words to LIVE by #2

this is something i frequently talk to our teens about. i always want to encourage others & myself to follow dreams! but sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you planned. okay, lots of times… but sometimes a better dream comes along.

when i was in high school, i planned to be an architect who ran my own design-build company, living in a big city & traveling the world. i went to design school for architecture, & while i wasn’t extraordinary, i was good at it. and i loved it. but i learned during those undergraduate years & since then that enjoying something isn’t the same thing as it being your passion. of course, i’m the kind of person who’s passionate about lots of things, so this becomes hard for me to decipher sometimes. but i learned to ask these questions:

is it something i’m good at? 
is it something i would enjoy? 
is it something that evokes passion in me?
is it something i can do [realistically]? 
and most importantly, is it something i will sustain for more than 1-2 years?

because i like to do so many things, that last question is key. that’s actually the reason i chose architecture as my major — i thought it would combine all my various interests [art, building, math, literature & language, photography, etc.] so it could be a long-term career for me.

but my life doesn’t look anything like i planned as a teenager. and i’m so thankful for that! not that i can’t still see myself being a successful urbanite architect. but it wouldn’t have fed my deepest passions. instead, i’m married to a farm boy professor, living in a large town/small city, & doing ministry in various forms as my vocation. when we were working with the youth ministry, i often told the teens that had my life not taken a different course from my teenage dreams, i would have never known them. and i wouldn’t trade being with them for anything in the world. they are my passion. sharing the life in Christ with them & others is my deepest dream. i just didn’t know it back in high school.

i still have a life planned or dreamed of for myself, although it has changed drastically from the one i planned all those years ago. i want to continue in formal ministry. i want to have a houseful of children in some way [whether by birth, adoption, or youth ministry!]. i want to live my days in the companionship of my husband. i want to live closer to all my sisters. i want to travel. i want to write books. and on the list goes. and if none of those dreams comes true, it won’t be because i didn’t pursue them! but it will be because there was a different life waiting for me.

one of my favorite verses in the bible is after the israelites have recovered the ark of the covenant & samuel sets up a memorial stone to the Lord. He names it ebenezer, saying “thus far has the Lord helped us.” and the implication is that He will help us again. God will continue to guide me in this life, in the Life of Christ, as He has yet faithfully done. and i will follow.

what life do you have planned? what life is waiting for you?

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