The single most important thing any human being can do is trust God’s plan.
I think especially as a college student, it is SO difficult to try to figure out what the heck we want to do with our lives. We are told one path provides the most job security and highest income. Another path we might enjoy the job a little bit more, but the pay isn’t as good. Another job might be a good fit because it’s what our parents did. And another one might be a good route because our teachers told us we were good at it and could be successful. But, what about the job that God created you to do? What about using God’s gifts he gave you in a way that brings you the utmost joy, fulfills your desires, and also serves Him? What about your sole purpose that only YOU were put on earth to do?
This is something I have SO struggled with since starting college. The world tells us to do the job that you can get by with that brings in a sufficient income to live that you think you’ll like for the rest of your life. Society wants us to pick one thing when we’re eighteen years old and settle on that as your life’s work. At least in my experience that’s the pressure that I’ve felt and I think a lot of college students can relate.
I started college dead set on graduate school. Nothing was going to stop me and I was ready for the challenge. I thought I wanted to go to school to be a physical therapist. I did some shadowing and realized it was a bit too slow-paced for me. So, I looked for my next option. I shadowed an occupational therapist. I figured it was similar to PT, but maybe there was something about that that would spark my interest. I enjoyed it to an extent, but it didn’t click for me. I shadowed a couple of different therapists, but it still didn’t feel right. So by this time I was about to be a junior in college still not really sure what I was going to do with my degree that I had planned around graduate school. So, I decided I thought for sure I wanted to be a physician’s assistant. I was going to have to take extra classes for prerequisites and it was going to be a long process but this had to be what I was made to do. I shadowed a PA for a whole semester and I truly was interested in what I was seeing; however, again my burning passion to fulfill that career wasn’t there. I tried to put myself in that setting for forty hours a week and it just didn’t sit right with me.
So at this point, I’m like what the heck is wrong with me? How does everyone else just know what they want and I’m sitting here with no idea what my future will look like? I’m a junior in my second semester freaking out because I don’t have my life mapped out anymore. I was involved in a health program in high school that gave me the opportunity to explore the hospital and various careers. My mom was a registered nurse. I thought for sure I was designed for patient care in some area. I struggled. I didn’t know which decision was the right one. I know I have a big heart for people, but why didn’t I just have this motivation to be a nurse, or a physical therapist, or a physician’s assistant? Or any patient care type of job? I was lost and couldn’t understand myself.
I had been praying and praying about this for quite some time. I think I had so many thoughts and feelings from so many directions I never allowed myself the opportunity to really hear God. And one day, I was sitting in my living room in my apartment on a winter morning and God spoke to me so clearly.
“Why are you chasing after worldly success? I have something so much bigger for you.”
I bawled. He was SO right. I was 1000% chasing after 1. job security 2. a substantial income that could buy me things 3. the letters behind my name 4. all of that “success” and pride. And I’m not at all saying that being a physical therapist or a physician’s assistant are prideful bad careers. We need those kinds of people who have a passion for it, love what they do, and did it because it was what was meant for them. They’re fantastic careers. But, I’m saying the reason I personally was going after those was for the wrong reasons. I tried to make myself want to do them. All reasons that would have left me miserable and empty had I chosen those paths.
From that day on, I made a choice. I made a choice that was very difficult for me to make. A choice that a lot of people probably did and still think I’m crazy for. I left those paths behind and chose a new one. I chose God’s path, a path that was complete fog. And let me be the first to tell you not having a plan has been the best and hardest thing for me. Not having a post-graduation plan with a degree that you’re not entirely sure how you’re going to use appears “unsuccessful” to a lot of people which was an appearance I never wanted to have. I have always been the girl with a plan who was motivated and wanted to do big things. But, God has humbled my heart tremendously.
The past ten months have been full of uncertainty. I’ll be graduating in April. Whenever people ask me what my plan is I tell them I honestly have no idea. I have some general ideas, but not a real plan. I don’t need one. And why? I know God is testing my trust for Him. He wants me to trust Him fully in whatever He has set out for my future.
God wants us to fulfill the calling He has for our lives. He places desires, passions, talents, and things that bring us joy to our hearts all for a reason. I am a firm believer that every single person should utilize these gifts that God gives us and calls us to use for His glory. Whatever humbles your heart, fires you up, and utilizes these special elements that He placed in you is what I truly whole-heartedly believe you should be pursuing lifelong.
And how do we know or figure out these callings? By drawing closer to the Lord. The more time you spend with Him, talking to Him, listening to Him, spending it in His word, in podcasts, whatever works for you and brings you closer to understanding His will for your life. He opens and closes doors when you ask Him. He leads you when you ask Him. He unravels the uncertainty when you’re ready for it.
And by the way, your calling can be at any point in your life and your calling can change. Maybe you’re in a career that you don’t like at all and know it’s not what you were meant to do. Well, it’s not too late. It might seem like it’s “too hard” to follow God’s will, but the real question is how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to follow Him and feel true joy in what you’re doing? He didn’t intend for us to live life and our careers unhappy.
Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
He wants you to do what he created you to do. Don’t let worldly success blind that beautiful vision for your life. You have passions, desires, and gifts that He has specifically instilled in you for a special purpose that only you can fulfill. Don’t be ashamed of them. Don’t think utilizing them is impossible because they’re there for a reason. Trusting in God’s plan for your life is the best and hardest decision you might ever make. But ultimately, if you follow His ways, you will find the greatest joy, satisfaction, and happiness doing what know you were made to do.
And as for me, I’m not sure what that is quite yet. My plan is God’s plan and I’m praying and waiting for whatever He wants to use me for. I suggest you do too.
And just a side note, I was completely set on studying for hours tonight. But, I felt a nudge to write this post that I had already drafted the title for. So what I’m trying to say is, I truly hope someone reading this tonight desperately needed to hear this because the good Lord had your back. This post is for you.