A New Chapter

I’d like to point out the fact that this is my first blog post as a college graduate. It blows my mind. Little did I think this day would come. I mean I had it in my head that one day I would be done with school, of course, but as Watchful, in The Pilgrim’s Progress, told Christian when he inquired how long it would be until he reached the Celestial City: “Sooner than you think, longer than you wish.”

Now I’m on the other side, or perhaps in the middle of growing up, looking back at my childhood, school years, the beginning awkward phases of young adulthood. Yet at the same time, I’m looking ahead to the future and wondering what God has in store for me. The waves of uncertainty are overwhelming at times, slamming into my face in great gusts as people seem to echo the same questions: “What now, Rachel?” “What are you going to do with yourself?”

Sometimes I want to cover my ears and curl up in the fetal position or give them a definite answer that I will be doing this or that. Honestly, their questions make me feel lost – and that is one feeling I dread most. I feel this urge to suddenly know exactly what I’m going to be doing and find a focus. But my conscience chides me that I am relying on my own abilities and power, when my focus and confidence should be on and in Christ Jesus, who has blessed me exceedingly abundantly more than I could ask, think, or merit. It’s a humbling and joyous, freeing feeling at the same time. What a wondrous, awesome God!

Just this morning I read a verse that I have heard many times, but it finally struck home and held a whole new meaning to me: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. “ Hebrews 12:1-2

I saw a quote on Twitter this morning that caused me to pause: “It’s exhausting being the writer, director, producer and star of my own life.” Of course it is, because as Christians, we know that that is an impossible feat! What a worldy view and shallow hope based on nothing but our mortal selves. Our hope is in Christ “the founder and perfecter of our faith.” He has already written our story before the foundation of the earth. He is the best Director ever. Our story plot couldn’t be in better hands. Our chief end is to, “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” It’s not about us being the “star” of our life; it’s about making Him the star of our lives.

I’m sure many of you have heard these verses from Hebrews before. I feel this constant tug between what culture “the norm” demands and expects and between who Christ is calling and has called me to be. If you think about it, Jesus also went against the grains of what the world expected of Him when it came to living life and a career. I’m not saying that both can’t work hand in hand to a certain extent, because as Christians we are called to live in the world, but just not to be of it.

I hesitate to use this next quote but it seems fitting and was the first thing that popped into my head. Feel free to laugh heartily. As Bella says in the movie Eclipse, “This was a choice between who I should be, and who I am.”

So bear with me patiently, as I look for jobs and enjoy this journey called life with its ups and downs. I pray and trust that God will use me however He wills, wherever He so wills. I know I will have to work hard at it and won’t have my “ideal” job immediately. Be I am resolved and content with that. I praise God that He has already landed me a job interview. As my dad is fond of quoting, “He has a good plan for your life, because He is a good God.”

Let me end with this, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14

That is the most important calling in life. I have such a long way to go and much to learn. I pray that Christ will continue to work in my heart and reveal things about myself, which will continue to grow me in this beautiful process called sanctification.

Peace out,

Rachel B. Duke

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