Tuesday, May 28, 2013

When My Heart Is Overwhelmed

My heart is a little overwhelmed tonight, not gonna lie--or actually, it's very overwhelmed. I have to make decisions now--as in, tonight, before I go to bed, so I can send out the necessary emails in a timely manner--about whether I'm going to apply for federal judicial clerkships for after graduation, and I simply don't know what to do. Asking for a recommendation means committing to apply, and I looked through the listings and can't really find any available in a) the state I plan to take the bar and b) a city I'm actually willing to live in long-term. I don't really want to apply for these anymore, for that reason, and also because family law is my main legal interest, and for the most part, you'll never see a family law case in federal court (so, the federal judicial clerkship isn't necessarily the best plan if I want to get exposure to family law). And I would be so so happy just getting a job in career services or admissions or development at a law school, and teaching legal writing classes on the side, but I don't know how to go about doing that.

So I don't think it makes sense anymore to apply for these, but then the panic begins to tug at the corners of my mind because unlike the situation for lots of my classmates, my summer job right now will not turn into a permanent offer for after graduation. So then I will have to start from the ground up during my third year, trying to figure out what it is that I really want to do. And I just can't really process facing the nine months or so of post-grad unemployment that are par for the course for most new grads these days.

And then I start wondering if the state I've picked to take the bar exam is the right state at all for me, and getting annoyed with the fact that there's still so very little geographic mobility in the legal profession--because what if I just want to up and move to Seattle, or Santa Fe, or Denver? I can't just do that unless I study for, take, and pass the bar exam in the given state. And since you have to choose the state you take the bar in before you get a post-grad job, in most cases, it definitely makes it complicated.

And there's so many other things competing for my attention right now, contributing to that overwhelmed feeling: the law review write-on competition papers I have to grade, the national Moot Court competition my law school is hosting in the fall that I'm, you know, coordinating, and work. I have settlement proposals to negotiate and demand letters and pretrial orders that have got to get done ASAP, and I'm still not 100% clear on what a pretrial order is. And the office is so busy and so crazy all the time, and I know I'm not going to get rest this summer unless I deliberately make seeking it out a priority--I mean, real rest and rejuvenation and refreshment. So my heart--or at least my brain--is overwhelmed.

But God put this verse in my mind tonight, and it was exactly what I needed, and I trust that maybe it's what someone reading this might need right now too: "From the end of the earth I will cry to you, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 61:2). There is a rock that is higher than I, a refuge that is greater than any fear or chaos life could throw at me, a security that is stronger than any storm.

I know, and I will rest secure in, the truth that God leads and guides me all the time. He is not confused about what my future holds, no matter how much I may be. He is not vacillating about it. No, He KNOWS the plans He has for my future. It is not a surprise for Him--He doesn't just plan and know my future, He's already in it. God goes before me, and before you, into the future, into a thousand tomorrows, making the way straight before us and shedding light on our path. I know who goes before me. I know who holds my tomorrows. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

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