By Beth Winze
Let’s talk about postgraduate depression for a second because it’s a very real thing I have been fighting the last month and a half since I shook hands with the Chancellor and saw a beautiful chapter of my life closing so abruptly. A chapter I still feel shouldn’t be over. I don’t want to set the pen down and move on. I’ve become attached to the characters that have woven their lives into mine and feel jealous they get another year to create in their collegiate chapters.
I’ve felt a deep sense of loss since leaving and have fought to take pride in my collegiate accomplishments when another job interview turns up without an offer. It’s a very real sense of panic when you realize the very career field you studied and felt so passionate about doesn’t necessarily feel passionate about you. It feels like betrayal.
It is funny how common this feeling actually has been among several of my other colleagues and friends who graduated with me. We all feel like we are grasping for purchase on anything and everything we can even attempt to grip, but for some reason we feel weaker with every “no”, “went another direction”, and “not qualified” we receive. It’s a blow to our work and passion we held in college, and bouncing back from rejection gets harder every time.
If anyone knows me past this blog screen, I very much enjoy leadership roles and being able to lead and give directions to others. What my parents used to call bossy, has thankfully (by the grace of God alone) been refined into leadership characteristics. Exercising control and maintaining standards is something I thrive off of. When I am challenged to give up control and trust someone else to get the job done to standards I want to see, I struggle. I can do it, but not without insomnia, anxiety, and frustration frequenting my thoughts and patterns. This has been a hard struggle in my relationship with Christ. I frequently find myself quickly humbled when my human hands screw up something God would have perfected if I had just relented control to Him. It’s the same song I’m singing as I try my hardest to map out the future I envision for myself.
But there is my problem. The future I envision for myself. I keep praying for God’s will to be done with my future career, passions, and life but continually leave Him out of the equation in my blueprint formula. It’s like asking a contractor to build a house, but demanding you make all the decisions. The contractor is going to know best how to build a house so studs are not misplaced and cause walls to collapse and the roofing is done properly to prevent leaks. But here I am, standing under a leaky roof watching walls cave in on a plan for my future, I so desperately insisted on building.
I am working to place my unbalanced, uncertain and panicked self into God’s hands and trust Him to take the pen out of my own hands and write my next chapter so much more beautifully then I ever could. Because if I have felt one sense of certainty in the last month it is that God doesn’t lead us through deserts without ensuring we are equipped for it. Another hard truth in all this, is that being equipped in my understanding is not the same as being equipped in God’s definition. But that’s where I need to (I’m about to say it, against every cliche cringing bone in my body) “Let go and let God” because at the end of the day, He went 40 days in the desert having everything thrown his direction and deciding that standing in strength was a beautiful depiction of the life we should be leading.