I’ve seen that one clip from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade more than I’ve seen all of the movies combined. If you don’t know which one I’m talking about, drop in on any given youth group or Sunday School class in the nation and there’s approximately a 90% chance you can catch it. In it, Indy is standing on the edge of a cliff, in desperate need of a way to cross a seemingly bottomless chasm to get to the other side. Just when it seems hopeless, he holds his breath and takes a step. But instead of plummeting to his death, he discovers he’s found a cleverly disguised bridge connecting the edges of the canyon—and it can only be found by taking a leap of faith.
Let me tell you, that illustration couldn’t be less apt in my life right now. I’m certainly standing on the edge of a cliff, and on Sunday I’ll have been standing on it for exactly three months. The path I took to get here was pretty obvious and well-planned, but on May 14th, all that came to a halt. From here, I can’t even see what the other side of the chasm is, so even if I wanted to take a leap of faith, I wouldn’t know where to put my foot.
I’m in the state of For Now. Originally, “now” was going to just be the summer. I planned to work in Kansas City, and in the fall I would move on to the next awesome part in my life. Well, fall is practically here, and I still haven’t a clue of what to do next.
Even worse is that I don’t even know what I should be doing to get ready to do what I want to do. I still dream, and I regularly browse job websites and postings by companies and organizations I admire. Every now and then I come across an “entry-level” position with a job description that sounds like it was made for me. Inevitably, the requirements ask for a candidate with anywhere from 2-5 years of experience. Tell me, where am I supposed to be getting experience for an entry-level job? Isn’t that what a Bachelor’s degree from the Harvard of the Midwest is for?
I think the hardest part—the part that is both humbling and demoralizing me—is that I’ve never dealt with rejection before. I’ve always been a fairly large fish in a fairly small pond. I never worried about getting into college, or even about getting into Oxbridge. I know I’m a bright girl with good relational skills, but now I’m in an ocean of people with the same kinds of credentials and temperament. I’ve already had two rounds of rejection this summer, from programs that could have made all my dreams come true. I knew going into the application process that they were complete shots in the dark, but I still couldn’t keep my hopes from rising.
Here is where I’m finding hope, though—while it may feel like purgatory, it is still just For Now. There is an other side, so For Now I’m going to make a tidy little home on this cliff. I’ve found a place to live, I have a job that pays, I’ve joined a gym, and I’m surrounded by lots of people that I really like. And For Now, I’ll keep throwing pebbles across the chasm until I find a bridge.