Surprising the World- I love this concept.
For my small group in my church community this semester, we have been reading a book by the same title ("Surprise the World" by Michael Frost) and honestly, this idea has challenged and grown me in incredible ways. Now completed my 5-year degree, I think the timing could not have been any better. I have spent the past 5 years growing myself and taking every opportunity thrown my way - and as a result, have learned infinitely more about how I operate and view the world around me than I have in my previous years of life. An undergrad degree is most definitely a period of self-realization that is incredibly valuable heading into adulthood. Now, however, a new chapter begins. Career, achieving some more ambitious long-term goals, becoming fully independent, traveling more, meeting more meaningful people and finding meaningful places. It is exciting, invigorating and challenging...and for a long time, it has also been scary, and rife with anxious anticipation.
These past couple months have been very much focused and centered on the relationships around me and building people up. I have always felt like I have had a capacity to do this in a way that a lot of other people don't. Sometimes I feel like I can draw energy from anywhere to be in a social situation and see the value in other people. I love listening to the stories of those around me, and I think I pick up on things in a more empathetic way than most. I kind of secretly love how rare this is in modern society, because it makes people like me memorable. Obviously that isn't to be egotistical...we all have this in different colours and flavours. Uniqueness, no matter what that looks like in your life, opens the door to vulnerability and relationship and it's how we navigate the hardships and the trials - but also the celebrations and the special moments. I love how every person reacts to things differently...isn't it clear that we all ought to be there for each other to offer the insight that only we can?
For a long time nearing the end of my studies, I was worried about finding my place in this world and about what was to come next. I feared failure and rejection and was afraid that my uniqueness wouldn't be perceived. This is such a human fear - when we aren't appreciated for what we offer, we diminish our value on ourselves. I think we've all been there. It is a true test of strength when we don't give up in those moments, but rather, press into ourselves and seek out our biggest dreams. By doing this myself, I now have a lot of peace that I can't say I did even 2 months ago.
The unknown is large, uncertain, and unpredictable. But we can pray for dreams, connections, and ideas...and actually receive them! You already have the toolkit inside you - it's those things that make you unique. What can you offer? For me, it is in listening, in relationships, in stories and in sharing.
It is with this post that I am excited to announce I will be working on a new side project...I might drop hints and clues as to what the details are in time, and those who have heard it know it is something exciting and dear to my heart. My guess is that it will be a 2-3 year journey...but it has given me a fresh dose of confidence and security in the future and also encouraged me to dig deeper into my own "toolkit" and find what's in there - the new apparatus I've acquired over the past 5 years included.
I have also been selected for a couple job interviews in the upcoming weeks, and one of them specifically really falls in line with how I've been dreaming and thinking. It is somewhat insane to me how perfectly this worked out - but I know it is because I've been given what I've asked for! God is in the business of making dreams a reality. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts - but often He does this creatively and in ways we can't preconceive on our own unless we ask. Once we do, we unlock His view of us and the connections and ideas that come out of that flow endlessly.
So...how will you surprise the world in the season you find yourself in?
Looking forward to sharing more with you this year.
- j o s i a h