How are you all doing this week? Not much traffic on the comments this week…wondering if you all are having Summer Blues. Life does get in the way sometimes so just know that the Stress Point study will be here when you have a chance to check in again.
Topic: Out on Your Own. A scary though if you are a 20something trying to figure out how to launch out into the real world as an adult.
For this week’s Stress Point online study Girlfriend Interview I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Van Walton. Van is one awesomely spunky lady who invites you into your life with zeal and fun. I had the chance to stay at her house before the She Speaks conference and this lady is one gracious hostess. Very inspiring. Here’s some great advice that Van has to offer us today.
~Van, can you tell us a bit about the first time you moved out on your own as a young adult? What challenges did you face?
I had graduated from college with a degree in education. Of course, finding a job ranked at the top of my to-do list. I dreamed of teaching in high school but my searching each day only left me empty handed. I needed to find work and with each day of pavement pounding (in the early 70’s job seekers literally walked (or drove) from one possible place of employment to another. I contacted many schools and talked with their principals to no avail.
My greatest challenge was the slow chipping away of my self confidence. I graduated from college believing I had the world by the tail. I walked away from the university with a diploma and a belief I was prepared to handle anything.
~What did your faith look like during this season of your life?
I have always thanked God that His gracious plan for me included placing me in a Christian home. I wish I could say that I absolutely took complete advantage of the amazing and marvelous resources my parents wrote on my heart and placed in my hands. Faith, prayer, daily devotions, were all common words and activities to me. I knew all about the Christian walk. Problem with me- it was so rote, so regular, so routine, I took my faith for granted. I had been taught of God’s generosity, His unceasing love, His constant care. I knew His word promised that He was always available to me.
Truth is my faith had really never been tested. I prided myself in being a strong Christian. What I didn’t know was that I was just a newbie at 22!
Now, suddenly life was not going as planned! God had not given me a classroom. He was calling me to His classroom! Along with the discipline came the loss of confidence, maybe a bit of a chiseling away at my youthful arrogance and my proud independence.
I needed someone else! I couldn’t get through this alone!
I could have turned to my parents, but growing up in their house, I had been clearly taught that I was on my own after college! I could have turned to friends, but I had moved to a new town, and knew very few people. Anyway, I was too proud to share such a humbling fact: I was not good enough to land a job! I did attend church regularly, but the messages from the pulpit didn’t quite line up with or apply to my circumstances.
Meanwhile, I lost more and more confidence. This young liberated and secure woman was becoming a hopeless, desperate, and lonely individual!
~ What is one piece of advice you would offer to my readers who are moving out on their own as young adult women?
Turn to God’s Word and ask Him for guidance through ALL circumstances.
One day while unpacking my books I melted into a puddle of my own tears.
“Oh God!” I cried out loud.
I told him how lonely I was. I shared my fears, my hopelessness.
“I am desperate!”
Somehow God impressed upon me to pick up a Bible and read it. I could not. My possessions were in boxes. Why unpack if I might be moving on?
But, wait, I had begun to unpack some books so I reached out to a stack of books piled on the floor beside where I was sitting.
The book on the top of the pile- it was my Bible! Mind you I had not opened it, much less read it since my move. I took it as a sign to read it.
God lead me to 2 Corinthians 1: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort that we ourselves have received from God.”
This was an ‘ah ha’ moment. It became a spiritual marker for me, That day marked the beginning of many lessons God has taught me through the 40 years since He tenderly showed me how He would lead me through life.
I share this story for two reasons:
God permits difficult times in our lives to get our attention and begin the refining process. Remember His goal is to perfect us by conforming us to the image of His Son, Jesus.
God purposes difficulties so He can teach us and through those lessons call us to purposeful action. In my case God has used me to comfort others with the compassion He poured out on me.
I pray my stepping out experience has shed light on the long trail you might be traveling today.
Isn’t Van simply the coolest?! I can’t wait to hear what you think about her story and advice. Leave a comment and let’s continue the conversation…