Advent

Today marks the beginning of the end for me. Only a few exams separate me from my bachelor’s degree from Butler University. Now that the end is so near, so tangible, more than ever I’m getting asked, “What’s next?”

The truth is, I’m not quite sure what’s next. While I do know that in the next few months I’ll receive my diploma, spend the holidays with family and go on a second mission trip to Honduras (more about that later), the big-picture, long-term future isn’t certain.

Normally, this would both me. In fact, I spent a good deal of early last week frazzled that no crystal ball will be delivered to me upon graduation. I made many phone calls to my parents, and spoke with many of my friends. The relative helplessness to plan my future right this moment left me feeling vulnerable and distressed.

However, one visit with a very wise friend of mine, Judith Cebula, who is the director of Butler University’s Center for Faith and Vocation, provided me perspective (as our conversations typically do.) While talking about a race that we were both running in, she asked me how the course was laid out. “I don’t know, I never check the course. I don’t like to know where I’m running beforehand,” I replied.

Bingo.

I didn’t realize what I had said until she drew my attention to it: I like not knowing where I’m going. What?! Funny, but it’s true, when running I don’t need a plan. Judy helped me understand this by relating it to my faith; I know that someone else has mapped out the route that will lead me to the finish line, just as God has done for me.

What several of my friends have said about this season of my life is that it is, perhaps not coincidentally, an Advent. It’s a period of waiting in the darkness, which isn’t comfortable by any means, but is necessary. Advent is a time to develop our faith while pressing on for the gifts that God has in store for us.

Right now, this is an Advent for me. It’s one that I share with my boyfriend, who is incredibly supportive of me despite the relative uncertainty of our future (as individual players and as a team, as I like to say.) Knowing this, my heart has been calmed and I feel that I can proceed with much greater confidence, though I do not know my exact destination.