A reflection by Matt Flores, a member of our Business Operations Team
“Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ––Matthew 6:34
“It is because God had led me down this path intentionally from the get-go. He has the ultimate sovereignty over my life.”
COVID-19 has left students in an interesting circumstance, forcing many of us to return to our respective homes and isolate ourselves physically from the rest of the world. With our summer plans thwarted and the inability to freely loiter with friends outside, we find ourselves with an overwhelming surplus of free time. The separation between days has begun to blur, our drives to be productive have rapidly declined, and all the while, many of us lay in bed or sit in our chairs mindlessly.
As a textbook over-worker and over-committer, a “yes-man” if you will, I typically don’t have much free time and am always thinking about the next task I need to complete. So, this excess of time suddenly thrust upon me has left me disoriented to say the least. While I spent the first few months of this isolation period frantically searching for new internship opportunities, playing video games, and catching up on my shows and webtoons, even these activities eventually lost my interest. And so, for the first time since entering university life two years ago, I have been able to deeply introspect and reflect on my life, the choices I have made, and the path that God placed me on to get to where I currently am.
This line of thinking led me to identify the three main pillars and communities that I think make up my current identity: my faith and church community, dance and my dance community, and my professional life. The shocking thing is, none of these aspects of my life existed before college. As I stepped into college, I was terrified of having no friends and hating the major that I put myself in. My faith was in shambles and I was considering abandoning Christianity altogether, I had never danced on any organized team in my life, and I was determined to major in chemistry. Two years later, my faith is the strongest it has ever been and some of my closest friends are those who I have met from re-exploring Christianity in college (I owe everything to LivingWater), I dance for four different organizations (shout out to Abba Modern, TruElement, [M]ovement, and AFX), and I am currently interning as a UI/UX Designer at a start-up in New York. Within the last two years, my life path has pivoted and gone in a completely different direction than the one I had laid out for myself in high school. I have realized that this change in direction is more because of the things I could not control in my life rather than the things I could control.
If the incoming freshman version of myself had his way, I probably wouldn’t be a Christian, I wouldn’t be dancing, I would still be dying over chemistry, and the most terrifying thing to me is that I probably wouldn’t have the amazing community of friends I find my support in. Upon realizing this, I began to think about what caused all these major life changes. Each of these three aspects of my current life developed independently from one another. And yet, somehow all of them are linked in a way that I cannot explain, such as me dancing on a Christian team, my academic partners and mentors I seek counsel from being my church and dance friends, my coworkers being from one of my dance teams, and my design and web development skills being used for YHWH Apparel. I briefly thought about how a combination of coincidences could have supposedly led me down this new path, but that answer left me unsatisfied.
Eventually, I came to the realization that the only reason why I am where I am today is not because of any of my own actions, not because of any stream of lucky coincidences, and not because of the doings of any other person. But it is because God had led me down this path intentionally from the get-go. He has the ultimate sovereignty over my life, more control over it than I do. I wouldn’t have experienced the same growth, learned the same lessons, and molded into this more-refined version of myself if even one thing had gone differently–though I still have a lot of refining to do. Before, I was so scared of being lonely and that I would be making the worst decisions in my life, but through this reflection, I saw that God had been the one orchestrating each step I took and each word I spoke, meeting every one of my fears with exactly what I needed.
Did I stumble? Yes. Did I have an existential crisis after dropping chemistry? Absolutely. Did I have breakdowns at two in the morning because I thought that my life was becoming a dumpster fire? Maybe…
But this intricate, convoluted, and majorly confusing path that God put me on has taught me that He has complete sovereignty over my life and that my anxiety over the future will only cause me more pain than good. He has really hammered Matthew 6:34 deep into my soul. And so, while I will definitely still stress over what my future will look like and I will continue to diligently work towards a successful future for myself, I have a much deeper understanding that God is constantly leading me towards the place He wants me to be at.
So as I lay in bed thinking about these weird existential questions–scared about what the future holds with my career, with the state of our nation, with COVID-19, and things of the sort–I am comforted and encouraged in knowing that God moves in ways greater than what my mind can comprehend and provides more than I could ever ask.