Loose Ends

I’ve always prided myself as being a “go-with-the-flow” person. I’m okay with unknowns, and I love a good plot twist.

Last minute change-up in plans? No problem!

I tend to consider myself fairly flexible–but even generally flexible people reach a point in life where they feel stretched beyond their comfort zone.

Back in April, I made a pretty big change in my life: I left grad school, and this was essentially my internal monologue:

what a dumb idea meme

While my passion for people and relationships continued to grow during my classes, there was a deep longing for the creativity I once had in my undergrad courses.

I have usually had a knack for spotting silver linings, and pointing out the little things that make life more vibrant and meaningful, but with every day that passed, I was starting to feel that natural ability start to slip into cynical sinkhole.

Now don’t get me wrong, the world needs counselors, but even while I am not incredibly emotional, I am empathetic–I’m not one to cry, but I pick up on the pain of others, and talking about that pain in my classes all day started to take its toll, and I started to lose some of my soft side.

One day during one of my counseling classes, we were put into groups and asked to do a team building exercise that required us to pick an item out of our backpacks and pitch an advertisement for the product.

When the challenge was announced, I felt the most alive I had ever felt during class. My brain buzzed with ideas, and I could barely sit in my seat as I bounced my thoughts off of my group members.

I felt creative and engaged, and my heart sped up the way it does when you put on an outfit that you really like, or when you come up with that perfect, clever line to say to your friends in the moment, rather than 3 hours later. My group ended up winning the challenge, and in that moment, I felt the absence of the teamwork, public speaking, and creativity that I relished in my undergraduate classes.

That’s when I realized something: since I started my classes, I had stopped writing. I had stopped creating. I had seen some of the things that I once thrived on begin to fall to the wayside, and I didn’t really feel like myself anymore. I wasn’t doing what I was made to do.

So I decided to stop my classes and start applying for jobs.

Now this switch-up felt freeing and fun, and right, but it didn’t play out the way I imagined it in my head. I didn’t tell many people I left school, because I wanted to find a job before I made the announcement.

Call me naive, but I pictured myself finding a job within the first couple months of starting my job search, and as I sit here writing this, I am still (as the kids are saying these days) “funemployed.”

Except it’s not so fun anymore. I wake up every morning and fill out applications for every job I can find, and each response has come back the same, “Sorry, we are looking for someone with more experience.”

After the first ten rejections, I was still feeling fine, but once I hit twenty, I stopped counting and started to feel discouraged.

i like saying no

PS, this is what imagine all of the HR People look like when they are reading my applications ^

I procrastinated writing about my decision to leave school until after I had a new job to tag onto the end of the post, you know, something to validate my decision and make it look a little more competent and together.

But as I scrolled through my social media feed the other day, I thought about how I wasn’t accurately portraying myself. While I am recently engaged to an amazing guy, celebrating the weddings of close friends, and sharing precious time with family members, there’s a lot of mess and confusion in my life as well, and I have been pretty intentional about hiding that from my social media feeds. The joyful, put-together moments in my life have served as somewhat of a smoke screen for the obscure details in my life that are still up in the air.

I guess I have always thought that it’s more fun to share the way that God stepped into the chaos and tied all of the loose ends together–after everything looks like it has been tied up with a nice, pretty bow.

But sometimes I think it’s more powerful to show the questions marks and the confusion, because God is just as with us during the liminal stages as He is when things seem clear cut and scheduled.

i have no idea what im doing meme

The past few weeks, I prayed a prayer that went kind of like this:

“Hey, God. I know that you have a plan and everything, and I’m completely committed to your timeline, but I guess I just really thought that I would have a job by now. I felt pretty obedient when I left school, but I was also trusting that you would have something lined up for me…and that hasn’t happened yet. I want to do what I can to serve you during this in-between phase, so please help me see how I can do that, and how I can make the most of these loose ends.”

The response was quiet and subtle at first, as God’s responses often are. I think God speaks to us a lot more than we realize, but we just don’t clear our minds enough to hear Him. As the weeks passed, I knew what I was supposed to do:


Within the past couple weeks, I have had around 5 people ask me when I was going to start writing again. My answer was the same every time, “Once I have a little more direction about where my life is going.” But that was my pride speaking. I didn’t want people to see how I have gone months without employment or schooling.

I prayed again yesterday about what to do during the loose ends, and I got the same answer: “Write.”

So here I am, writing. I don’t really know what the next step is, but I have faith that everything is going to fall into place. So I am going to start writing again. Over the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the details about the ways God has blessed me during the unknowns, and how I am learning lessons in faith, humility, and gratitude.

So thank you for joining me in the loose ends. I don’t have it all together, but I serve a God who does.


2 thoughts on “Loose Ends

  1. Ellie says:

    You have always been an unbelievably smart, kind, generous and all together ahead of the time kind of girl. No matter the situation you have always been the one to find the joy in it, the fun of it and how to get past the bad in it. I think we all put ourselves in this box of ‘the right thing to do’ and maybe that’s what grad school was for you, although maybe it was God’s way of showing you what he truly calls you for in life. Dealing with the unknown is scary, so never feel like you need to keep it all together or have a happy attitude at all times. It’s frustrating, maddening and discouraging when you feel lost- but if anyone can find that silver lining, its you, and that’s powerful. Those who have let you slip away from their company will regret that when they realize what an amazing asset you would have been to their team. When you think back on this struggle you’ll laugh and wonder why you were ever worried, because if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s that God has some crazy amazing things planned for the drop of sunshine He created called Kelly Doles. Love you.

    • Kelly Doles says:

      Ellie! You are so sweet and encouraging, and this honestly made my week! Thank you so much 🙂 I miss you lots and lots, and you have always been such a source of encouragement to me. Thank you for being you. You’re amazing.

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