Four years. Four years filled with little sleep, fluctuating body weight due to emotional eating, twelve-hour days spent in the Allen Library, weekends spent studying instead of attending movie nights, times of prayer filled with inescapable tears, times of prayer filled with debatably justified anger, and times of prayer filled with unending joy. Four years filled with questions regarding my identity, calling, and purpose. Four years filled with questioning God’s goodness, grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, and character. I am a college graduate. I graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in biomechanics. Wow! All glory to Him above today and forevermore.
I created this blog for this purpose, to be transparent about what was going on. I created this to document my life because I think at the time, like any high-school senior, I believed that college would be when my life would begin. Simply summarized, “Now that I’m an adult, let’s document my life…where I know suffering exists but for whatever reason I don’t think I’ll suffer at UW because I’m sMArT and I focus on pOSiTiVes.” Yeah, that sounds like the eighteen-year-old version of me. Even during the times I’ve re-read old posts, though my poor grammar always sticks out first, the next thing that comes to mind is the thoughts and feelings I had when I was writing these things to you. You can see the simultaneously slow and sudden progression as I began to realize, I am not nearly as intelligent as I thought I was. College was much tougher than I was expecting. You can see the times I deeply doubted God. You can likely sense the times in which I was truly struggling. I received poor grades. I dealt with platonic and romantic heartbreak. I was rejected from the College of Engineering three times. It has been a journey where God has been gracious, loving, and merciful nonetheless.
A reflection of these four years is not worth your time, as you can always look back at these old posts and see how I’ve grown, struggled, and (hopefully) matured throughout my womanhood thus far. You can see my thoughts and feelings change as I’ve learned and am still learning to become more dependent on God and less dependent on my capabilities. You’ve seen this blog transform and let’s talk about that.
I’m speaking to the purpose of this blog. It started as a way to update my family and friends and then turned into a way to share the good news that Jesus forgives and He saves. This transitioned from trusting God because I grew up in the church to having unshakeable belief in God because I have sought out undeniable evidence that affirms Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life as He claims to be. As someone who once has been described as “passionate about everything but also nothing at all” due to the way my interests constantly change, I have found writing, studying, and sharing the gospel to be a passion of mine that has never gone away. But as I have seen this passion stick to me, the more I have questioned my degree, why am I getting a degree in Mechanical Engineering?
To any sort of job recruiter or concerned family member that has stumbled upon this post, I have always been passionate about helping others on a more personal level, that’s why I stuck to the biomechanics pathway. That’s why I want to create medical devices or engineer something that promotes health. That’s why I have never applied to companies like Boeing and Tesla. The passions that motivated me to pursue engineering are still consistent with my freshman self, yet throughout this last and senior year at the UW, I was questioning my calling. Where does God want me? Why am I here? What’s next?
I spent a long time thinking about that second question: why am I here? Why am I sitting at my desk, waiting for my zoom class to begin? Unless I was suppressing these emotions early on, only this year have I felt out of place as an engineering student. I’m skilled at public speaking, time management, leadership, facilitating, and story-telling. Sure, math and science are easier for me compared to my atrocious reading comprehension and somewhat pass-able grammar skills, but you would assume that I’d be more confident in coding and machining compared to the skills I listed earlier. I can solve a set of differential equations. I can draw a free-body diagram, but it does not come as naturally as you might expect. This has affected my confidence in my competence as a future engineer. God, what am I doing? Am I where you want me to be? Here I go again, questioning and doubting God.
Now, I am beyond thankful for everything that has happened during my undergrad, even the unspeakable test grades, failed first dates, and times where I hid and pretended no one could hear me cry. I cannot emphasize the goodness and grace through it all. Praise God for His perfect timing. Looking back on it all, even the messiest pieces to it, I would not change a single thing. I do always wonder what God’s plan is: He allowed me to get into the UW, He allowed me to get into the Mechanical Engineering Department, He allowed me to graduate and find work, but what is next, God? What does this all mean? Maybe you can relate, friend.
As of right now, I believe my calling is serving and shepherding in church, specifically with student ministries. I have My calling is continuing to be open about my faith and what it means to love God and love others. I love creating content through this blog and my podcast. Pray that I can do that in a way that makes it less about me and more about God. Pray that I can always point to Jesus in everything that I do. This life is not about me.
With that calling, I’ve been more accepting of the idea that I can love creating and be called to do that while also working as an engineer if that’s a part of God’s plan. Your calling does not have to be directly related to your job and two examples of that are Jesus and Paul. As this chapter closes, I am excited to see where God takes me with this calling and with my engineering degree. You’re invited along as I continue this journey, with a heart on fire for Jesus.
Slightly off-topic, but a quick thought as I do not know God’s plan or the reason for everything that has been orchestrated in my life, but can you imagine if the only reason I went through this mess of college was to meet my fiancé? Again, these are my thoughts, but imagine if that was the only reason? This is not theologically based, just my imagination regarding Heaven, but I’d like to believe I’ll get a chance to sit down with God and drink the best vanilla latte ever. I imagine going through my life and asking far too many questions about God’s plan through it all. Why did this happen? Did this happen so that I could learn this? Why didn’t this happen? Imagine if I then decide to ask God, “Hey, so what was the reasoning for UW and my degree? What’s the story on that?” And God says to me, “So you could meet Ben.” I would lose it. “Wait, God, with all due respect…out of all ways this could have happened, You went with studying mechanical engineering at the UW? Do you know how strenuous those four years were?”
All jokes aside, though I do not know God’s plan, I trust it completely. There is nothing in this world that is comparable to the identity, worth, and love you’re given through Christ alone. I have seen the numerous scientific and historical pieces of evidence that are only explainable through God, but I know, my dedicated reader, that you have seen the anecdotal evidence of His Will throughout these four years. You’ve been around for my highs and lows. You’ve seen the eighteen-year-old me to now being twenty-two. Would you deeply consider this Jesus guy? He was either a lunatic, liar, or God? May you wrestle with that, who is this Jesus?
As this chapter closes, I pray that I can have a heart that chases God more than anything else in this world. If you’re interested, stick around and I’ll do my best to share with you what it means to live through faith and grace.
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame,12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:9-13