I’ve never been here before. This place feels strange in a heavenly way. Heavenly. That’s the word.
Had you asked me an year ago, what I thought about that period of finishing school, I would have definitely used the word anxious. My friends are using the word fear. We are all tired of school at this point. On the other side, they are afraid of the future. What next? I’m in the same box. I have no idea what I will do after I finish my exams starting this week. I haven’t yet found a place to intern or work at.
But I’m not afraid. Neither am I anxious. Nor am I worried. I have this deep seated confidence in my heart that things will work out for my own good. I have this hope in Him that He is making a way for me. I just know that whatever will come my way, I only have one option, to deal with it. And I feel prepared for it.
But I recognize that this peace isn’t mine. And it isn’t natural either. It defies all odds. I have worried over a thousand things this year. Starting with money, to my cats, to shoes, to friendships, and on and on to everything I have done or owned this year. Yet when it comes to the most serious of them all, starting the longest chapter of a man’s life(working), I’m at peace.
Its the kind of a peace that I just don’t understand. Neither can I explain it. How do you tell your classmates, that though you have no plans after May, you are not an inch anxious? Probability is that they will think you already have something to do no wonder you are not afraid. Others will think you are in denial.
Denial. I was there in January. So I know how it feels like. And this isn’t it. You always feel it and know it when something is from God. And when it isn’t. God’s things have this tendency of making one feel like connecting with Him. They have this coolness and stillness of quiet waters. They draw you back to their source.
Today when I went to church, I asked God to teach me what He means when He says that He has plans for me. That He will guide my steps. Where does that put my freedom of choice? Like, the jobs I’m applying for, is it entirely up to me or does He already have the place I will first work at? Where does that fit in with the choices that I will make, for example, if I’m such a bad employee that I get fired, that next step, is it already there?
God answered me. He reminded me of the prayer I made in class eight. I’ve written that song here before. But i’ll repeat it. It says, najua Bwana, anatengeneza njia, na anatengeneza njia kwa ajili yangu( I know the Lord has made a way, and has made a way, a way for me).
And its been 8years since then. God took me to a high school I had never ever imagined stepping into. And he didn’t stop there. He carried me to a course I had only heard of twice in my life. And both times, God did immeasurably more than I would have asked for. I told Him I was hungry, and He chose for me the choicest of foods. Had I been told to ask him for the food, I would have most probably asked for the basics, tea and bread.
In simple terms, He reminded me that He has been directing my steps so far. Someone once told us, that God is a faithful farmer. Give Him your seeds, He will return a bountiful of them. You give Him your broken heart, He returns a new and clean heart. You give Him a dirty mind, He returns a transformed one. You take to him a hopeless spirit, He gives you one filled with His Spirit. You take to Him your building plans, He builds it with you. You go to Him seeing no flavour in life anymore, He gives you your life back in abundance. You lose your life for His sake, you gain it back.
All these lines usually sound really good from a pulpit. But they are for real. If this peace is anything to go by, then I want to live on earth some more. I want to experience more of His goodness in this land of the living. I want to stay more on this solid rock when my life is getting destabilized and shaken completely. Its like having an umbrella, and huge one at that, and good boots that don’t soak in water, gloves that fit in well, a scarf and a warm jacket on a rainy day. You don’t even worry about anything. You are warm, not wet and stable in the mud that the rain is creating. So while everyone is complaining about the same rain, you strut in it.
It does not mean I don’t have uncomfortable situations right now. I do. Friendships are at stake. And nothing hurts me like losing a friend. Especially a close one, and its worse when they don’t see it and there is nothing I can do about it. I had found a good church. One I could laugh and cry with. And just when I’m settling in completely, I finish school meaning I have to move from here. Do you know how long it took me to settle in? In simple terms, its not all rosy in here.
But even in the middle of all this uncertainty ( and the way I hate uncertainty), my spirit feels as if it has found a stable ground somewhere that allows it rest. I simply don’t know how to explain it. I wish I could. I guess Jesus was serious on that part of “….that surpasses human understanding…”
All I know is that I took my worries unto Him. My insecurity that I’ll be alone in a scary world( even at my age I still see the world as that big ki-carnivorous animal waiting to devour me). My fear that I will not make it. My worry that I will not fulfill my dreams. My anxiety of not traveling the world. My insecurities in myself, that I will be a disappointment unto myself and others.
At the same time, I took His own word unto Him. He said I should take my worries unto Him, I just did. He said He had plans to prosper me. He said everything will turn out for my good. He said He will be my shepherd. He said that He is faithful. He told me that He created me and thus is the originator of this dreams and passions that I have. He said He will use me. Well here I am. He said that the hairs on my head are all numbered. That if He doesn’t allow sparrows to fall down without His nod, how much more shall He care for me? I have been seeking His kingdom, He said everything else shall follow.
And after taking my worries and His word unto Him, I chose not to fear. Yes, fear is a choice. Why else would the bible urge us about 365 times not to fear if we didn’t have the powers to not fear? I realized that fear would incapacitate me yet it won’t give me a job, or a church or bring my friends back. Fear drives me to the wall. It makes me hopeless. It saps the energy out of me. It makes things I do to seem meaningless, including breathing. So I chose to not fear.
And He did His part. He has given me peace that surpasses all understanding. I feel good inside. Calm. But not in a kawaida way. Rested. Relaxed. Loved. Comforted. All rolled into one.
I pray that you will crave for that kind of peace. And instead of always asking God to change our circumstances, maybe we could pray that He walks with us in them. That He holds our hands in the middle of the storm. Which one is a better tale to tell your grandkids when you age? That you once were in a desert, with no food and water, facing bandits, at danger of being bitten by poisonous snakes and scorpions, dehydrated by the sun, beaten by the cold, unstabilized by the sand, blinded by the sun, shaken by the wind, hungry, thirsty, yet you made it out alive. Or one where you have lived in a good climate area all your life, never facing any danger, hunger or thirst?
All I know is that God’s peace feels like a strange place in a heavenly way.