Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I to do long term? What am I to do now? What do I want to do? It seems I have faced these questions continuously throughout my life, and at times have felt like very little progress is being made.
The first profession that interested me as a child was that of a writer, likely born out of my love of reading. There was something infatuating about literature; the allure of unread pages; the escape into wondrous adventures; the romance of curling up with a good book on the couch as the smell of aged pages beckoned me to untold mysteries. How wonderful it would be to create such portals into the imagination, to hold a book in my hand and say that I wrote it!?!
My childhood was filled with drafts of short stories, poems, and even the beginnings of a few novels. Yet as I grew, these dreams seemed more like child’s play than something of merit. I gave thought to journalism and wrote for the school page in our local newspaper, then the High School Magazine. I also began dabbling in public speaking, selected to give speeches at promotion ceremonies and placing with ribbons in local speech competitions. I loved the rush of getting up in front of an audience, to see my words provoke new thoughts and insights, and sometimes even a change of perspective. Yet, this too seemed like a phase, something that was fun for the short term but not attainable in my future, at least not on a professional level.
High School graduation lured those nagging questions again to the forefront of my mind. What am I to do? What is my purpose? Unsure of my professional goals and desires, I took an alternative route, enrolling in a three-year ministry school through our local church. This marked the beginning of a tremendous season of personal growth as I spent extensive amounts of time in the Word and received exceptional teaching. The Lord was calling me to Himself and graciously providing his refiners fire to mold me more into His image.
Simultaneously, I purchased ownership in a local small business and soon found myself working on staff as Executive Manager. Talk about professional growth! I learned everything hands-on, from how to manage staff, to reading financial statements and executing business strategies. Eventually, we sold the business and I accepted a job in sales and cultural training for a language service company. While I was grateful for these experiences, around this time I began to ask again, What am I to do now?
Married in 2008, my husband and I decided I had put off my education long enough as a college degree was a permanent fixture on the back burner of my life. I started in January 2009 and am now a few short months away from attaining my Bachelors Degree in Communication. Handling both a full-time job and full-time schooling has been difficult at times, but well worth the investment!
As I draw close to the end of my collegiate career, those nagging questions are popping up yet again. Surprisingly and somewhat humorously, I find myself drawn back to the initial interests of my heart; specifically writing and public speaking. Could it be that these first desires have remained in my heart this entire time, laying somewhat dormant and patiently waiting for me to come around again? Perhaps these were not childish endeavors at all, but early indications of the giftings, desires and plan that God has for my life. Talking with the Lord about this, I am reminded of several scriptures:
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end — even the wicked for a day of disaster. Proverbs 16:3-4
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:3-6
I am reminded that not only will God give to us what we desire in our hearts as a Father gives good gifts to His children, but He will give us the desires that we are to have so He can fulfill them. It is His purpose that prevails, so even when I can’t see more than a few feet in front of my face, He knows what’s going on and will work everything out to its proper end. The Lord is teaching me to replace my old questions with new ones; what desires are growing in my heart? What am I passionate about? What is the Lord saying? What direction has He already given me?
How liberating to accept this truth! I don’t have to know all the plans, but by committing my ways to Him and delighting myself in Him, I will find myself walking down the right path. How encouraging to realize that the desires in my heart and the things I enjoy, may actually be part of His master plan for my life. It is good to commit my way to the Lord and I am excited to see His plan continue to unfold.