I had a dream, and that dream lead me to Ellerslie. I wanted to become a missionary. Rescue orphans like Amy Carmichael or Gladys Aylward. Live a life the likes of which future Christians would write and read biographies about. And I saw Ellerslie as my first step toward that.
But even before I left for that blessed little Bible school, my focus began to shift. My desires began to change. Instead of the life of a missionary, it became Jesus Himself that I wanted to gain at Ellerslie. He began to teach me that when I put Him first, when I seek Him first, everything else will fall into place.
I laid down my vision for the future so that I could undistractedly go after Jesus. But eventually that season of growing began to come to a close, and it was time to look forward once again.
Jesus had brought me to a place where I was okay with unknowns and trusted Him to guide me. But I wasn’t making any decisions for my future or going after any kind of future because I didn’t feel “lead.”
Then one night at Ellerslie, one of the staff asked us, “Do you trust God to guide you?” Of course we students said yes. “Then make decisive decisions,” he said. Don’t put your trust in your own ability to discern God’s voice; put your trust in His ability to lead. Then, knowing that He will lead you, and that if you start going in the wrong direction, He will show you, make decisive decisions.
I felt so inspired after that and a deeper trust in God began to take shape in me. This is something I continue to be passionate about; we don’t need to know where God is leading us before we move forward. We simply need to trust our Guide, then take the next step.
I knew that night I wanted to start studying Spanish again. At some point, I also made the decision to do a second year of what was then Ellerslie’s Practicum program.
My Own Understanding
For the second year, I had to choose a track of study. As I looked through the options, I felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to grow in verbal communication and interacting with kiddos. One track fit this perfectly: education! But there was a problem. I didn’t think I’d be any good at teaching… and teaching, to me, sounded like a pretty miserable job. But I went after it, with an, “If You say so, Lord…” attitude.
That’s how I discovered that I have a gift for teaching. And by the end of that school year, I realized that teaching was the most life-giving job I’d ever had.
Jesus knows best, guys!!! He will never lead you astray!
So I learned to not lean on my own understanding. Sometimes that means moving forward when I don’t feel like I’ve been given a specific direction from the Lord. Other times that means following where He leads me, even when it seems to go against what I feel. Either way, moving forward was an act of trusting the Lord.
And these exercises in trusting the Lord were what I needed for what He had next! I saw dreams die before they came true… but more about that next time. 🙂