My Life

When Life Doesn’t Follow the “Norm”

During my senior year of high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for college. Most of the kids in my graduating class were going to attend college and already knew — or thought they knew — what they were going to study. So many of my friends and family would ask me, “Hannah, what are going to do for the rest of your life?” And I would think “Huh, what should I say to this person? Should I say that I want to be a doctor or a lawyer?” I didn’t know how to answer, but I did feel the pressure to have things figured out. I didn’t want to lie and act like I had everything figured out because I really didn’t. So instead, I would tell them exactly what I was feeling at the time and would say, “I don’t have anything figured out and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” And even though I was being honest, it was challenging to indirectly tell them that my life wasn’t like the rest.

Finding Good in the Unexpected

As I began to think about what I wanted to do, I thought taking some time off from school to focus on where God was leading me was what I needed to do. He was thinking greater for my life and allowed myself to be open to His will. I was given the opportunity to be a core leader for my parish’s Edge program. Shout out to my brothers and sisters in Christ!

I felt this opportunity later was preparing me to open another door which was a chance to work at Life Teen as a summer apprentice for the Social Media Department. #Godisallgood.

I never once thought that this could all happen within a year of not attending school, but allowing myself to be open to God’s will and fully committing my life to it. I wouldn’t have had all of these things if I had chosen to go straight into college.

Okay with Not Being Like the Rest

Maybe you can relate to this feeling. Maybe you, too, are unsure of what’s next in your life, or where you see yourself in ten years. And despite what the pressure from others might be, I want you to know that it is seriously okay to do something completely different from your peers and your parents.

It took me a while to overcome the sense of doubt that would creep in on me. I felt like I had to do what other people were doing. However, I decided to fully accept God’s plan for me and whatever that was. Sometimes as humans, we need time to evaluate (humans like myself) our life to figure things out before jumping straight into life right away.

We all have different gifts and talents that God wants us to use and grow with.
There is no shame in taking some time off before making a decision like that. God is making your path unique and He wants you to rely on Him, and knowing that He has everything figured out for your good.

The Truth About Prayerful Discernment

If you’re going through a period of discernment or are unsure of what to do next, prayer is a great start. But there may be days that you will go into prayer and come out still feeling the same as you did before. I know this all too well. During my discernment of whether or not to attend college, I thought God passed over my prayers and hit “declined” on my requests for answers. Little did I know that wasn’t the case.

I had to willingly trust that He had my back through this, and with that trust came patience. It is so necessary to take some time to simply listen to the Lord. To listen to what he may be calling you to become. What helped me the most during my discernment was praying with Scripture. Every day, over the course of a month, I would take some time to pray with this scripture in Matthew 16:13-20:

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do you say the Son of Man is?’

They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’

But what about you? He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’

Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’

Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by the Father in heaven.'”

This might be a passage that you’re already familiar with and may have heard of before. But I think it’s one worth revisiting, especially during a time of determining what to do. During my discernment, I reflected when Peter asked Jesus, “Who do you say I am?” I would read it 3 times and would listen to what God was saying to me.

This passage gave me comfort when nothing else would calm my stress or anxiety to “Hurry!! Figure it out quick!!” It not only calmed the nerves but it also helped me feel confident in my discernment to realize that there is potential and purpose in moments we are questioning decisions in our lives. Ultimately, I found peace by praying with this passage because instead of the questions I was getting from my peers I was hearing Jesus ask a question that was different than all the others. Jesus asks Peter “Who do you say that I am?” and when I would read Peter’s response I would have confidence in the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, He is in control, and He loves me whether or not I have those other questions about my life and future answered.

Even though I decided against the “norm” of going to college first, I was able to grow during this time. I was able to grow within the calling of what God had in store for me. If you’re in the midst of trying to determine what might be next for you, consider giving yourself time to pursue the plan God laid out for you. Also, consider taking things one day at a time. Don’t let the pressure of the norm get to you and don’t be afraid to try something new. Sometimes it takes time to step back and not be like the rest. THAT IS 100% OKAY!

Everyone is created to do great things with a significant, intentional, and unique purpose. You, my friend, are no different.

So keep pushing forward to the things that the Father has already laid down for you and ask Him to reveal what He has planned for you you. Be patient in life and know God moves even in unexpected ways. He wants to make your life fulfilled, beautiful, and different.

Your friend,
Hannah

About the Author

Hannah Golonka

Always enjoying the new and exciting things that God places in my life. I love everything that sets my heart ablaze... Mama Mary, painting anywhere I can, and the light section in IKEA. If you see me I usually am smiling or in deep thought about how my jaw hurts from smiling. Catch me documenting my life on Instagram @hg_ur or retweeting my favorite music artists!