Life has never changed as much as it will in a few months.
Last week was my last week of college, and official graduation is twelve days away. (Actually, I’m an August grad because the College of Education advising blows, but we can talk about that later) . But as graduation approaches and everyone posts their last celebratory instagram, throwing up a “hook ’em” after taking their last final or walking out of their last class on the great 40 acres, I have yet to catch on to the sentimental spirit.
Maybe it’s because I transitioned straight from my last day student teaching into full-time substituting, or maybe it’s because my last class on UT campus was actually three semesters ago, but for some reason, I just don’t feel sentimental. I don’t feel like my goodbyes should be tear-filled, or moving out of my house should be a dramatic ordeal.
Thursday night, sitting around a table in the tiny courtyard of my best friends’ east Austin home, I realized why. Because life isn’t ending. Jesus promises us a life of adventure, if only we would look for it. He promises us new bends and turns in our roads, surprises around every corner. Life doesn’t end when we graduate college, just as it didn’t end when we graduated high school or graduated from using pull-ups.
Next year will look different. Come August, I will be living in a one bedroom apartment, working a full time job, no longer leading Young Life, paying all of my own bills, and jumping headfirst into adulthood. But as this new season approaches, and as I trade in my eleven roommates and Monday night dance parties for clean dishes and early bedtimes, I want to look at it as just that: a new season. Not the end of life as we know it, not a reason for panic attacks and dread towards adult responsibilities. Just a new season, a new chapter in the beautiful book that Christ has written for me, a storyline that I trust completely. He has never failed before, and I don’t believe for a moment that the day I graduate college is the day He stops having great plans for me.
Sitting on coolers made into make shift chairs, drinking wine and pulling steak off of kabobs, Christmas lights twinkling above us, I was reminded of the goodness of our Creator. The goodness and grace of a Creator and Savior who whispers in my ear, “I’m not finished yet.” And I believe Him. Deep down into the depths of my heart, I really, truly believe Him. I believe that the best is yet to come.
I can only imagine that ten years from now, new spouses and babies will be joining us at that table. The joys and heartbreaks and successes that will be shared around our tables are unimaginable: babies and book publishings, new jobs and graduate degrees, new homes and paychecks that allow us to upgrade our drink choices from Cupcake to cocktails. Life will be shared around our tables for many years to come, and these people and these relationships, whether they began in Pre-K or in college, will be woven throughout the pages of my life for as long as I am living.
And now, I am crying. Not because I miss what we’re leaving behind, but because I cannot even begin to imagine the goodness that is ahead.