As the new year commences, I have a different feeling than one I normally have this time of year. Usually, I’m filled with unease about the year that ended and false optimism about the year to come. Now, I recall a moment in the pilot episode of Parks and Recreation where the main character, Leslie Knope, is asked by her soon to be best friend, Ann Perkins, about whether Leslie’s pledge to turn a pit next to Ann’s house into a park is a promise and Leslie responds, “It’s more than a promise, it’s a pinky promise.” This may sound silly, and it is surely meant as comedic relief in the show, but there’s a look in Leslie’s eye in that moment that is filled with hope and determination for the future. That look and the feelings behind it are what I feel when looking at 2019.
This past year was not a bad year for me. While the news and social media deem 2018 to be horrible and from hell, I did not experience anything to that magnitude. There were horrible and hellish events in 2018 all of which need to be realized, but none of them affected me personally. For the first time in a few years I felt like 2018 was actually decent. Not great, but nothing to go to counseling over. However, I do not wish to focus on 2018, no I want to look forward. To the future. To my future.
This year holds more possibility than ever before for me. More than when I moved halfway across the country to a new state, more than I was a senior in high school, and more than when I graduated from undergraduate school. This time my possibilities are truly wide open. I will be finishing Law School which means that I will never have to go to school again (hopefully). I will be taking the BAR exam in order to become an attorney. The culmination of three years of hard work, hair loss, sleep loss, and stress all to find out if it actually (and literally) pays off. The chance to become what I have wanted to become for a long time. But, that’s just it right now; a chance. I’m hoping it’s a pretty good chance since I did and will continue to put in hard work in order to pass the BAR, but in a way, it is still just a chance. There’s no guarantee that I pass the BAR and become an attorney.
Beyond passing the BAR (and I will pass) there’s the hope of putting my degree to use. Yes, using it in a job. One that pays (crossing my fingers). Where the job will be, I’m not sure. Who it will be with is yet to be determined. These are all the possibilities that I was speaking of. Up until this point in my life things have always been somewhat determined. When I graduated undergraduate school, I didn’t know what job I would have but I knew where I would be living. After high school I didn’t know anyone at college, but I knew where I was going and what I would be studying. This time, I’m not sure where I’ll be, who I will be with, or what I’ll be doing. Again, there’s no guarantee of anything. My future after July 31st(the last day of the BAR exam) is foggy. At that point I will not have a home (my lease expires the same day as the BAR). I won’t have a job, unless someone hires me before then (please anyone?). There is absolutely nothing certain.
Isn’t that exciting?
The answer for me is yes. It really is exciting. While I am stressing about these open ends, I’m also hopeful. I know what I am doing now is building up to the future I will have. God would not have brought me to this point to leave me to figure it out on my own. It’s taken me far longer to realize that than it should have. Proverbs 3 tells us to trust in the Lord and He will direct our paths. A cliché passage, but one that still rings true. Scripture promises God’s leading in multiple places. Matthew 6 tells us that the birds do not worry about their food nor do the lilies of the field worry of their clothing because God takes care of them, and if He takes care of them won’t He take even more care of us? Philippians tells us to not worry about anything and instead pray about everything. Over and over we are told to trust in God, and that we don’t have to worry about. Of course, it doesn’t mean sit back and do nothing, but that’s a topic for another time.
In 2019 I’m not sure where my paths are going. There are endless directions and I’m not sure which ones are the right ones to take. But, God does. This may sound simple, and it is. I don’t think the fact that the truth is simple makes it any less true. Like Leslie Knope when she pinky promises Ann to build a park where a pit currently sits, I too am looking forward with hope and determination. Hope that God has directed my paths and the determination to make God’s will a reality in my life.
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
― Corrie ten Boom