TO THE GIRL WHO:

April 12, 2019

Has No Idea What Her Future Will Look Like

I am a girl who loooooves to plan. I bought the cutest planner in the world this year to help keep me motivated and organized (pictured) and I write down every little thing that I have going on during the week—homework, appointments, coffee dates, to-do lists—so that I can see my week laid out in front of me (also because I would definitely forget things if not). Seriously, I love it and can usually find a way to plan for anything. I’m finishing up college in the next few weeks, though, and that’s something I really have no idea how to plan for. So much is changing and life has been coming at me so fast and honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Planner is from Horacio Printing — so cute and so helpful!

Someone ACTUALLY asked me the other day “what’s your 5-year plan?”

Um. What?

Do people really make those? How the heck is anyone realistically able to plan out the next 5 years of their life? I literally eat popcorn or cereal for dinner half the time because I can hardly plan out my next meal.

I’m sure I’m not literally expected to know the exact job I am going to have when I graduate, the exact apartment complex I’m going to live in, or my exact wedding date (for the wedding that is not even a twinkle in my eye as of right now). If you’ve been asked this question and are anything like me, though — it kinda feels like you’re supposed to have those concrete answers. It’s pretty scary to think about because I know a lot of people my age who actually do have concrete answers, but I really don’t.

As a graduating college senior, I know that anxiety regarding the future is all so normal. Starting an entirely new chapter of life, applying for “big girl jobs” and eventually being hired and actually working a big girl job are things that I’ve never had to do before. I’m sure so many girls (and guys!) my age get those anxious butterflies in their stomach at the thought of this, too. So, why does it feel so isolating to not know what we’re going to do with our lives?

Here’s what I think. In a world where we are so focused on “success”, there is so much pressure on us to have a course of action to achieve it. I think that’s why the “what’s your plan?” question is brought up so much after college. It makes sense. You go to college to get a degree to get a job, but it’s a little trickier than that. What if you got a degree in something you hated? What if your degree is so broad that you never decided exactly what you wanted to do and now you don’t know where to start??? (That last one was for me. I don’t know where to start.)

My roommate and I joke around about “what if we never find good jobs and never get married and end up homeless?” But like.. seriously. Deep down I think most of us really do have those fears. The fear that everything we are currently working and hoping for will never come to fruition.

Something that has been helping me navigate through all the “I don’t know”s of this time in life is trying to re-evaluate how I view success. Will I feel successful if I have a lot of money? If someone falls in love with me? If I’m famous? If I’m “the best” at what I do? Honestly, all of those things would be cool, but they’re not supposed to be my main goals. I know those things are not going to satisfy. For some reason, though, I fear the future as if the those things are what will determine my success. I wonder if the future would seem less daunting for all of us if we stopped measuring our success by worldly standards.

When I sit down and really think about what I want out of this life, the answers come clearly. I want to serve the Lord. I want to do something that helps others and points them to Jesus in some way. I want a family. I want to connect with people. I know what I want, but for some reason those things don’t feel like they will be enough when I’m looking at my life through a worldly lens.

As followers of Christ, we have to remember our purpose, and I truly believe that this would alleviate some of the anxiety we might feel about the way our future is going to look. When you feel like you have no direction, remember the passions in your heart. That desire you have to have a family one day? That talent you have that gives you a sense of purpose? The little fire you feel inside whenever that one topic comes up that you could go on and on forever about? Those are not just coincidental pieces of you. God puts those things in our hearts, and I fully believe that he plans to use them. I forget this a lot. I think when we start to worry about our future we start to try and take the steering wheel from God, when in reality, he knows our direction better than we do. He knows how to get us to where we’re supposed to be. Just because we don’t know what we’re doing doesn’t mean God doesn’t know what he’s doing. 

So, to the girl who has no idea what her future is going to look like, remember that it is already taken care of, and the one who holds your future is already there. As much as it seems like the decisions we make right now are going change the entire course of our lives and the world might combust if we make the “wrong” choices, remember that the Lord already knew what choices we would end up making. He knew before he even created you what your life would look like, and he wrote a unique story for each one of us that will come to fruition. Maybe you’ll have to speak this truth over yourself multiple times for it to sink in. Be encouraged by the knowledge that you do not have the power to ruin God’s plan. While the road ahead seems uncertain, God already knows exactly where you are headed, and he’s going to get you there.

Matthew 6:25-24 is a really great passage for this. What are some verses that help you when you’re struggling with anxiety about the future?

Thanks for reading, 

Monica

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