In just a few weeks, I will be the first woman in my family to graduate college. Soon after that, I will be moving out of my parent’s house and into a new chapter of my life. I will start new internships and jobs and learn “how to be an adult”, if that’s possible. A few months after that, I will begin Vanderbilt Divinity School with a full scholarship. The future is illuminated, and I am ecstatic and grateful.
But things can’t be that perfect, right? Surely the house will fall through, or a job offer will disappear. Maybe there was a mistake in the scholarship offer; perhaps I will fall gravely ill soon. The car will break down. My computer will break. I won’t be fit for such a prestigious school.
These and many other thoughts are what I find rattling around in my head most often. Any time something good comes my way, I often find myself scared that it is too good to be true. I have not suffered greatly in my life, but I feel I have had many things taken away from me enough to where I feel no comfort in good news.
Most people know me as incredibly idealistic, but this pessimistic paranoia always lurks inside of me. Surely I could practice mindfulness. Go to counseling. Take deep breaths. Have faith.
Ah, faith–I feel that’s the concept that gets me in these messes. Is it because I had faith that things came through? If and when they fall apart, is that going to be the real test of faith? I can’t help but wonder if the church has helped breed both the sense of faith I have that God will provide a future and a hope, and the toxic idea that God gives us good things just to take them away to test our faith. (See Job.)
I have no resolution for this blessed panic I experience. Instead, I will try and have faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now in hopes I can get through this paranoia.