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Graduation

Facing the Fear

Summer is a pretty great time for students. With exams over, holidays booked and weeks of sun lying ahead, life can feel dreamy.

But then it comes. The question.

                ‘So, what are you doing next year?’

The highs of summer are brought crashing back to reality.

If you’re graduating this summer, you’ve probably heard this question many times. And if you’re anything like I was, your answer is fumbled at best. Even though I knew what I’d be doing post-graduation, it still brought doubts flooding to my mind:

                ‘What if I’m not good enough? What if this isn’t where God wants me?’

But, as I discovered, there is a way to face these doubts and fears.

As fear of the unknown grows and the uncertainty of graduate life looms large, take a moment. Hear the loving voice of Jesus as He tells you that you don’t have to worry, that there is a different way, a better way; His way.

1. Remember the Father

In Luke 12, Jesus addresses His disciples’ worries about what they will eat, drink and wear. Just as graduating students face the fear of what comes next, these disciples faced the fear of the unknown and were doubting how God would provide for them. Jesus reassured His disciples, and us, by reminding them who the Father is in verses 24–27:

He feeds the ravens though they don’t sow or reap or store their food in barns. He clothes the grass in lilies more stunning than King Solomon’s glory.

If this is how God treats the birds and flowers, how much more will He provide for us, we who are ‘of much more value than the birds’?

2. Seek His Kingdom first

‘For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.’ (Luke 12:30–31)

Your Father knows you need a job or plan post-university and He’s known for eternity exactly what that will be. He also knows that you’re worried about what it will be like. This truth frees us from seeking after our plans above all else. In fact, as we turn away from pursuing only our plans and turn to God, true life really begins.

The Westminster Catechism defines the ultimate purpose of man as ‘to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever’. That is your purpose as you graduate, and for every year to come. How much sweeter, how much richer a life that is.

God’s main aim for you is not to get that prestigious master’s programme, high-flying grad scheme or perfect full-time ministry role. They might be part of His plan, but they will never be the end goal. He has far greater plans than that: He invites you to come and know Him and build His Kingdom.

So, the next time you hear:

‘What are you up to next year?’

Take a moment and remember that you have the answer: seeking God’s Kingdom.

And if you begin to feel fearful, remember that you have a Father who loves to provide practically for you as you do this.

Harriet Delahoy is in her first year as a Staff Worker in Nottingham, encouraging and equipping students to share their faith on campus.

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