The Brave Thing

 
It’s a very interesting time for me.

I’ve been preparing for Zimbabwe and I am unbelievably excited.
But simultaneously there have been some Big Career and Life Decisions that needed to be made before the big trip. The biggest of which being Grad School. And I needed to decide before I left.

And I needed to decide all the things.

I needed to decide if I wanted started in the fall.
And if so, which school.
And if so, how many classes.
And if so, apply for FAFSA.

But all the while I was not sure if Counseling was the precise field I wanted to go in to. And the money. And the time.

And I just wasn’t sure.

And I was just so tired of decisions.

___

This whole year I felt the sinking feeling that I need to “Figure Out My Life.”

BJ’s dead. What now?

I’ve been trying to answer that “What now?” this past year and I’ve done some good things.

But now I feel the pressure of being an adult and moving on.

I’ve grieved for a year. I’ve paused. I’ve rested. I’ve reflected. I’ve cried.

I’ve survived.

But now it’s Year Two and isn’t life supposed to start again?

Thing is, I’m still tired.

I don’t want to be tired. But I am.

And though I know Zimbabwe will breathe life back in to me, I still know I needed more rest.

So I’ve decided to not start grad school in the fall.

And when I come back from Zimbabwe I’m going to do more resting.

I want to do things like get a fun part time job. I want to travel and to visit new churches and write. And maybe I’ll even go on some dates.

I don’t know.

I just know I want to very slowly enter my real life. This new life.

And after all, the weight of starting Big Expensive Grad School in the Fall and making Big Career Decisions just felt so not right.

I felt no peace. Only dread. Only decisions. Only necessity. Only fear.

So I tried to listen to myself and drown out the voices of Comparison and Success and tried to do the brave thing.

And for me, the brave thing is to rest.

Rest, Andrea.

I wrote this poem last fall:

Go Andrea! Do Andrea!
Will, work, sweat, stress!
Fight Andrea! Try Andrea!
Force, forge, fix, get!

Make Andrea. Move Andrea.
Keep on the run!
Exert all that effort–
There are things to be done!

Rest Andrea.
(Wait, what?)
Mercy is mine.
I created it. I embody it.
Don’t you remember that line?

It does not therefore depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

Not through doing or going or
Task, toil, and strife,
No acts or achievements
Bring eternally life.

You only need rest–
Just trust and receive.
Why labor in vain?
I meet every need.

Andrea remember–
This is your treasure–
Bury it deep down inside–

No human endeavor
Could equal the measure
My mercy freely provides.

It’s a little Dr. Seuss-y but I like it. It has beat. A pulse. And BOY is it relevant.

And though I feel SO indulgent wanting more rest, I know that is where God has me.

My counselor reminded me

Andrea, you can’t miss your life. You can’t miss your boat. You’re here.

You’re exactly where you need to be.

(Remember my birthday watch?)

So I deferred my grad school enrollment until January.

And I’m going to be exploring other careers and ideas and things.

And I’m just going to try to do the Next Right Thing.

And that is Zimbabwe (YAY!)

But after that–

Rest.

The right thing.

The counter-cultural thing.

The brave thing.

Yes.

Rest.