In times of graduations and other major life transitions, I’ve heard it said: The future is so bright, you’ll need sunglasses.
In reality, though, I think the future is so dark, you’ll need night vision goggles.
I don’t mean “dark” in the supernatural, creepy and corrupt sense. I mean dark as in the pitch black of a tunnel you somehow find yourself walking down and can see no end or light in sight.
That’s what my future often feels like. It’s not bad or bleak, but it’s hard for me to know exactly in which direction to go and what it will look like.
It’s interesting that I type these worries of mine now as I reflect on a similar thought I had almost 4 years earlier.
It was July 2012, the summer after I graduated from Bridgewater College. For my birthday weekend, Bryce and I went on vacation to Chincoteague. I’d never been before, but like any horse-obsessed kid, I read Misty of Chincoteague and dreamed of going there to get my own pony. Bryce finally helped make my dream come true (or at least the island visiting part of it). It was our first vacation together as just the two of us. We planned and executed the whole trip, and it was fantastic. But lately, I’ve been reflecting on the last day.
We were walking down the beach hand in hand, then we stopped and looked out at the water. Bryce moved behind me and put his arms around my waist and held me close, and I leaned back into his embrace and thought, as I usually do, about many things at once.
I thought about what would happen next. Things were about to change. I had finished my degree at Bridgewater and was beginning my time with RISE as the Sister2Sister coordinator. Bryce was staying home in Chantilly, working at Staples and trying to get back into school. I was scared and excited, but mostly scared.
And here I am, 3 ½ years later, typing this memory and realizing how much really did change.
I moved to Harrisonburg the week after our vacation and began my 2 year journey with RISE and S2S. Bryce went back to school the following spring. I almost had a breakdown and started taking medicine. School ended up not working at that point for Bryce, so he returned home. I began seminary, and after my time with RISE, I worked with a Mennonite church, and now I work with an Episcopal church. Bryce began a personal training program and became certified and works for a gym. I am almost finished with seminary. Bryce is absolutely in love with what he does and has great hope for his future. I’m still very scared and very excited.
But maybe 3 ½ years later, I’ll read this and remember, once again, that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Even if I am surrounded by impregnable darkness.
My future is there. I hope it will be bright, but I know it will also be difficult and hard to navigate. I know there will be joys and celebrations, and I know there will be tears and pain. I trust God is paving a path, yet I also believe I am handed a machete in a jungle full of vines to make way for myself and others to get through.
The future is bright and dark, and it is inevitably there. Now, if someone could please push me into it, that would be excellent.