I wonder what it would be like to suddenly wake up 10 years ahead or behind in time.
Like you fall asleep as an awkward middle school girl floundering for social recognition and then wake up the next morning in an apartment with a roommate and a diploma waiting for you at the end of the week.
You fall asleep fretting over a skater-boy and wake up pondering a move back home and a far away job interview.
One moment, you’re waking up in the middle of the night to raid the refrigerator, the next moment you’re waking up because you realized how much a refrigerator is going to cost you as new grad.
No joke, these are very true and very recent stories. I woke up this morning thinking how silly it would be to wake up in another time — how freaked out I would be — and then for a moment I wished I had woken up in the past instead of the present.
Time is changing too quickly for me.
I don’t want to move far away from family, but I don’t want to stay either. I have grown frustrated with the community I’ve made in school, but I am afraid of losing that community. I want to move forward in my career, but I also want to hide from the world and binge-watch Netflix.
I’ve mentally blocked friends’ grad parties and other milestone events because I can’t deal with the goodbyes. My Snapchat feed is bipolar; my Instagram is nonexistent. One of my coworkers sent me words of affirmation through a text and I dropped my phone like a hot potato after reading the first line. I eventually read it… and cried.
And yet, #DegreeMe has become an icon, of sorts, among my friends and me, as well as other phrases such as, “Get me out of here.”
I’m a mess. I’m a spoiled mess because I’m graduating with a college degree, in America, with a job interview lined up and a supportive family… and my emotions are as present and toxic as the popcorn ceiling in my apartment.
But, this has allowed for some amazing, blissful moments with the Lord.
About a week ago, I was at the Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in Oklahoma for the Baptist Communicator’s Association workshop. Two hours ahead of California time, 1,000 miles away and also several cellphone service bars away, I was forced to sit and twiddle my thumbs instead using them to manipulate the joystick of my life and others’ lives.
On one of the more tearful nights, my introvert-self escaped the confines of our hotel room and explored the grounds.
Crossing the creek, I looked up to my left and I saw, through the trees, three tall crosses lit up in the night. They were beautiful and my heart longed to run to them even just for a simple visual of my Savior who I wanted to meet with.
I’m coming! My heart cried, but as I stepped another foot forward, I hesitated. Leading to the crosses was an ominous pathway. It was dark with the nighttime, grizzled and forlorn.
I’m coming… My heart cried softer now. This was not the path I had expected.
I took my phone out to light the way— it was at 7 percent battery life — I cringed and questioned my decision yet again.
I hadn’t even bothered to change out of my conference clothes, so I was stumbling up the muddy path in my little heeled boots and tripping over the rocks. As I struggled, I increased speed with the thoughts of kidnappers, psychotic runaways and wild animals… and my phone battery drained away. But I kept moving.
Breaking through the trees and into the clearing, I looked back down the path where I had come and cried — alone, without a working phone and in the middle of the night — what was I thinking?
But though the journey was frightening, I saw the crosses in the distance and they compelled me to continue. Christ beckoned me forward; He showed me a place where He had already been.
That night, I found a seat at the base of the crosses where their concrete foundations had been over poured, creating a flat, dry surface. It was ideal for my chaotic heart. I sat there in the darkness and communed with my Lord.
It was terribly cheesy, but it was terribly needed and it became our spot while I was in Oklahoma. I went back there and the path looked so different lit up with the diffused sunlight of morning. I knew the rocks and mud were still there, but I was no longer afraid of those things. With the light, I saw something so much greater.
About the Author
Well, hello there! My name is Lauren and I am a follower of Jesus Christ. As a senior at California Baptist University and the Editor-in-Chief of the campus magazine, Pursuit, you can find me at anytime reading in a coffee shop or working closely with my fellow editors in the newsroom. I believe in harnessing the media’s influence for the Gospel and believe that storytelling will be a strategic tool used for the growth of His Kingdom. I am excited to be interning with GLOW and look forward to the ways Jesus will use this platform for His glory.