A Pilgrim’s Process

By Amber Gilpin 

I’m at that point in life where everyone wants to know what I’m doing after graduation. And you know what? I have no idea. When someone asks that question, all I want to do is curl up with a coloring book in my blanket fort and ignore all other responsibilities.

Even though not knowing my future scares me, one thing keeps coming to mind. It’s a quote I heard while on a pilgrimage through Italy last summer. Our guide called it the Pilgrim’s Motto.

“I am willing to be flexible. I am neither in control nor in a hurry. I journey in faith, hope, and peace knowing God will provide for me. My goal is the journey not the destination, so I joyfully accept today’s sacrifices, challenges, and blessings.”

These words were easy to abide by when I was studying abroad. For 10 days, six of us Raiders woke up, ate breakfast, and hiked until we reached our destination. We had no clue where we were walking or what we would encounter on the journey. But that was part of the adventure! We embraced the blessings: small coffee shops with Italian caffé, gelato, Roman aqueducts, olive groves, and field upon field of wild poppies. But we also had to face the day’s challenges, be it steep trails, blisters, injured knees, ticks, and, in my opinion, escargot (I don’t recommend it!).

Yet in all these things there was a sense of adventure and peace. We had guides with us who knew the country, the language, and the trails. Even when I felt uncomfortable or lost, I knew that with our guide’s help we would eventually arrive.


Though there were challenges, these were some of the best weeks of my life. I found it easy to get up every morning not knowing what was coming. It was fun even! So why am I now hiding in my blanket fort apprehensive of the future? 

Looking for a job, moving out, and paying off school loans absolutely terrifies me. I’m not ready to face some of life’s new challenges without a guide. 

The amazing thing is, I don’t have to! God walks with and before me, guiding me every step of the way. 

In Italy, I had a guide I could see. It’s harder to trust a God I can’t see, yet I have confidence that he is living and active, guiding and granting wisdom. 

God has been faithful to lead in the past and will continue to do so as I step into the future.   

I may not know where I am going, but I am certain of one thing: I don’t walk alone. Therefore, I can get up every morning finding joy in my journey. I can embrace the day’s challenges, blessings, and sacrifices knowing that God will provide. When the time is right I’ll know the next step. But for now, I’m content trusting in the one who knows the end from the beginning. My Guide will lead me home. 

-Amber Gilpin


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