As of this week, I have officially been out of college for as long as I was in college.
That reality is enough to make me want to vomit everywhere. Or cry the ugliest cry there ever was. It makes me sad. It really just makes me feel weird. It seems as though the sun should have asked for my permission to rise and set so many times.
Time is weird and thinking of how it passes so unapologetically is enough to send me spinning. I’m not the kind of person that needs a reason to get emotional. My Myers-Briggs personality type reveals an undeniable “F” – I am a feeler to.the.max.
So naturally, I’m a mess. As I wrap up a beautifully hard season in Texas, as I find a decade full of prayers and hopes and dreams, and as I consider that I have been post-grad for four dang years.
I remember a friend asking just weeks before my college graduation, “Everyone says that college is the best time of their life – how does it feel knowing your time is ending?”
I tried to not be offended at the senseless phrasing of the question and really probed my heart for an answer. I liked what came to mind and I’m standing by my initial thought that night:
The best is yet to come.
If life is truly as sweet as I think it could be, and if my Jesus is really the good King I believe him to be, then simply put: the best can’t be in the past.
I’m not always so confident. I’m tempted to wallow at the years that have passed. I’m tempted to wish I were a reckless twenty-year-old averaging 5 hours of sleep a night and skipping class to play in the ocean. I’m tempted to criticize the last four years as a waste, not good enough, second-best. But something in me just can’t do those things.
I just can’t get over the belief that Yahweh cares so deeply that we make the most of this life. I can’t get over thinking that if my best days were behind me, he would call me home. I can’t help but think that this life has the potential to be better tonight than it was this morning, and better tomorrow than it was today. He came to give us life, and life abundantly… didn’t he?
I surely don’t mean that trials won’t come or that life is always neat and tidy. I’ve had my share of winters and I’m sure there will be many more to come. But even in the midst, Jesus has allowed me to experience some really sweet moments in my nearly 26 years. And the last four, though post-grad, have brought some of my favorite adventures, some of my dearest friendships, and some of my biggest dreams.
I’m thankful for TimeHop to remind me that I was crossing the stage and moving my tassel on this day four years ago. I’m glad to remember the ending of one of my favorite seasons because it reminds me yet again that sweet seasons come and go, but they don’t have to claim superlatives as they leave us.
We’re nearly always ending a season of sorts. You may just now be ending a season of middle school or high school. You may be finishing college, or grad school and about to make your first big move, taking your first “real” position. You may be closing in on a season of singleness, or engagement. It could be a season of having your littles at home before kindergarten starts stealing their days. Maybe your youngest is graduating and you are (at long last) empty nesters. Maybe, like me, it’s an unexpected ending and a pending move, or position change is looming on the calendar, just a few weeks away.
Whatever this ending looks like, believe the best is yet to come. You need the lessons of this closing chapter to carry you further into the wild adventure of your glorious heart. You need to lean in; you need to draw close. You need to press in to the ugly, painful, torn up places of the season you are saying goodbye to. You need to write down your favorite moments, the stories you want to always remember. You need to bravely ask your King, “What do you want me to hold on to? What do you want me to let go of?”
Bitterness and anger and fear are heavy rocks to carry, and you’re just not supposed to take them with you. The lessons from the hardship? Keep ‘em. But the pain and hurt? Let it go, let it go.
Joy and freedom don’t weigh a thing and your boundless heart is made to hold it in abundance. Whatever season you are nearing the end of, would you believe this to be true?
So remember the nights you didn’t sleep because of your procrastination. Remember the boy that broke your heart. Remember the professors that spoke life and pushed you further into your calling. Remember the road trips. And as you remember, look with hope and all the heart eyes at the season to which our King is calling you next. He gives good gifts to his kids and I’m hoping this next chapter is sweeter than you could have ever hoped.
Surely, dear – the best is yet to come.