It was two days after my college graduation. I was supposed to be happy. Proud. Filled with a sense of achievement, satisfaction, and security.
Why, then, was I instead consumed with feelings of frustration, confusion, disappointment, and resentment?
I didn’t have a job lined up. I didn’t get into graduate school. I didn’t even know if I had graduated in the right field, and I was miles away from my family and friends. And, as if that wasn’t enough, my boyfriend and I, who had been dating for all four years of college, were in a huge fight.
I was staring furiously at my computer, rereading the email my boyfriend had just sent me—the angry, exasperated, and complaint-filled email that gave me every reason to doubt our relationship. As soon as I finished reading, I rapidly began typing a response—a vicious, defensive response, which argued against him point by point.
I was ferociously writing, laying out numerous arguments and finally beginning my conclusion, when I inexplicably and abruptly stopped. For some reason, my mind temporarily flashed to something I had read earlier that week—something about surrender.
Before I knew entirely what I was doing, I deleted everything and simply typed one sentence in its place:
“I just need to know if you want to be in this relationship or not.”
Then, before I could stop myself, I clicked ‘send’ — sending the email to my boyfriend, but also sending my entire self in complete surrender into the hands of God.
That night, I had a terrible feeling about what was to come, but, as I waited for a response, my constant prayer to God was one of surrender: God, I don’t want to let go — I really don’t — but if it is Your will, I surrender.
Sure enough, the next day I heard back, and the news wasn’t good.
I remember calling my mom, crying, “I don’t have a job. I don’t have a future. And now I don’t have Matt, either. I have nothing.”
Patiently, the voice on the other end of the line reassured me, “Jacquie, you do not have nothing. First of all, you have us — you have your family. And more importantly, you will always have God.”
In that moment, I was still deeply hurting, but somehow I received an immense amount of peace.
I knew it wasn’t a fluke that I had suddenly felt the urge to surrender to God the night before. I knew it wasn’t bad luck that Matt and I had broken up. I knew it wasn’t by chance that I had graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. And I knew it wasn’t a mistake that I had no job lined up.
I knew all of these things were God’s will for my life, and I knew great things would happen if I continued to surrender to Him.
Since that day nearly two years ago, I have made a conscious effort to place my life in God’s hands, and in doing so, I have found so much joy.
I have found a job working for the Church that utilizes many of my passions. I have found a place to live near my family, and I have found an amazing beauty in being single. More than any of this, though, I have found an enormous satisfaction in trusting God and His plan for my life.
Even in times of struggle, I know He will provide. Instead of frantically trying to fix everything through my own power—much like I would have done had I sent that first email — I turn instead to the words of Psalm 139, verse 10:
If I fly with the wings of dawn
And alight beyond the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand hold me fast.
I imagine God’s hand firmly placed on my shoulder, steering me toward His path for my life. I am confident He is guiding me. I know He has a plan for my future, and I trust I will find it as long as I continue to give myself to Him in constant, absolute surrender.
Editor’s Note: This blog is part of a series of blogs that relate to our 2014 theme Inspire[d]. If you would like to submit about a blog about an Inspire[d] story that you have, please see these guidelines.