CAUTION: If you have not seen Season 7 of The Office and you’re planning to, please stop reading so that I don’t ruin it for you.
I’m not a huge fan of The Office. Not that I don’t find it funny, but it takes a lot for me to watch every single episode of a show. The Office just hasn’t really done it for me, but Sweet Henry has been watching it so I watch a few episodes a day. I also miss the majority of each season because Henry has a problem, and let’s just say his GPA will be happy when he finishes The Office, but that’s irrelevant. The only point that I’m trying to make is that I’m not really emotionally attached to the show or the characters.
That being said, I watched episode 22 of season 7. For those that aren’t too familiar with The Office that’s the episode titled, “Goodbye Michael”. After eight years of working with Dunder Mifflin, Michael leaves to be with his fiancé in Colorado. Although he had a wonderful new future ahead of him, he entered into an unknown and he had to leave the familiar, secure lifestyle he had established. This included all of the relationships that he had made.
In hindsight I probably should have skipped watching this episode, but it’s too late for that. As I was watching I thought, “Wow that sucks for Michael. He has to say goodbye to all of his friends. I know he has a fiancé waiting for him, but those relationships will never be the same.” And then I realized, “Oh crap, I have to do the same thing in four months.” For those who don’t know I’m not running off to get married, but I am graduating from college in May (YAY CLASS OF 2016). This episode left me blubbering.
Just to paint this embarrassing picture a little clearer, let me just explain what exactly I mean by blubbering. Henry and I are sitting on a couch, in his dorm room, while his roommate is trying to sleep, and we watch “one more episode”. I have my oversized sweater pulled up to my eyes and I’m shaking as I try breathe in between the heavy sobs. Henry looks at me rather alarmed and asks if I’m okay, all I can get out is, “why did you let me watch this?” I wish I could say that I was fine as soon as the episode was over, but that was not the case. As I walked back towards my dorm, stopping to see all of my friends that I will have to say goodbye to, the ugly crying continued. Except that at this point it was joined with laughing, that when joined with sobbing made an even more awful sound, because I realized how ridiculous it was to be so distraught over a television show. This blubbering mess continued for over an hour and left me puffy eyed for class the next day. You still can’t mention The Office in front of my friends without one of them asking if I’m going to cry.
You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with anything?” Well other than being a rather hilarious story, this emotional episode left me thinking. Up until this point I had avoided the topic of graduation. I take a very long time to adjust to a new place and, after two years, I finally feel at home. I have wonderful friends and I’m just not ready for change. I’m not ready to start from scratch again. May 7, 2016, can take its sweet old time getting here and I will not be the one to complain (this is the first time I’ve even acknowledged the actually day). But it has been weeks since I’ve watched this tear jerking episode and graduation is now a topic I frequently bring up (usually while holding back tears). I feel like it’s necessary to talk about it in order to be able to process through it. All of this processing has lead me to three keynotes.
There are three key ideas that I encourage anyone who is in a similar situation as myself to keep in mind. Be thankful, be present, and be reliant.
Be thankful. Simply put, I am really freaking blessed to be part of a community that is so hard to say goodbye to. The Lord has abundantly provided for me and I could never put into words what the people here mean to me. I don’t mean to pull a Jesus-juke, but it’s the truth. I am a wretched sinner that deserves nothing but death and the Lord graciously made my life possible (Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:8-9). So in this season, I encourage you to thank God for His provision.
Be present. It would be really easy for me to focus so much on where I am going and not be where I am. Regardless of where the Lord takes me, in these next few months I need to find a job, a car, and a place to live. That’s a pretty tall order that takes a lot of time. Emotionally, the easy way out of this is to focus on that and my classes and pull away from the people that I care about. But that is not what the Lord wants for me. The Lord has placed me in this community for this season and I’m not done with this yet. So in this season, I encourage you to stay present in the communities that He has placed you.
Be reliant. The Lord is faithful. He has proved over and over again that He is not going to leave me out to dry. Yes, He might walk with me through hard seasons, but He is with me and He uses those times. So yes, I am moving on from a place and a season where I have made a lot of fond memories and seen a tremendous amount of growth. But I have no doubt in my mind that in this next stage of life God will continue in His faithfulness and work in me. So in this season, I encourage you to trust and be reliant on the sovereign Father.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.”
– Deuteronomy 7:9
All in all, if you are in a similar situation I hope you know that you are not alone. I get it; I get the good parts, that make you ready to go, and the bad parts, that leave you terrified and teary eyed. I get it because I’ve been there and at times I am still there. But we have a good, good Father. He is sovereign and faithful, and He has nothing but our best interest in mind. I encourage you, as I have been encouraged, to make the most of the time you still have, trusting that the Lord will continue to work through you wherever you go next.