For the Girl Who Doesn't Know What To Do with Her Life
“So… What are you doing with your life?” he said.
“I don’t know,” I reluctantly replied as I stared at the floor.
Too quickly he shot back, “You could at least work at McDonald’s.”
Heat painfully poured over my body and the words shot into my heart like an arrow, as if they were attempting to affirm my worst fears. I had just graduated from college a few short weeks ago. I was the first in my family to graduate from a university, as if that didn’t feel like enough insurmountable pressure to do something with my degree, let alone to do something with my life for that matter. Now a member of my extended family was questioning me on the spot. What was I going to do with my life? What was I supposed to do with my life? Shouldn’t I have the answers to these questions by now? One of my greatest fears was that I now had this fancy college degree and nothing to show for it. I was afraid of being a fraud and of being found out that this piece of paper, also known as a college degree, stating my worldly qualifications would all be for nothing.
Please understand I am not in any way sharing this story as a means of looking down on those who do hold jobs at fast food chains. That is not at all the point I am making here. These words spoken to me were not offered as a helpful suggestion, they were spoken with the intent to belittle and hurt me. These words came in the form of an attack on my worth and my identity.
In order to understand your life, you have to first understand that we live in a world at war. You do have an enemy and our world is broken. The enemy cannot read your thoughts, but he has studied you and he knows how God wants to powerfully use you and he will do everything he can to thwart that plan and derail you from your divine destiny. The last thing the enemy wants is for you to realize your worth, identity, and power in God’s Kingdom.
A lot of high school and college graduates have reached out to me with fears of not knowing what to do with their lives. I get it. I was there, too. Honestly, part of me is still there. I’ve far from gotten this whole ‘adulting thing’ figured out. Somehow we have formed this wrong perception that when we arrive at a specific point in our lives or a certain age THEN we will have all of the answers and our lives figured out!
So let’s set the record straight: Friends, that place simply does not exist. I don’t think we will ever have our lives all figured out. We won’t have all of the answers on this side of Heaven, but we can choose to rest in the One who does know. God not only sees where you are, He sees where you are going. He knows the plans He has for you and they are good. The beauty of this life isn’t in the mastery, it’s in the mystery of walking it out with Jesus. All of the disappointment in the world cannot outweigh God’s promises over you.
A key component of knowing who you are is knowing Whose you are and recognizing the beautiful gifts God has given to you. Who were you before the the world told you who to be? What sets your heart on fire and makes you come alive? Those gifts are a part of what makes you uniquely and beautifully you and they all play a part in you becoming who God made you to be. Kingdom identity always unlocks Kingdom destiny. You, beautiful, have an irreplaceable role to fulfill in this Kingdom crowned, victory story.
Following college graduation, I thought I was going to work for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I had my degree in event management. I had worked with the foundation at the state, national, and international offices. I had coordinated celebrity wish grants and assisted with galas across the country. I had spent the last eight years attending galas and standing on stage with my cousin Jeff as his artwork sold for thousands of dollars for charity. I even had the opportunity to promote Make-A-Wish through my involvement with pageantry. From my point of view, the obvious (and comfortable) thing to do with my life was to land an event management position with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. But that wasn’t how God saw it from His perspective.
I was walking and talking with God along the sandy shores of a beach on the island of St. John. I was really wrestling with this fear of not knowing what to do with my life. God told me that all of those open doors and opportunities were to prepare me for the position He had prepared for me. He showed me memories of the gifts he had given to me since childhood; gifts of writing, memory, speaking, encouragement, and storytelling. I tried to argue with God and tell Him he had the wrong girl for this calling. I didn’t go to school for this, I was far from qualified! I wasn’t planning on writing and speaking, and it was miles away from my comfort zone! I don’t like the spotlight, I’m terrified of being in front of the camera, and I would much rather blend in than be seen or heard. As I blinked tears out of my eyes, there in front of me I stumbled upon the most perfect spiral shell. I observed the shell in my hands. The center of the shell started with an insignificant point and grew with size and ripples until it formed the entirety of the shell. God told me, “This is where you stand today. You are at the starting point. It doesn’t look like much from your point of view, but I see where I am leading you and I see this journey from beginning to end and it is beautiful and it is good. Will you trust me and go with me?”
You will not miss the point of this season of your life when you are walking with Jesus. Relationship with Jesus is the whole point. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a purposeless position in your life. Moments before I purchased the domain for Chosen To Reign, I almost gave up this calling by trying to reason my way out of it. Jesus interrupted my tumultuous thoughts and said, “Get out of the boat.” (See Matthew 14:22-36)
Three years ago after college graduation, had you told me I would create my own business to empower and encourage thousands of young women through writing and speaking I would have doubted and said you were crazy. But God is pretty wild that way. Walking with God will require risk and growth often feels uncomfortable. You don’t have to know all the answers or see exactly where your life is going, you just have to trust the One who does. In order to walk on water, first you have to step out in faith and get out of the boat. Waves of doubt will come, the choice between faith or fear will always be there, but so will Jesus. You will have to risk being misunderstood. Walking on water may sound crazy, but isn’t it worth being called crazy to walk on water anway? No matter what, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. You may not see where your life is headed but He does and it is so incredibly good.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not yet see. - Hebrews 11:1
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." - Deuteronomy 31:8
"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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." - Jeremiah 29:11-13