When I was a teenager, there was one question that I hated above all others.
“What do you want to study in college?”
This question could take on many forms. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” “What are you doing after high school?” “Where are you going to college?”
Whatever form it took, the question assumed that I had a vision for my future, that I knew what I wanted to do, that I had a plan.
I didn’t. And it bothered me that I didn’t. I don’t like being in a place where I don’t know what’s next.
So I decided I needed to make a plan. I picked a career I could see myself at least not hating – veterinary medicine. I was going to study at a local community college and then transfer to another university to pursue my doctorate. I had a plan, and it felt good!
Then, one day, I realized something. I had never asked God what He thought about all this. This started to nag at me until I got on my knees and laid everything before Him. The thing I dreaded the most happened; I lost all desire to pursue veterinary medicine.
My future was completely blank, and I was scared.
Words of Life
God had so worked in me that by this point, I knew I wanted to get into some kind of ministry. But I wasn’t sure which one, or how.
And this wasn’t because I had no dreams or desires. Since I had been a preteen, I had desired to someday work with orphans in Central or South America. But I didn’t think it was possible. I wasn’t a strong enough Christian. I wasn’t qualified. I had so many flaws and weaknesses. I could never be a missionary.
I was embarrassed to even try going after such a thing, afraid that my dreams would be shut down by others. And part of me thought they would have been right to shut them down. I had found a Bible school called Ellerslie that I was drawn toward, but I didn’t think I was good enough even for that.
Then came graduation. My youth group had a special dinner to celebrate all the seniors. At the end, our fearless leader told stories about all of us and spoke words of encouragement to us.
When it came my turn, the very first thing he said was, “I see a missionary in Olivia.” He talked about the servant’s heart he saw in me. I came close to tears. It was as if he had breathed life into my dreams. For the first time ever, I thought maybe I could go after this calling.
Y’all, speak words of life to one another! Remind each other of the truth of Scripture. Remind each other who Jesus is. And when you see God at work in someone, let them know! Your words have the power to change the course of a person’s life.
And know this: God does not call the equipped; He equips those He calls. You ARE qualified for everything God is calling you into. Not because of who you are, but because of who HE is!
I still had no clue how I was going to end up on the mission field. Or even if I ultimately would. But Jesus taught me during this time to take the next step and trust Him to reveal the steps that would come later, when I need to take them.
So I took the next step: Ellerslie! Tune in next time to hear what happened there! Haha. 🙂