Life is like a box of chocolates, right? Well, at least according to that wise sage, Forrest Gump, it is.
But what if our existence isn’t all almond nougats and coconut truffles (throw in a healthy amount of storytelling on bus stop benches for good measure)? What if it’s more like a different type of box: a moving box?
Lately, that’s what my little 22-year-old, post-college-graduation world has been filled with: a whole lot of moving boxes—literally, and also somewhat figuratively.
In the past three weeks, I’ve walked across a stage in a cap and gown, walked out of my college house for the last time, said goodbye to classmates, friends and professors, said hello to new friends and new relationships, moved into an apartment, started a job, had that job unexpectedly end, gone to interviews, accepted a new job, drove home, drove back, and somehow still found time to watch a season of Gilmore Girls.
It’s trying and failing to find your toothbrush at 1 a.m., giving up and hoping floss and mouthwash will suffice for the night.
It’s a sea change, plain and simple. And though the waters can be rocky at times, navigating the waves can also be surprisingly exhilarating.
But what about those moments when the seas get stormy and things no longer seem like such an adventure? What happens when “adulting” turns into paying a $300 fine for TV cables left unreturned before the deadline (hypothetically, of course)?
Though the disciples may not have graduated from college and attempted to find jobs in the weeks following, these men experienced their fair share of transitions—fisherman to messiah-follower is quite the change in my book. Most applicable here may be the story of Jesus calming the storm, found in Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25.
So well-known, it verges on cliché, this miracle on the high seas brings comfort in many a time of distress. But despite its familiarity, maybe there’s something new to be learned even from this most beloved of Bible stories, especially for individuals like yours truly in the midst of seasons stock full of transitions.
After Jesus does his miracle-working thing, calming the wind and the waves, he asks a key question of the panicked disciples: “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). I imagine Jesus here with that raised eyebrow kind of look, incredulously asking his windblown pals, “Well, what did you think would happen? Did you think I was just gonna let you drown? Where is your faith, bro?” (that “bro” might be a bit editorialized on my part, but just go with it).
In all my 22-year-old-just-graduated-from-college-wisdom, I think what Jesus is basically saying is this: Trust me.
It’s that easy.
Trust that the season you’re in now, the sea change you may be experiencing is exactly where you’re supposed to be. Give yourself the grace to enjoy it, with all its quirks and uncomfortable moments, but also with all its joys and happy tears too.
I know in the midst of the storm it’s difficult to see when the waves will subside. But I promise they will subside. Transitions don’t last forever, that’s probably why they’re called transitions (college education coming in clutch). This time of life doesn’t necessarily need to be something to simply be endured, either. Instead it can be a time to grow through, even to celebrate.
It’s not always easy to have faith when life looks more like a moving box than a box of chocolates, but maybe that’s what faith is for in the first place. As Forrest would say, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”
words and photo by Kaylyn Deiter