“I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.”
Transitioning to adulthood might not be the same as forty years in the desert, but sometimes it can feel that way. Let’s just be honest: adulting is hard. My friends and I were talking about Shakespeare and Wilde and Dickinson this time two years ago. We still talk about the greats, but our conversations tend towards rent and jobs and student loans. Resources are spread thin. Finding a job with fewer than five years of experience seems nearly impossible. Well, a job that pays the bills. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light of stability at the end of this tunnel to independence.
But we’re making it. My friends and I have food. We have shelter. Granted, for some of us, that shelter is Mom and Dad’s basement. But we’re making things work. We do not lack the bare minimum to survive. We have time to talk still, even if we’re squeezing conversations around odd work hours or in between second jobs. We can afford to meet up at a restaurant and not have to worry about dishes on occasion.
It’s easy to think that we’re doing this on our own, that we’re becoming independent and self-sufficient with decreasing assistance from our parents. But we’re not. We have been led.
If I didn’t believe that before, I do after this year. This time last year, I was settling into an apartment in Mexico and starting my teaching career. Seven months ago, I had just turned down an offer to stay in Mexico. I started making plans for coming home. I express a desire to move back to my college town, find a part-time job, and write in my free time. I had little faith that this pipe dream would come to fruition. I knew I’d have to grow up and smell the coffee, likely while working full-time and watching my writing aspirations dissolve.
I suspected I would be scraping by, struggling to find a decent job for months. In fact, I moved back to Virginia with several rejections, one lead, and no definite job. I lived in my apartment for a few days, worrying how I would find a job and what I would do if I remained unemployed for months. Those few days felt like years.
But God provides. God has led me here. Two seemingly chance conversations led me to meet the family I am now working with. I walked into their home for the first time on a Saturday, nervous and pretty sure I wouldn’t take the job. I walked out a few hours later, certain that this was the job I’d been hoping for, the job that I and others had been praying I would find. Beyond being a decent job, it was exactly what I had hoped for and more. The pay is good enough to pay my bills. The hours are flexible enough to allow me time for writing. The family I’m working with is kind and eager to get to know me. I am teaching, playing, and working. And I’ll let you in on a secret: the best part of my job is that I get to do it wearing socks. No heels for me!