So what’s next? Before we take our GCSE’s, we are advised to think about what we might want to do or become later in life. In doing so, we can decide what degree to study, to work out which A levels or college course to take, to decide our GCSEs. Somehow, at the age of 14, we are therefore supposed to know what we are made for. If this is true, when we finish our degrees at around 21 we should already know exactly what we’re doing and we can launch straight into it. If only it were that simple.
So you’ve finished your degree? Well done! Your friends are planning the big move to London and your housemate has got onto that graduate programme, while you’re still unsure where to even begin.
Here are some questions I ask my students when they’re deciding what to do next:
Where have you seen God move over the last 5 years?
Often the places we have seen God move in are the places we have favour. The places we have favour are often the places we are called to.
What area of your degree did you enjoy most and why?
God doesn’t just want you to work, He wants you to find joy in the work you do. The areas of study that we loved most can be because God put an excitement in us to do that thing with our lives.
Is there a place or time in your life when you had a personal encounter with God?
For me, I met Jesus most profoundly while I was at university. Many jobs and years later, I realised that the place I met Jesus in a personal way was the place I could make a difference. This was because I saw the difference it made to me, so I now work as a Student Pastor.
Who do you have praying and discerning for you?
I remember one time in my life I was going to move to another country. One of my prayer partners was praying for me and when I suggested that I wasn’t sure, she told me that she didn’t think it was right either. I ended up moving to a different city entirely and, in doing so, have seen God move in profound ways in my life and work. We are not meant to make decisions in isolation.
Have you thought about staying?
A lot of students when they finish university are either eager to start earning, or feel the pressure to leave and start something new. Don’t rush. If you are not hearing God telling you to move, maybe He's not telling you to… yet. Stay where you are, invest where you are. Find an internship programme and invest in yourself and your relationship with God. Once you do start working full time you might never get the opportunity again.
As Christians we can sometimes put a lot of pressure on ourselves to ‘fulfil the calling on our lives.’ But so long as you stick close to God, He will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Whatever you decide, God will be with you wherever you go.