This blog is going to take a little different a form than most of my writing, because, well, I need to ask a favor.
I need you to loan me a little faith.
Not in the sense that I’m “doubting my faith” or anything; I’m actually in a better (and more dependent) place spiritually than I have been in some time. But I need some help and faith to see an increasingly foggy future.
Let me explain. For the first time in recent memory, if not ever, I am have no idea what is coming next in life. There is no immediate change forthcoming in life, but I know I can only sustain a travel-heavy job for so long. And beyond YouthWorks, I have little concept of what or where I belong.
While I was in college I entertained more ideas than were plausible – move to Chicago to do urban ministry, teach English in China, work at a non-profit in Toledo, become a missionary on a Indian Reservation, enter a fellowship program in Denver, go straight into youth pastor role at a church, try to work for an organization like IJM, to name only a few of the ideas I tossed around.
Ultimately, YouthWorks became the best path forward because it brought together two of my passions – youth ministry and community development. But YouthWorks or no YouthWorks, as I college student I was able to sit in eager anticipation and knowing that something was coming next.
The future has always been kind to me, but is filled with uncertainty now. No big move to anticipate, nor anything keeping me unequivocally tied to Nashville, no next logical step into adulthood, no certainty as to how long I can continue to do my job well, and no clue what profession I’d wind up in three years from now.
I’m just left with a lot of wrestling. Where do I belong? What do I want to do? Where should I live? How long should I keep my job? Who are my people? What and who do I want to give my life to?
The lack of answers that I have is often unnerving, particularly recently. I feel stuck. And while Jesus is encountering me in my stuckness, it has done little to quell the fear.
And so I’m afraid.
I’m afraid that life will be ordinary, and that I’ll never feel as purposeful as I had dreamed. That I’ll waking up feeling like each day is going to be just like yesterday.
I’m afraid that all the positive momentum that I have in my life – emotional intelligence, a more stable friend group, excellence in my job functions – will all fall apart.
I’m afraid of slinking back into dark, emotionless places. I’m afraid of isolating and relying only on myself.
I’m afraid of burnout, and that I won’t be able to sustain myself in seasons of loneliness or exhaustion.
I’m afraid of being alone. I’m terrified of living for just myself. And I’m terrified that I’ll live a life where I come home only to myself. I scared of having no one to share the mundane, the exhilarating, and the exhausting parts of life with.
And for maybe the first time, I’m afraid of the unknown. The lack of direction and vision leaves a lot of room for questions, and sparingly few answers.
This blog isn’t go to wrap up as neatly as others have – there is no resolution, which might be the point. Uncertainty, doubt, fear, questioning, and confusion as necessary parts of life that probably should be welcomed much quicker than I have.
But for now I sit in tension, fear, and uncertainty with an outstretched hand waiting, yearning, for someone to spare some faith and help me see the road before me. I’ll take whatever you can spare.