When I was in third grade, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer.
That Christmas, I asked my parents for a copy of “Law for Dummies” and a dictionary of “lawyer words,” both of which are now collecting dust on my bookshelf if they haven’t already been sold at a garage sale. Fifteen years later, I can’t even remember what part of my third-grade self thought that being a lawyer was the right fit for me – probably the part that believed there were only a handful of real “grown-up” jobs: doctor, lawyer, teacher, and maybe a couple others. Suffice it to say, God had other plans for my life.
I’ve shared in a previous post about how I stumbled upon my love for writing, so I won’t retell that story – I’ll just fast forward to college. When it came time to consider a major, I initially didn’t think of writing as an option. One year serving as editor of the high school paper had shown me that I didn’t want to be a reporter of any kind. I couldn’t think of any other careers that would flow out of a writing degree, so I became a Psychology major. Naturally.
Three very different majors and many restless nights later, I was convinced of three things: 1) I was passionate about writing, 2) I was good at writing, and 3) I could find a way to use the skill of writing to serve God. I dreamt of writing for Christian nonprofits and helping them raise support and awareness for their causes. Knowing these things, I made a decision. I changed my major for the fourth and final time. I became an English: Writing major and never once looked back… until I graduated, that is.
After experiencing such overwhelming peace upon deciding to actively pursue a career in writing, you can imagine my disappointment when I graduated from college with no job prospects and a still unclear idea of what this career path would look like. Needing to start working as soon as possible—because student debt—I took a job from the first company that offered me one. It was part-time and outside of my field, but I knew I had to start somewhere.
I ended up spending two years at that first job, questioning every life decision that brought me there and seriously doubting what God’s plan was for my life. Cover letter after cover letter. Interview after interview. NOTHING. I was baffled. I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but I essentially spent two years believing that God somehow “owed” me a successful writing career because I had faithfully followed Him in that direction. He needed to make good on His side of the formula – the one I created in my head that was both theologically flawed and seemed to be written in permanent marker.
Once my nose was officially numb from the impact of doors shutting in my face, I started rethinking things a bit. “I mean, if this is really what God wants for me, it should be coming a lot more easily,” said Jesus never. But after two years of “We regret to inform you…” emails, I was running out of steam. So I started thinking about other potential careers. Speech Language Pathology(SLP) and Marriage & Family therapy(MFT) were the top contenders. Right around the time that I was accepted into an MFT program in Pasadena, I was offered an entry-level position at a fundraising agency that represented non-profit organizations. It wasn’t a writing position, but it was in the nonprofit realm and would give me some proofreading experience for my resume. The timing was undeniably fortuitous.
So I took the job and made a deal with myself: I would defer my enrollment in the MFT program, work in this job for one year, and commit to diligently praying for wisdom and guidance in discerning the right path. At the end of that year, I would choose between going back to school and staying the track towards a writing career. But that decision wouldn’t take a whole year. By October – and through a series of events that I could not have predicted or orchestrated – I was a full-time writer on the Creative team at the fundraising agency I was working at. Today, I write for nonprofits, helping them raise support and awareness of their causes. That is actually my job. And it’s the coolest.
I’m telling this story for two reasons. One, to shed some light on my year-long hiatus from posting to this blog. I wrote my most recent post the same week that I signed the contract for my current job. Since then have been focusing a lot of my creativity, energy and time on learning my role and embracing this new form of writing. Every time I’ve thought about writing a new post in the past year, I’ve been overwhelmed at the task of explaining the extended white noise in this space – so I just haven’t posted anything. I guess you could say this is me finally choosing to change the channel.
More importantly, I’m sharing this story because it’s part of my testimony. And because I know that questions of purpose, career and calling are ones that people of all ages continue to face. I truly believe that God uses every part of us to fulfill different aspects of his purposes for our lives – and that for better or for worse, our moments of decision-making reveal the state of our hearts towards Him. In this season of my life, I define God’s faithfulness as His fiercely unrelenting ability to draw me deeper into relationship with Him while pushing me towards an earthly goal that will allow me to honor Him on this earth. That is the great gift of this season.
What to expect next: While I can’t in good-conscience commit to posting every week like before, I’m excited to generate some new content to share here. Instead of primarily posting short reflections, I’d like to start digging deeper and experimenting with some researched pieces of literary non-fiction on varied topics. I’m also in the early stages of linking this site to medium.com, which I have been told is a great space for shared content and creative collaboration.
All that to say, stay tuned. It won’t be another year before you hear from me again.