, I’m still a work in progress, but if we’re honest with ourselves aren’t we all?
Belfast, ME. Engraved Pier Piling. February 14, 2018.
Belfast, ME. February 14, 2018
Belfast, ME. Seagull on a Post. February 14, 2018.
Hampden, ME. Odette: Hard at Work. November 4, 2017
Hampden, ME. (Hemlock, Tillandsia usneoides and Maple leaf & branch encased in ice): December 14,2017
I’ve been absolutely terrible at keeping up with this blog. Grad school has been a total whirlwind and I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning (it’s a very good place to start)
I moved down to Keene and quickly realized that craigslist roommates are never a good idea. I ended up commuting back to Maine every week. The foliage was absolutely gorgeous, but regrettably, it’s very hard to take pictures and drive. I got into my first fender bender (whoops). I moved back to Maine at the end of the semester and transferred to the online program. I’m in week two and I’m already behind on the reading, I blame the postal service because I still don’t have two of the books I ordered a month ago. It’s fine, this is why libraries exist.
Overall this season has challenged me to take a submitting and surrendering to God’s will for my life. I’m slowly and painfully learning to be at peace and trust in God has an astounding, stunning plan for me. I can run myself ragged, and draw up ornate plans, but ultimately the only plan that matters is his. Capitulating to this truth sounds so easy and freeing in theory, but it is so difficult to take that step of ultimate faith. This isn’t a new struggle for me, by any stretch of the imagination. I like being in control, I like micromanaging, I like knowing what the game plan is an having my ducks in a row. Every time I leave all my doubts and concerns at the altar, I turn around and I’ve subconsciously snatched all those concerns back, God forbid I actually really, truly, deeply surrender all of my fears and my apprehensions right?
And now you’re basically all caught up. I’ll start editing and posting pictures soon (I promise). Until then I’ll leave you with the following Bible verse:
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” – Proverbs 19:21
What I’m listening to
Reckless Love – Bethel
Trust in You – Lauren Daigle
P.S. you get brownie points if you recognized the Sound of Music joke in the opening paragraph.
Georgetown, ME; Indian Point Beaches at Low Tide ( July 26, 2017 )
Georgetown, ME; Cormerant and Ocean Ducks ( July 28, 2017 )
Kennebec River near Popham Beach, ME ; Osprey Chick( July 12,2017 )
Today I was browsing through my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist and I stumbled on a song/spoken word piece called Almost by Your World Within. As a young adult at a crossroads, this recording really spoke to me.
I’ve been so fixated on the changes happening in my life right now, I’m half moved into my new apartment, I’m ordering textbooks and clearing out my wardrobe. There’s so much furniture I have yet to buy, so many bills I have yet to pay, and there’s so much uncertainty. The reminder that I will miss 100% of the shots I don’t take is a pertinent one. I know what I’m doing, I’m in the process of making huge changes, but the underlying uncertainty is gnawing away at me. I’m looking at other kids my age, some with jobs, others attending grad schools like me and I can’t help but wonder; am I the only one who has literally no idea what I’m doing? How is everyone else so certain about what they want to do for the rest of their lives?
I’m beginning to realize that perhaps I don’t need complete certainty. Maybe I won’t have total confidence. I don’t know if I’ll ever be totally self-assured in anything. I question, I second guess, and I debate every decision I make. And then I rinse and repeat for good measure. I’m making peace with the fact that being indecisive, tentative, and hesitant are all part of my nature. My goal is simply to make peace with God and trust him to make up for my deficiencies. Where I am hesitant and unsure, I will turn to him for confidence. Where I am afraid, I will rely on him for courage. I am not called to be perfect, I am simply called to be the best version of me I can be, and have faith that he will provide what I lack.
“Indeed, our lives are guided by faith, not by sight.” II Corinthians 5:7
These past two weeks have been a personal hiatus for me, largely from social media. One of my best friends visited me and we spent almost an entire week at my beach house; truth be told this little vacation forced me to step back from social media and the blog because there is no internet on the island. I spent that week soaking up some sun and exploring the coast (pictures coming soon! promise!). After she left I came face to face with the realization that my life is changing, in a very permanent way. This isn’t a realization that’s a complete smack in the face. I know that the past year of my life has been an intermission. The next year of my life will be the first I’ve spent away from friends and family, in a new city and a new state, pursuing my education. I completed my undergraduate degree in Maine, half an hour from the town I called home for the past 12 years.
I am, for the first time ever, venturing out on my own, and what’s more, I know that when I complete this degree I will be going to another new city, finding another new apartment, and starting my life as an adult. I am in the awkward in between period between adulthood and childhood, and if I’m honest I’m completely terrified. For so long I’ve always thought I knew my steps in life. I knew where I was going and what I was doing; and when that was unsure about all else, I knew who I was supposed to marry. The end of my previous relationship was abrupt, painful, and surreal. I acknowledge it might have been necessary, but for all of my adult life, I have honestly thought that relationship would be a constant in my life. The realization that I am simply not enough to fulfill any one person’s needs has been humbling.
In the midst of all this uncertainty and fear, I’m blessed to have my mother supporting me and functioning as a personal cheerleader. When I’m binge-cleaning because I’m so stressed I can’t even face the concept of packing my clothes, she’s calling my aunt and grandmother and being a prayer warrior. She’s reminding me that even though I’m scared, this is the right step for me and I’m going to love my new life. I am honestly blessed beyond measure to have such an invested, caring, loving mother. I know that she’s afraid to have her last bird leave the nest (despite being the middle child somehow I’m the one who has taken the longest moving out), but even in the middle of her empty nest syndrome she’s cheering me on and reminding me that she’s always a phone call, or if it’s really bad a road-trip, away.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” – Isaiah 43:18-19
What I’m listening to:
God Help Me – Plumb
All In – Matthew West