Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 NIV
I can’t believe I can FINALLY say those words aloud. My academic journey has been hectic, stressful, painful, joyful, fun, adventurous, and so many other adjectives. I’ve learned a lot about a lot… but I’ve learned so much more about me. I’m still learning about me.
I’m learning about me…the Spirit
I’m learning about me…the woman
I’m learning about me…the scholar
I’m learning about me…the professional
I’m learning about me…the partner
I’m learning about me…the friend
And on…and on…and on…
School taught me that. Church taught me that. Life taught me that. But overall, it was God teaching me and grooming to this point.
The point where I can say…I’m graduating.
I’m graduating in many areas of my life. Elevating is a better word. I’m going from one level to another. One thing I’ve learned is that we never “arrive” in life.
God tells us we forget what’s behind and press on towards what lies ahead. That’s on earth and in heaven. We’re in a constant state of elevation. If you’ve ever been in a car driving up a mountain or if you’ve ever been on a plane during take off, then you’ve felt the pressure of elevation.
I’ll say that again…you notice the P R E S S U R E of elevation. Not pain, pressure. God promises to prosper us and NOT to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11).
When things start to feel heavy, when you can feel the shift, when it starts feeling uncomfortable…know that with great elevation comes great pressure. The higher you go, the more pressure you feel. But know this: pressure doesn’t mean pain.
Pressure can come with discomfort, sometimes pain, but that doesn’t mean that it’s designed to be painful. Life has many pains but that doesn’t mean God designed it to be painful.
Think about school…think about a job…think about pregnancy…they all cause discomfort or can be painful but they were designed for elevation. They were designed for growth, for gain, for reproduction, and for glory.
There is something at the end of your discomfort…at the end of the pressure. Know that God’s plans for you always end in celebration. They end with joy and peace. Even if you don’t know what comes next, know that it will be good because God is good. All the time.
So, I’m graduating. I’m elevating. I don’t have all the plans but I know the One who holds all the plans.
I pray you do too.