It is graduation season. In the past three weeks I’ve watched my Bible College students graduate from their two-year program, my son graduate from kindergarten, and my cousin graduate from high school. I love a good ceremony and these have been no exception. I love that our American cap and gown tradition is so genuinely ours. Sure, we look a little strange in our silky robes and flattop hats, but it is a symbol of our transition from one phase of life to another. It is a time for looking back and saying “well-done” and looking ahead and saying “what next?”
Transition is a normal part of life. The famous master diamond cutter Gabi Tolkowsky shares his romantic version of a transition phase in the life of a diamond. As told by his own account, Tolkowsky, a handsome European gentleman with silver hair and coordinating mustache, says he will hold the rough diamond between his fingers and ask, “Diamond, what should you become?” And then the diamond will always reply, “I should become the most beautiful.” From there the master cutter fashions each particular diamond into the most beautiful stone it can possibly become.
That is how this season of endings and new beginnings always feels to me: what should you become? And as women our answer is inevitably, “the most beautiful!” The difficult questions are about how to accomplish that goal. Should I go on to school? Should I work or give my life to a mission field? How do I know what I should do to become my most beautiful self? In my experience, which is either long or short depending on how old you are, the answer is God, the Master of all diamond cutters. Since He created us in the beginning, He is the most qualified to direct our continuing formation.
So my most common advice to women (and men) in this transition phase is to trust God. Follow the peace that He gives and take a step of faith. The great thing is that in this Kingdom we don’t have to worry about wasted time unless we are running away like a prodigal (and even then we find forgiveness at the end of the road). In this Kingdom, the journey is as important as the destination. It may seem like it is easy to mess up, but He is much bigger than our own impatience or lack of focus. Let Him hold you between His fingers, ask you questions, and begin the process of refinement. He’s been at this a long time and He’s pretty good at what He does!