Does everyone else's exploration and dream realization journey seem to be a well-planned, strategically propelled path, Each success adding to the planned ascent to a pre-determined end goal? Meanwhile, does your journey consists of a mishmash of haphazard bends and turns? Does it look like a disjointed dance with lady luck as she twirls you from one experience to another without rhyme or reason? You are my people.
I know that’s what my life looks like to those in my circle, inner and outer. Lately, friends have asked, “Laura, what are you doing now? Is this your goal or fad?” They look at me with unspoken concern, believing the twists and turns result from an aimless heart, a distracted purpose, or discontent in the marketplace. Is this indirect route taking me anywhere?
And I understand their concern - the last few years resemble the journey depicted in a Family Circus cartoon more than a planned career path. I wander here and scoot over there. Explore something under there, then instantly turn my attention way over there.
In the past fifteen years, I’ve worked in children’s ministry as a program coordinator and an academic customer service advisor at a university. I’ve completed a degree in Elementary Education, taught 3rd and 6th graders, and considered moving into Administration. Now, I write and edit for a women’s digital magazine and currently attend training as an inner healing coach. Boing. Boing. Boing.
Do you feel me? Are you wondering if there’s a connection to all of your experiences and interests? A purpose to all of your twists and turns?
I’ve found asking God for His perception reveals common threads and His purpose for my life. I see His guiding as I reimagine my life in this season. As I look with God at the common threads of each position I held, I know the truth of who I am, who God made me.
I started writing in my pink Holly Hobby diary as a 3rd grader - and never stopped. I wrote in high school when my English teacher suggested I join Yearbook and Newspaper and learned to love the power of well-placed, purposeful words. I wrote in journals throughout my years as a single parent, recording my victories, heartbreaks, and prayers. I wrote academic papers that taught me the value of critical thinking and using less to say more. I wrote plays, curricula, and short stories, pulling on experiences in program management and organization to a new creative outlet. I write devotionals, short stories, and magazine articles to inspire women to live life loved as a daughter to the King. And I love every minute of it. I am a writer.
I taught my daughter to read, love books, see her value, and trust her inner voice. I taught elementary students content, self-awareness, confidence, and their value as a human. I taught children God's stories, lessons, and His purpose for their lives. I showed adults how to navigate an online learning environment. I help women how to write their stories from healing and strength. I am a teacher.
I led teams to plan dynamic, child-centered weekend services, summer camp productions, and lessons. I coached adults struggling with academic requirements. I coach friends when they can’t see their purpose or need healing. I coach women to find the gold nuggets and God-infused healing in their journeys so they can share their stories with others. I coach others to find inner healing from brokenness through intimacy with Jesus. I coach.
I love helping people understand their value. I can’t help but speak into people’s lives and to their hearts (I hope) about the impact, growth, and possibilities I see as I watch them grow, learn and struggle to be their best version. I am an encourager.
As I look at my life, at the giftings and passions, God placed in me through His lens, my journey no longer seems aimless and haphazard. Every step, every job, every twist, and turn brought me closer to an authentic piece of myself and closer intimacy with Jesus. Jobs or situations that I thought wasted time or served as a distraction added another skill, another level of self-assuredness, another tool to my toolbelt. A toolbelt I use today and will continue to use in the future. Nothing in my past returns void. Nothing. Why? Because God loves me, and His promises are good, even when reimagining or dreaming for my future. And I no longer worry about what others think or see. I see Him.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Suppose you find yourself redirecting, changing lanes, or taking a twisted route to your next dream and struggling to understand the purpose. In that case, I lovingly challenge you to invite God into your conversation. Ask Him to show you the common threads of passion, skills, and interests that He’s highlighted throughout your life. Ask Him to show you the tools He’s given you along the way. He loves you, and as you follow Him, He has already provided so much of what you need.
God travels with you, even in the twists and turns. And with Him, you have everything you need. So go ahead, dare to reimagine your purpose - He’s already working out the path.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.