Like the infamous weather here in Amarillo, my life has been a little windy.
On April 30, I graduated from California Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & New Media.
On May 4, I flew to Amarillo, Texas for a three-day interview with the Amarillo Globe-News.
On May 9, I accepted a position with AGN as their new faith and religion reporter.
On May 27, I moved to Amarillo.
In less than one month, I had graduated, moved home, interviewed for a job, cut my hair, sold my car, moved to a new state, bought a new car, signed a lease on an apartment and began my first big girl job.
Experiencing Amarillo’s welcoming wind while on assignment for my job interview.
I am so grateful. But some days, I have to remind myself of that out loud. Days when I’m homesick and lonely. Days when I’m frustrated with the search for a new church family. Days when I burn my dinner on the stove because I’m learning to cook for one. Days when the culture shock becomes fist-clenchingly irritating. Days when I really just want to be a kid again and move back home.
Amarillo is not where I expected to be after college. I didn’t even want to work for a newspaper. As a junior at CBU, I wanted to move overseas as soon as possible. During my senior year, I wanted to write for some sort of trendy, countercultural, Christian magazine and pummel the Church with my strong opinions.
Now, I find myself in the middle of nowhere, the Panhandle, far from trendy, far from the “Lauren” I knew in California and far from my family and friends.
As the faith reporter most days are humbling and thought-provoking – interviewing some of the most extreme and radical facets of the Church, spending an in-depth day with Mormon missionaries, hearing the testimonies of an LGBTQ couple who are Christians, and breaking the Ramadan fast with a Muslim family from Somalia.
If God could have tailored a position in journalism specifically for little, new-grad me, this would be it. I know that and I believe that – it’s just been a huge adjustment.
If I’m being real, many people don’t discuss the disillusionment of the post-grad life – especially as a young Christian who graduates and moves away from their spiritual community.
Never before have I been so grateful for the spiritual support and encouragement I found in college. Never before have I realized how much I took that for granted. Now I realize how much I have lost. Even with cellphones and social media, we lose it – we’re all so busy.
For 7 weeks now in Amarillo, I have been slipping and sliding down a slope of spiritual dryness. I have gone to work every morning, filed my articles and come home every evening to an empty apartment and an empty schedule. I’ll admit, for the first few weeks, Red Box was my best friend.
When you’re in a new state, don’t have a church yet and don’t know a single soul, you slip quickly.
For me, I slipped and fell deeper into the pits of self-reliance and fear. I’m still struggling to pull myself out of it.
I’ve been strategically placed here in Amarillo. Yes, for my job, but also because it’s allowing my fast-paced, self-reliant, stubborn, prideful self to hit a wall. Well, I’ve already hit that wall. Now I must humble myself to allow God to pick me up, bloodied, broken… and still fighting.
I wish I could share some inspirational, uplifting devotional for you today, but I’m still feeling tossed about in the wind. That, and I’m battling my pride.
These next six months will be a time for me to refocus on Jesus and come to full, humbled peace with my brand new, post-grad, big girl life.
I am eagerly awaiting the chance to return next year with the team, each of us ready to recommit to “living as light” in the world that seems to grow darker with each moment. I do believe we all need these six months, but I also believe the Lord is blessing that time of rest and preparing us for the next chapter.
“Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!” Proverbs 30:4
One thing I am certain of, the Lord is the one who has “gathered the wind in his fists.” No man can even fathom what it means to do this. The wind may continue to pummel me, but my God is in the winds that blow through my ever-changing life. I hope you know that truth as well.
About the Author
Hello! My name is Lauren and I am a follower of Jesus Christ. As a journalist, 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.