The stress of exams is replaced with the excitement of graduation, and it’s soon forgotten in a hectic summer filled with camps and teams. September comes and goes as you rest, but October, November and December come with no sign of full-time permanent employment.
Leaving university and moving on to the next stage is a big deal. Perhaps it’s leaving the fun of living with your best friends and moving home. Perhaps it’s leaving the security of routine to move country and do new things. Regardless, it will be a big change, don’t underestimate that. And some people will deal differently with that than others. Some of you will have a job lined up and will move straight in to that — that’s great, go and do it as best you can for God’s glory.
But for others, you’re still jobless. Part of the problem is maybe that you don’t know what you want to do, or you’re trying to work out what God would have you do. Some days you’re fine with the unknown, and other days the fear and anxiety rise as people ask that question — “so, what’re you doing with yourself now?”
I want to encourage you — that season of life comes (and might linger for a while), but it does go. It might be filled with tears and questions, and you may long for the life that you enjoyed so much at university. But it’s also a time to deliberately choose to trust God and to choose to remember his love, his goodness and his sovereignty. Your emotions will eventually catch up as you keep praying, keep spending time in his word and keep putting him first.
I don’t know where God will lead you (or me), but I do know that his plan for you is to grow more like Jesus every day (Ephesians 5:1).
But what about everybody else?
That pressure you feel of having the next step sorted isn’t helped by looking around you and seeing your friends or old classmates in jobs, with their lives seemingly sorted. In John 21, after Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, and recommissions him to feed his sheep, Peter turns and asks about John’s future. Jesus replies “What is that to you? You follow me”. It doesn’t matter if our friends have a job, or an internship, or are still at university. These things (although we may desperately want them) are not our calling. Our call is to follow Jesus, jobless or not. Be faithful in following where he leads, because he is leading in this season of your life.
And when this season does eventually pass, you’ll look back and be able see his hand at work. I know I have. The next challenge will come; eventually you will start a new job or an internship, pursue more studies, or move to a different country. And when these things happen, God remains unchanging, he will still be as faithful as he always has been — so hold fast and rest in those truths.
As the hymn says:
“When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.”
As a believer, Christ will hold you fast.