I’ve been thinking a little bit of how I want to go forward with my life from here. Yesterday, I graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Today, I am out in the world. I start the process of compiling materials for graduate school applications, taking GRE tests, and moving overseas.
And since I believe that honesty is the best policy, I’ll say this: I am terrified.
There are so many unknowns ahead of me. Everything is open, nothing is “for sure”. And for a person who loves structure and order, this is driving me cra-zay. Filled with anxiety. Terrible.
But I was reading my Bible tonight (a wonderful place to go to when you’re overwhelmed) and stumbled across a verse that I want to model my post-grad life around. It’s short and sweet, part of a list in Romans that Paul thinks Christians should embody. I’ll just quote the whole section, just for the sake of context.
Romans 12:10-13 (Emphasis mine)
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love, give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulations, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”
My post-grad prayer is that I, in whatever stage of life I find myself, will rejoice in the hope of the gospel, persevere through whatever trials or rough patches come, and devote myself to prayer. These three things have, time and again, brought me so much comfort and joy in the past when I was struggling or feeling hopelessly sorrowful. And if you think about it, it’s a really good way to combat anxiety.
When I feel overwhelmed or fearful about anything, I remember the gospel and Christ’s ultimate sacrifice to save me. I then realize that this is a trial that needs to be dealt with in an appropriate way – perseverance. And after that, I pray about whatever gives me cause for concern. It isn’t a 1-2-3 EASY solution for problems with anxiety, but one that calms and soothes my soul. Just remembering the gospel is enough to calm my nerves and bring me back to “reality”.
So in the days to come, I pray that my life is marked by these three amazing attributes. I created alliteration because ya know… I’m forever a nerd – Praise, Perseverance, Prayer.