Hello from Hannah Wasco studying and working in Washington, DC!
For the subject of this blog, I was trying to think of a way that my semester here in DC could relate to those of you back in Chicago and those who are all around the world. The past three months have been a crazy journey. I thought that maybe if I started to take you down just one leg of this adventure, you would find a point where you could hop on.
A huge part of this journey has been the amount of experiences from which I have been able to learn. Actually, after three months of these experiences—interning at the American Enterprise Institute, hearing from a Supreme Court Justice and Bill Gates, visiting the Lincoln Memorial in the snow, studying at the Library of Congress, standing on the Speaker’s Balcony at the Capitol, and attending numerous conferences and seminars, to name just a few— the blessing of opportunity has begun to overwhelm.
In my courses here, we talk a lot about calling and vocation. These are ideas that go beyond classes and future (I am tempted to say “looming”) careers, though they are definitely parts of them. They extend over our entire life and have to do with our relationships with God and with other people—how you fit into God’s sovereign plan for humanity. There is one thing, though, that scares me the most about calling and vocation: uncertainty.
There is something about an unclear future that gets to the best of us—when you’re walking along and all of a sudden you realize that you can’t see exactly where God is leading anymore. Right now, I am feeling this uncertainty in the midst of overwhelming opportunity. I could intern here or work there. I can consider this career field or being involved with that organization. What will my future look like if I pick this option? How will it be different if I pick another? What if I chose the wrong one for me? At some points, I just wish I would be handed a map for the future and that would be the only plan I needed to follow.
After listening to the wisdom of mentors who have become a part of my life here, I have realized that there is no need to fear uncertainty in my pursuit of vocation and calling. With one of these mentors, the two of us have read together C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces. The main character, Orual, struggles throughout the novel to find her place in the world. At the end of the story, she receives her answer: “I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answers suffice?” All questions that I have about my vocation fade away in the light of God’s perfect plan for my life. He knows where He is leading me, and that is all that matters. God’s plan for my life is so much bigger than my own. He is all that I need.
I have recently encountered a verse from Job that has further helped me with my fear of uncertainty: “Behold, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive Him; on the left hand when He is working, I do not behold Him; He turns to the right hand, but I do not see Him. But He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come out as gold” (Job 23:8-10). The periods of uncertainty and darkness often seem longer than the moments of clearness and joy. I know that God will continue to lead me, though, even when I cannot see it. And when I arrive at wherever that may be, the golden sunlight will seem so much brighter. Uncertainty just makes certainty so much more certain.