I think I am finally (after one year with my job) realizing that growing up is NOT easy.
There's no way you can graduate, slide into the perfect job, meet the perfect guy, buy a dream house, etc. etc. without hassles, setbacks, and disappointment. If you did, please do not tell the rest of us, because you are a rare breed and will only stir up feelings of jealousy, bitterness, and possibly anger.
Highschool was not easy. I was homeschooled, and found that lack of social interaction with my peers was frustrating. Isolated most days with only my sisters for conversation (praise the Lord I was not an only child!), my world felt very narrow and sometimes empty. I longed to enter the busy hallways and classrooms of a highschool.
College was like a dream come true! Thousands of people to meet, lots of friends and fellowship...I thrived! However, my perfect four years of college was interrupted by a tiny bacteria eating up my stomach. I left school, not only because I needed to earn money to continue, but because of my medical problem. The doctors didn't find the bacteria for a YEAR! I was subjected to all sorts of medical exams, tests, and about a gallon of blood was drawn over the course of that year. I felt like a guinea pig as they tried all kinds of medications on me. I had a hernia and ulcers. I would cough until I couldn't breath...so hard that I broke a rib. They tried allergy meds, re-flux meds, my bed was raised to a very uncomfortable angle, it was miserable. I remember one night when my family was asleep and I really couldn't breathe, I was coughing and gasping for air. I thought I was going to die that night.
Eventually the doctors realized that they hadn't tried a certain test yet. My case was usually only found in people over 50, so they doubted it was the problem... After a final bloodletting, the cure (a two WEEK pill) was prescribed and I was cured!
Despite this medical condition, I had had to keep on with life. I got a job and took some courses with the local community college to catch up. It was a frustrating setback.
After all of that, I finished my time at school, earned my degree, and then took 2.5 months to find a job. I was almost desperate by the time I found it. It seemed like a dream come true. However, the "honeymoon" period has ended, and while I love my employees, I do not enjoy the lack of flexibility with my employers. I long for the freedom of a Saturday! Retail is just not the job for me.
Last night, I went rock climbing with three old Navigator friends from school. You should know, heights are one of my biggest fears.We cheered each other on and tortured each other up those walls! I only made it to the top twice, but I had three other fun attempts. When you are gripping that wall with the last ounce of your arm strength, sweat stinging your eyes; the voice of friends beneath you giving you encouragement and guidance is such a relief! My last climb was one of the two times I made it to that top. Partway through I reached what I believed to be a dead end. My arm wasn't long enough to reach that next grip and my grip wasn't strong enough to pull me higher. I told my friend belaying me that I was done and received a negative. He wasn't going to let me come down. I was only four feet from the top! However, I tried to wheedle my way down announcing that there were no more footholds within reach. This was ignored and I was stuck on that wall about twenty-six feet in the air. It took about 10 minutes, but with my friend's guidance I finally found the right hold to get me up to the top!
The sheer power of encouragement compels us to strive harder to overcome obstacles. I realized (again) that God is our ultimate encouragement. We have to spend time in His word to hear what He tells us, but the results are always amazing!
Though I am afraid of what will come next in my life, I have the encouragement of my Lord. Not only that, He provided me with several friends and family members who pray for me and cheer me on when I need it the most. As long as I keep my eyes focused above, to Him, I need not fear the height nor depths of my fears. Slowly they are wiped away. "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13)...including shake the grip of fear.
So: though I was scared I would never graduate, petrified of heights, and am terrified about finding a different job...these fears have been and are being overcome through my patience and trust in God. He has not failed me, nor will He!