Consider your talents. Consider your passions. Consider your dreams. Do any of these things trickle into your day to day life as often as you’d like? Or do you sometimes go weeks or months without catching a glimpse of their shadow? I sometimes envy those that are working in the field that they’re passionate about right out of high school or college, but for the most part, those people are make up a small percentage of us. In fact, sometimes it’s even hard for me to pinpoint what I see myself doing in 5 or 10 years from now.
My best friend knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse; and guess what? Right after high school, she went to college, and after many long nights of studying and early morning classes, she finally got those hard-earned two letters added to the end of her name and became an amazing Labor and Delivery RN. I admire that kind of passion and drive for something that God has placed in you at a young age. However, some of us just don’t know yet.
I don’t think it’s admitted enough that some of us don’t know exactly what we are set out to do yet and it seems like it’s never said that THAT’S OKAY. I have tried endlessly to filter and calibrate my passions and talents to align with something I could call a dream or goal and so far, I haven’t landed on anything concrete. At age 5, I wanted to be a singer. At age 17, I wanted to model. At age 21, I wanted to be a writer. Today, I think it’d be really cool own my own clothing boutique. But you know what? I still love to sing. I’m still always down to do photo shoots with my photographer friends whenever they ask. I still love to write (Obviously. Thanks Thought Catalog!). My point is, our passions are placed in us for a reason. Whether some of them become a life-long career that surfaces later or some of them are to simply get us through our parents’ divorce or the death of a loved one.
I believe God uses the passions that He’s placed in us to teach us things and I also believe that he uses the seemingly mundane to open our eyes. Do I think I’ll be a receptionist that stuffs over 200 envelopes a day and calms down irate patients calling about their overdue bills, forever? I sure hope not, but every day I try to seek out what God is teaching me. In fact, this entire article started as a seed that He planted last week. I was doing my usual, answering a million phone calls while simultaneously doing piles of paperwork. I was getting annoyed at how slow the day was going despite the massive work load I had to keep me busy and the countless frustrated people I had talked to. I was questioning to myself, “Is what I’m doing even making a difference in MY life? I’m just doing this stuff because someone has to take care of it.” And as clear as God has ever spoke to me and as quickly as I’ve ever heard Him, he whispered “You’ve done that your whole life. I like that about you.” It’s a good thing I’m the only person in the reception area because I an instant emotional wreck for a good 3 minutes. I so desperately needed to hear that from Him. That He saw me doing what needed to be done, not just in that moment but in my past as well. Things I thought didn’t add value to my life, He quickly quieted those lies I was telling myself and let me know He was proud of me for always trying to be that kind of person for someone or do that tedious job.
I thought about that comment all day and I realized then that at this point in my life, He is working on my character before he develops my passions and dreams. If I stripped Jesus away and defined myself based on me alone, without all of the healing that He has done in my life, it wouldn’t be pretty. Over the years, He’s helped me shed so many different labels that either I or the world had placed on me: broken, anxiety-controlled, untrusting, angry, resentful, unworthy, used, unimportant…last. I could go on and on about the things He’s had to deliver me from, sometimes over and over. Yet, there is still work to be done. As I am now, I might not be ready for all that He has for me.
When you’re wanting your outside circumstances to change but Jesus is keeping you planted while growing a seed in you to change your heart and your character, it’s hard. Everyone else’s life always looks put together and other people’s accomplishments often feel like failures of your own but we can’t see their roots, just like they can’t see ours. Someone making $100,000+ a year could have the career part of their life figured out but they’re still struggling with contentment because they never allowed God to develop their roots. So if that’s what God is working on in you, lean into it; it’s the good stuff. Know that it means you are destined for greater and He’s giving you deep, strong roots before you shoot up from the ground. Seeing the growth and importance in the seemingly small things can mean the difference in you becoming a strong resilient tree planted by the stream of His blessings, instead of a small flower that can be easily ripped up.
Of the endless things we can learn from God in our season of waiting, how to lean on and trust in the complete and perfect knowledge our Maker has of our entire life from start to finish, is one of the most important things. He knows our purpose, exactly where we’re going, and how long we need to be there, down to the minute, before he opens another door for us and leads us into another unknown but fruitful place. We need to trust that he holds the bigger picture for our life, even when all we can see is that it’s 9:37 a.m on a tired Wednesday and we feel uncertain of what road we’re on and where we’re going. When you stop trying to lead and let God hold your hand, there’s no such thing as wandering.