*Reader’s note: Umm, hi friends. I’m actually so nervous to publish this. The words feel raw and exposed and so very much “in process.” That makes sense because the truth is, this is only half of the story, a few pages of the chapter, the questions without the answers. I’m living a different dream and I love this life, but I wanted to give “air time” to the in between and the truth of the pages that don’t read quite how we expected.
If you’re walking that part of your story right now, I just want to say to you that God is there. With you. Look before you, He is making a way. Look behind you, He has been there the whole time. Look to your right and to your left, He is with you. He is dreaming for you and His dreams, while different than your own, will be better. It’s okay to be scared. But don’t let it keep you from jumping. It may not look like what you pictured, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good.


This isn’t where I thought I would be. The way I imagined this chapter playing out isn’t what reality looks like today.

Before I go any further, I should preface by saying all is well and I (truly) love what I’m doing. I’m so confident this is God’s plan. But I don’t want to skip over the part we could lovingly call Unmet Dreams or perhaps Silence And Confusion or even, if we’re being real honest, What Does This Mean About Who I Am?

Graduation: May 16

So. Let’s talk about that. I believe that too often we go straight from talking about “God will make a way” to “Look how this turned out! Yay! Life is grand!” and we give no attention to the in between, the unknown, the pages turned that weren’t what we imagined.

It’s like reading a book, turning the page, and being smacked right in the face with something you never saw coming. It’s like watching every episode of Grey’s Anatomy and then suddenly Derek dies. (I’m not bitter or anything.)

The truth is, I’ve pictured post-grad life at least ten different ways but none of them ended up being my reality.

Because every single one of those imaginings included one of two things: a “real” job or a boy. While I would say that I do have a real job, when I tell people I’m self-employed right out of college, well, their reaction says otherwise. To the world, I have neither a real job nor do I have a boy in my life.

Please hear me say it: I’m okay with that. But it isn’t how I pictured things playing out.

And that’s the rub. That’s where it gets tricky. I could try to twist and turn what is into what I thought would be, but it would just be like trying to make 2 +5 equal 4. It isn’t going to happen because that’s not how it works.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.

Some days – most days – I’m so okay it isn’t even funny. I don’t think about what “isn’t” and I don’t worry about what people might be thinking. But there’s truth in the statement that I’m wrestling. I’m asking some questions of myself and placing them in His lap. I’m not questioning Him, but I’m speaking the questions in His presence. He already knows my heart and so why hide the wonderings.

Because here’s the thing. 2+5 doesn’t equal 4 but 2+2 sure does. For as far back as I can remember, the world has given me the message that if you do the right stuff and have an impressive resume, you’ll finish college and go straight to a full-time gig. It may be bottom level and you’ll have to work your way up, but your hard work will pay off in the form of that elusive three letter word: job.

Except that didn’t happen for me.

I worked hard in high school and even harder in college. I met the right people, did the right things, was involved in the impressive stuff that employers look for. My resume is full and I assumed that because I did the work, I would get the payoff in the form of a job.

Oh, I knew that God would have to open doors but I was so sure they would swing right open. Because 2+2 equals 4.

But I kept knocking and there was no answer. The doors remained shut. The applications were received but interviews weren’t scheduled.

Most don’t even know this, but before knocking on doors or filling out job applications, I took a leap of faith and applied to seminary.

I got in.

And then the same One who told me to fill out those papers told me to say no thank you.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

Oh y’all. I was so confused. There are tears in my eyes just writing this because I know it.. I know the message the world sends to my generation and I know the questions I still think as I lay in bed and the darkness welcomes my deepest wonderings.

I spent a solid two months tangled in questions that tied my self-worth with my job title (or lack there of). I watched friends accept job offers and wondered why the years of hard work weren’t seeing a return. The math didn’t add up and the only open door was one He was asking me to simply look at instead of walk through.

I was learning the spiritual practice of quiet but I needed Him to be loud. It was lonely. It was unexpected. It meant turning page after page and thinking surely I’m a character in a dream or this is all a joke or watch! God is going to come through at the last minute! He’s so funny that way!

And He did, but not in any of the ways I imagined it. (Which makes sense because, well, I’m not God.)

Life doesn’t look how I pictured it. Instead, it looks like sitting at a tiny desk and scheduling social media or creating graphics or building online community for thirteen beautiful souls every day. It looks like believing that by serving these women, I’m serving Jesus and building the Kingdom.

Coffee and natural light will heal a lot of Monday happenings.

It looks like listening to podcasts while rinsing strawberries in the morning. Most days it looks like working from a coffee shop for a few hours because the silence of my apartment is suffocating. It looks like panicking over taxes and terribly missing my friends. This past Saturday it looked like scrolling through social media and seeing seven different weddings and swatting away the lies that dance around inside when you’re 22 and incredibly single. Yesterday evening it looked like standing in a worship service with raised hands and tears slipping down my face as I sang “let it be Jesus.”

That is the song of these pages. That is the twisting inside, the fight to place a different question in His lap. I’m not there yet.. I’m in process and only beginning to process the changes of the past few months. But instead of wondering why my math didn’t add up or allowing doubt about my own worth to be attached to a 401K or a job with benefits, I’m asking something different and reminding myself that His math did add up. I was never going to arrive at “4” because that wasn’t what this season was ever supposed to hold. I’m actually living my dream – it just looks a little different than I imagined.

This page has me whispering “What do you have for me here? This is not a mistake. This is not a misstep. This was the plan all along. My hands are open… let my story read back one day that even yet, I chose to choose Jesus above every thing.”

Let it be Jesus
From the rising of the sun
Let it be Jesus
When all is said and done
I’ll never need another, Jesus there’s no other

For me, to live is Christ
For me, to live is Christ
God I breathe Your name above everything
Let it be, Let it be Jesus

Christy Nockels, Let It Be Jesus


This post was inspired by two books —  Anything and Untangled.

Anything by Jennie Allen

Anything is the book that tells the story of a one sentence prayer that shook up countless lives. What if you told God you would do anything, that He could have anything, that nothing was off limits? What happens when you open your hands and your life and simply say, “Hey God… it’s all yours. We will do anything.”? Jennie Allen prayed that prayer years ago and Anything has recently been revamped into both a beautiful new book and a bible study {releasing tomorrow!}. Her words will remind you of the truths you already know while encouraging you to surrender comfortable and say yes to a reckless “anything.”

Untangled by Carey Scott


Untangled, written by Carey Scott, deals primarily with the knots of insecurity that tighten up inside. While there were certainly chapters that didn’t apply to me (namely: marriage. also: kids.), the chapters on insecurity in friendship and with social media were good reads. While it isn’t one I’ll pick up again and again (simply because a big chunk of it doesn’t apply to me in my life stage), I love Carey’s message that even the most tangled up places inside are no match for God.


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I received both books in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links have been used in this post. Image 2 is a free printable here.