I often say that the post-college transition is the hardest one. It’s not often talked about, but post-graduates often struggle to find community, adjust to working life, and find direction. 2019 graduate Morgan Smith has has a particularly tough journey, so I asked him to share about his journey over the past year. I hope you are encouraged by God’s faithfulness in his story.
I was alone, and with tears rolling down my face as I merged onto I-65 South headed toward the Elizabethtown Hospital, I found myself screaming and crying out to God. It wasn’t supposed to be like this, and if it was going to happen, it was supposed to happen years and years down the road. But there we were just mere weeks after saying our vows waiting on a biopsy report from the hospital. A lot of thoughts flooded my mind on that drive. Why us? Why now? I know you’re with me. I know you’re in control. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to handle this? Just, why?
I was graduated from Virginia Tech in May of 2019. What I didn’t know was how my life of leisure as a second semester senior taking 12 credit hours (just to stay full-time as a student) would rapidly change over the next 15 months. My life since the day I flipped my tassel has hardly been, well, any word I would even equate to meaning stable. For example, over the last year I have had 4 jobs, lived in 4 different houses, been a member of 3 different churches, started graduate studies at Southern Seminary, and, oh yeah, I got married. The last on that list has been by far the greatest but has also been the biggest adjustment.
What you may not know is that just a few weeks into our marriage, my wife found a lump in her breast. Now, this would be a shock for anyone and a downright terror for some. Let’s just say you can count me in for the latter of those two emotions. As a young man, fresh out of college with only a part time job while studying full-time at the graduate level, I felt like I was walking in my own worst nightmares. You see, it wasn’t supposed to happen like this. The first year of our marriage we were supposed to be free of all worries from the outside world. Just two kids in their twenties trying to learn how to love each other more deeply while learning to live in the same house. As you can see, our honeymoon phase was abruptly ended just weeks into our newly sealed marriage. The weeks we spent going to different doctors, waiting to find out if my new bride had cancer were without a doubt the most horrifying and stressful weeks of my life. I spent countless hours praying and crying out to God wondering why he had allowed this to happen. While I still can’t completely answer that question, there’s some good news. The positive side is that my wife does not have cancer, for which I still praise the Lord! What she found were multiple lumps of varying sizes, medically named fibroadenomas. These lumps can vary in size and while they can cause pain and discomfort, they are never cancerous. She had the larger of these lumps removed around thanksgiving and after the healing process was complete, we haven’t had any major problems with them since. While this was hands down the biggest thing that faced us over the past year, it was hardly the only one.
When Mary and I moved to the Louisville area we struggled for a long time to find a church home. We visited more churches than I can count on one hand but for one reason or another we never felt like they were to be our church home. The hardest part about church searching is that it takes time. It’s not like you can visit a different church service every single day for a week and then pick your favorite. In fact, in a lot of cases (including ours), it can take weeks or months to make this decision. Because of this, we felt very alone during some of the lowest points of our marriage so far. As humans, our souls crave community. We were made to be not only in community with God but with other believers. This community allows us to support one another in every way. We feed each other’s passion for our creator and the love he has commanded to show to one another. We were missing that…and we felt it.
The last few months have been much smoother, so I’ll jump to the question you’re asking internally: What have a I learned from this crazy season of my life? I can’t fully answer that question with just one word or phrase, but I can certainly give you the theme I’ve noticed through it all.
We were given more than we as humans could handle so that we would understand the only way we will ultimately be satisfied is in Christ.Morgan Smith
God is faithful. While it’s been crazy, to say the least, the Lord was always in control. He knew exactly how he was molding us, and he walked alongside us every step of the way. While we can work very hard to be faithful as Christians, we ultimately can’t be. At least, not the way we should. I know this because I’ve tried. Since Adam and Eve, we have struggled to be faithful to our Lord and the commands he gives us. Now, don’t misunderstand me, we should certainly try! In fact, we are commanded to. God expects believers in Christ to follow his commands and to love him and 1 John 4:19 says “We love because he first loved us.” At the end of many days I found myself frustrated with God and his plans and somedays that frustration looked much more like anger. Looking back, however, this season of my life will serve as nothing less than a way for my wife and I to bring God glory and THAT is the ultimate goal. He was faithful to his plan for our lives. He knew that this would happen, and he knew it would be tough. We were given more than we as humans could handle so that we would understand the only way we will ultimately be satisfied is in Christ. The tears rolling down my face, the screaming and calling out to God weren’t for nothing, and they weren’t punishment. They were my creator being faithful to his plan for my life and his glory. A lot can happen in a short amount of time but I know my creator and my savior, and I know he is faithful.