Tuesday, February 21, 2012
(Just as a warning, this post has very little to do with photography. But, let's be honest, this blog needs a little sprucing.)
Being out of college is tough. No more starting an Office marathon the week of finals at midnight. No more 6 week Christmas breaks. No more parents paying your bills. Those dreams of changing the world in only 6 months after getting out of college suddenly crumble under the crippling blow of a mortgage, 401k, electricity bill, utilities bill, and a 40-hour-a-week-bottom-of-the-totem-pole job. Now, I'm no longer in a rented house that I will leave in 9 months. I own this place, or so says the bank. And those super cute $50 shoes I've been eyeing? Forget about it.
It's true - I suffer from PCB...Post-College Blues. I was warned this could happen. But, I thought it might hit me for maybe a few weeks and I would get over it. But, alas, it's been a rather difficult road for me to become accustomed to life in the 'burbs.
Although the rows of perfectly trimmed lawns and structurally symmetric houses sometimes become tiresome, I have been experiencing the Bible in a whole new way. This verse has new life for me now: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12).
It's been comforting to me to know that it's not within the human nature to be okay in any and every situation. It's not human nature to be wonder woman. Contentment is an attribute that is learned, in time, and experience - whether you're a new believer or the daring apostle Paul.
I'm not entirely sure what specific secret that Paul was talking about. It would have been kind of nice if he had written in nice big letters: "THE SECRET TO ALWAYS BEING HAPPY IN EVERY SITUATION IS THIS...." But, I suppose that God isn't aiming for our constant happiness. He's aiming at His glory through our sanctifying lives. So, I continue my 20-somethings learning what this secret is. Here's what I've found so far.
Prayer has been tantamount to a proper perspective and right attitude for me. Speaking with the Father is powerful and effective. I've dedicated a time for prayer for the youth group, where my husband is a pastor, once a week. I've seen an increased love, focus, and dedication in myself to seeing the youth and the church as a whole flourish in depth of life-changing stories.
New friendships are always difficult for me, but making a conscious effort to make new friends has also shifted my "woe is me" mentality to wanting to love others. I pull my head out of my kiddie pool of self-pity and actually interact with another human being and it leaves me feeling encouraged and challenged.
But, the most powerful has been reminding myself that there is a whole lot more to my life and to God's glory than me living downtown with a super sweet job and an even sweeter salary. If I truly am after pushing forward God's kingdom, then any sacrifice is worth it. Even if it means being a desperate creative in an office job an hour away. In the end, Christ died; Christ rose again; and Christ is coming again. Everything else will melt away.
I've heard that PCB (Post College Blues in case you missed that) can last up to 3 years. I see it disappearing, ever so slowly, as God continues to shape me. I will probably always struggle with being content, but I am ever grateful for such a powerful lesson in this stage of life. May He continue to shape me for His glory and His reputation.