It's commencement week and in just a couple of days, I'll get to walk across a stage and accept the victory of my achievement. It's not just the degree that I'm celebrating this week, but the new vision after many years of wandering, unsure of which direction to take.
Many know, I've tried multiple times to earn my masters degree. Each time I would start with excitement only to find myself freaking out and dropping out two months later. And I would rinse and repeat that cycle many times. It's not that the classes were too challenging or that I didn't enjoy what I was learning. I genuinely enjoyed every class I took (except that brutal finance class).
The problem was, I had no vision. I knew I wanted to get a masters degree, but I had no vision for what I would or could do with it. See, for many years, I wanted to be a social worker or therapist. I completed my undergraduate studies, worked in behavioral health, and had a plan and vision for where and what I wanted to be. But not long after completing my undergraduate studies and working with challenged youth, I found myself broken and lost, and the plans I had for my life no longer seemed to fit.
I found myself searching. I didn't know what other dreams or calling I could pursue. I found myself attempting to start non-profit organizations, creating curriculum to help girls know their identity, and writing devotionals. I attempted my first masters degree in business, only to quickly freak out, thinking "I wasn't a business person." I tried a second time with the same result. This pattern went on and on until five months ago, when I completed my degree in business executive leadership.
What I didn't realize through those years, was I had no vision. I wasn't sure of my calling or purpose, I wasn't even sure of my identity or design. I built a vision on a good idea but a faulty foundation, so when I rededicated my life to Christ and stepped away from my old plans, I needed to learn to dream again. I needed a new God vision for my life. Once I figured that out, I breezed through my degree with no problem. And it turns out, I am a business person afterall. I just needed time to grow into it.
Sometimes, we struggle or stumble because we have no God-vision for our lives. I've heard it said "if you can do your dreams on your own, those are not God-sized dreams." The thought is, God dreams much bigger for us.
My dream was to be a social worker and have a stable career.
God's dream was that I would be a writer, build Heartstance, write books and devotionals, and become a leader of leaders.
I could do my dream on my own (in theory, we really can't do anything alone). For God's dream, I needed His vision. I needed His foundation. I needed my identity in Christ.
For many years I thought I was behind or late with my life plans, but it turns out I'm right on time with the plans and vision God has for me.
Today, I'll get to try on my regalia and wear the robes of my new identity in Christ. Tomorrow, I walk across the stage and into the new vision, dreams, and purposes God always intended for me. My biggest lesson: God loves me too much to let me live a life of unfulfilled purpose. He created me for such a time as this, and I get to live like it.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish" - Proverbs 29:18
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11