University, Analyzing, and Hustle: Now What?

Well, it’s finally here. This past Thursday I officially graduated from UNCG! It was an awesome experience to say the least, and to be honest, never really sunk in until I was standing there waiting for my name to be called to walk across the stage for my department graduation. I was able to walk and feel like the last four years were worth it, that I had accomplished what I had set my mind towards. Today I’m doing a bit of a different post than I normally do. My typical format (for those of you who may be new readers, welcome!), is I will have a topic, a scripture, and break down to three-ish core principles that God has shown me through it. I like to break form here and there to share my heart from time to time. You see I don’t have all of the answers, I know I know, shouldn’t I be some kind of all-knowing guru? Yeah not really. Life at the moment went from being normal and sort of have a flow to it, to again being shaken up. I hope today that through some personal stories that interconnect, you will be able to look at the shifting in your own life and know you’re not alone. That’s the biggest reason I write at all anyways, I never want anyone to feel alone for any reason.

University and feeling inadequate

If you aren’t familiar with some of my stories I’ve told in the past, school has always been a challenge for me. In high school, I had a teacher tell me I wasn’t going to make it anywhere, ouch I mean that’s pretty mean. Luckily, I chose not to give up, I sure wanted to, but never did. I have always had that memory of not being good enough, so in going to college I had the feeling re-opened like an old wound when I had been rejected from every school I applied to. Again, ouch. After screaming out to God about why he would do this, I chose to go to community college because I was trusting in God. Community colleges get a bad reputation, if you think that, stop that. That was a great time for me, and in a speaking class, I knew that I wanted to go into communication studies. I transferred to UNCG as a communication studies major (not communications) and absolutely loved it. When I thought I didn’t amount to much God put professors in my life like Dr. Manning, DR. Roy, and Dr. McCall who would encourage me with life giving words that seemed to drown out that high school teacher. I was given opportunity to learn and grow as a person, it was incredible and I will never forget it. God was leading me through all of my feeling of inadequacy and into a life of meaning. Then only a few days ago I was able to walk across that stage and think about the accomplishments that went into that small moment.

The curse of over-analyzing

I was recently having a conversation with my friend Daniel about how our brains seems to overanalyze everything. From the small decisions made to the big unknowns that life seems to send our way, we both seem to look at every aspect which can hold us back from jumping forward. I think this is true for many people, that we tend to think too much and never actually jump into the thing that we need the most. For myself and Daniel, we were talking about how we tend to be INFJ personalities, to which Daniel told me this is one of the rarer types. I laughed because it was yet again another thing in my life that makes me not be able to fit in. In thinking about all of this, I try so hard to fit in, when God has made me this way to help others. God gave me this brain to understand a problem, but then to act in faith. With my analyzing brain, this means that I have to trust him. Trust is hard. Whether you overanalyze like me, or if you tend to hold back, the idea of complete trust can be so terrifying. In all of the scary mountains we have to face in our lifetime, we have to trust that God can and will move mountains.

Hustle: Happiness is a goal, but greatness is the vision.

In a song by Childish Gambino, he says the line, “being happy is the goal, but greatness is my vision.” Now from a secular rapper, this makes sense, but at the same time this is true of my life. I want to have happiness sure, to live a life where I enjoy what I do and love the people I’m around, but greatness is my vision. Not in a sense of personal greatness, I really don’t care about personal fame, what I do care about is that my life makes an impact on someone else. I can’t simply choose to be okay with a job that is just simply “fine.” I want every aspect of my life to be a light into someone else’s darkness. So, I have to hustle. I have to run after that vision with everything, and I plan to. I have been writing this blog for three years now, and it gives me so much life. At the same time, I also have to work, so I can’t write on Monday mornings for the foreseeable future, and that kills me. I will still have a post on Monday, but I can’t do it first thing in the morning as I’d like. It’s frustrating, I feel like the world doesn’t want me to write or run after a career of meaning. I say this because I’d like prayer, I have to figure some things out and I want to continue to pursue my dreams without being choked out by purposeless work. I have some things lined up, and some announcements in the coming weeks where you can support me, but much of this time will require trust. I will trust God, and hustle in my time of waiting.

Now What-

While these three moments and mountains in my life seem to be unrelated, they are in the simple concept of trust. I write the word “simple” here with a smile because it is so not easy. I feel like life has continually put me in seasons where I have to trust God, but I seem to forget the times he came through for me previously. It is reminiscent of the Israelites wandering the desert, forgetting their God rescued them from slavery when they grow tired of walking. I feel like there’s always times of walking in our lives, but we have to place a continual trust on the plans God has for us. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of the most quoted verses, but it has a strong truth that is often overlooked. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God’s plan for our lives is bigger than we know, and he will not lead us into our demise, but a freedom. God’s plan is to have us live in freedom dependently on him.

So, in the moments where people ask you like they have been asking me, now what? You can say that now I trust God.

-Joshua Thomas

3 thoughts on “University, Analyzing, and Hustle: Now What?

  1. Such a beautiful post, Joshua. I still shake my head at anyone thinking you were not ‘college material”—that just blows my mind; you have such an amazing mind and spirit. Only one small correction: I believe God put *you* in MY life. So don’t disappear!

  2. Seems to me that just making through college is a great testimony for you, especially after having such detrimental words spoken over you!!! Well, that was the Devil, and with God on your side, you proved HIM wrong!!!

    Congratulations! What an awesome accomplishment. I will be praying for you, that you will find fulfillment in all you set your hand to do and purpose in what you put your fingers to type.

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