Toward a New Frontier

So, I promised a post summarizing my thoughts on graduating.  Neither of my graduations involved a major change for me, so in some sense I am not going to be able to speak to the larger experience of most graduates.  At the same time, I have also faced changes to my lifestyle that would be comparable to much of what is encountered in a move to a college campus.  Still, my thoughts at this time do not focus on what is changing, but what has been and will be the same.

My graduation from college has not really changed anything so far as my immediate circumstances are concerned.  I’m still living at home with no intentions of deserting the parental domain any time soon (it’ll take some prince charming to carry me off from this happy home, let me tell you!).  I already had a part-time job as of this past January, so I haven’t even been in a huge hurry to find a full-time one (which reminds me, my resume still needs work . . .).  So my life is much the same as it has been for the last four years.  The biggest difference that I have noticed is that I am not planning ahead for the next semester’s courses.

Am I feeling any different?  I have two answers to this question.  The first is, different from what?  If you mean different from what I felt before graduating from college, then my second answer is yes and no.  No because although the ceremony helped give me the sense of completion, I don’t have my actual diploma in hand yet.  No because I am still the same girl I have always been.  No because this summer has been progressing very much like any of the last few, with plenty of things to do, relatives to entertain, and fun to be had with family and friends.  Yes because I now have a sense (not urgent yet but growing) that I need to find a full-time job soon.  Yes because I do not have the familiar routine of studies to look forward to.

If the question means different from when I graduated from highschool, then the answer is a definite yes.  While I have not noticed any major changes in myself, I do know that I have gained a lot of assurance over four years of online schooling.  People sometimes worry about my socialization when they find out I was homeschooled and then did college online, but I laugh to myself because it was through online discussions that I gained the confidence to step outside of my normal shy, wallflower pose and approach people in various social contexts.  Most people now would hardly credit me with being shy, although I still have some tendencies to avoid new contacts and choose to talk to people with whom I am already comfortable.  I am now almost as likely to go over and start a conversation with someone I don’t know, and I’m less uncomfortable in situations where I know no one, although I may tend to avoid those situations sometimes.

Of course, I have to be different from the highschool graduate who wasn’t paying enough attention to avoid getting a sunburn — no such trouble this time around since the graduation was all indoors in the Saratoga Springs City Center.  I have been walking with Jesus for four more years now that I had not when I graduated last time.  When you walk with Jesus, He changes you, even when you aren’t noticing it.  My father has written a song based on several scriptures, and the refrain of it comes from I John 3:2, “For when we see him, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  Equally true, I think, is that the more we see of him (in scripture), the more we become transformed into his image.

So, why am I not feeling more of a difference as I face a new frontier?  Perhaps because I have not had time yet to notice that difference.  Perhaps because I am so confident in my guide and comforter that I am not daunted by the thought of entering a new stage in my life as I was (a little) four years ago.  And perhaps because this new frontier is not so new.

For the real frontier I am facing is one of walking with Jesus.  I have been walking with Jesus through college, and now I will be walking with Jesus while he prepares me.  Yes, I meant to leave that sentence where I did.  I realize that there is a stage between college and marriage.  Some people seem very intent on making that transition as quickly as possible.  Others at least need the comfort of having a boy/girlfriend to make that transition look nearer.  I recognize that God has things to teach me in this waiting time.  And my intent is to walk with him throughout this new stage (for stage it is, just as surely as college and marriage are stages) as well as throughout my life.

So in a sense I am not actually facing a new frontier.  I am merely closer to the frontier which I have been striving toward all the time.  My walk has had many twists and turns, but not remarkably many.  My walk has had plenty of stops along the way, and has involved plenty of friends to walk beside me.  So have many other people’s.  The most remarkable thing about my life has been its goal, and even that is a common one with all my Christian brothers and sisters.  It is only remarkable in that God is remarkable, for I am always looking toward the finish line when I shall stand in glory and see God face to face.  Strangely enough, I am excited about being in the presence of Elohim, God Almighty, YHWH.  For he is my father, and, weak and sinful child that I am, I still desire above all else to be near my Father, who loves me in spite of all.

May you also catch a glimpse of this calling, the calling of your heavenly Father to you, his child: “Come.”  We cannot fathom what may await us in heaven, for it is truly a new frontier of which none of us now has the capacity to comprehend the whole, but we can rest assured that it will be good, or rather, that it will be God.  To all those who are graduating or who are facing other new stages of their lives, let me encourage you to keep your focus on Christ, where it belongs, and let the path go where it will.  For everything becomes clearer when you look to Jesus to write your story.

Explore posts in the same categories: College Online, Theological Musings, Young Adulthood

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One Comment on “Toward a New Frontier”

  1. […] like to compare these thoughts to what I wrote a year ago about graduating, you can find that post here.  As then, I still encourage you to focus on Christ and not on circumstances, good or bad.  […]

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