In the last few months it has become abundantly clear that everything I believe was meant to happen, according to God's plan, has fallen into place without me worrying or stressing. Let's run through some examples shall we?
- In high school, I didn't have a lot of friends and consistently found myself at home on the weekends, on MySpace/Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr. I came across a bulletin from Katelyn Tarver on Myspace requesting volunteers to represent their states on her Street Team. Prior to that bulletin I had heard of street teams, but the commitment scared me. For whatever reason, though, when I saw Katelyn's post I didn't even think before volunteering. Long story short, I went on to represent several up-and-coming bands and realized my passion for promotion. This lead me to have full confidence in my major as I entered college: Public Relations/Advertising.
- During college orientation, my leader was discussing the importance of campus involvement and went into detail about the programming organization at the university. This particular organization was famous for putting on large concerts. I signed up that day to be a committee member and applied for a position (without hesitation) for the second semester of my freshmen year. This organization brought me incredible opportunities, experiences (resume builders), connections and amazing, lasting friendships. Admittedly, my third year was a huge struggle as major changes occurred. It lead me to walk through a valley in my life and collegiate career, but that, too, was meant to happen. I came out of that stronger, wiser and ready to embrace new opportunities.
- My freshmen year was also when I started applying for my second job, after a short, miserable stint at Chuck E. Cheese's. I accepted my interview and then job at a telemarketing firm, meanwhile getting offered an interview at a local company with a great reputation. Thinking back, I had already accepted the telemarketing job when this other company called me, but again, without hesitation, I took the interview and the job. This is the same company I celebrated three years with this fall. It has been absolutely ideal for all of my scheduling and financial needs during college. I can confidently say that the Holy Spirit led me to take that interview even though I had already accepted a new job.
- When I finally decided to go through sorority recruitment in the summer before my junior year, I struggled with knowing with complete certainty if I should do it and which chapter I was to join. But, once I realized the connection I had with this particular chapter and the lovely Christian background/biblical references in the creed, I knew this was the chapter God wanted me in. Then when the Director of Social Events position opened up, I just wrote out the application from the heart and chose to not worry about the outcome (when I normally have major anxiety over applications). I prayed that God's will would be done, "If it's your will, I pray that I will get the position, if it's not your will, I pray I won't get the position." Turns out, I got the position, and absolutely loved it (stresses of event planning included).
- In January I attended a new church, a few weeks before its public launch and after church hopping for months. I casually tweeted after that first service I went to that, "I think I found my new home church." Again, no stress in the decision, but that tweet was absolutely right.
- Lastly, when I heard about the opportunity to go to London with my school, God really gave me constant signs that it was His plan for me to go. I even tried backing out at one point, at fear that I wouldn't have enough money, but with the unexpected generosity of my family, I was able to pay the deposit and the trip on time without any problems. Then, with the cooperation of my job (and understanding of my sorority, friends and family), I was able to work extra to have a comfortable amount of spending money-resulting in the trip of a lifetime. To put it more bluntly, I worked my butt off to be able to spend without any sort of stress in the city that I had dreamed of going to since the fourth grade.
Now, more specifically to life right now. As my college graduation approaches in May, I am constantly asked what I am going to do after school. In general, I just respond with, "I don't know yet/Stay in town for sure/Don't ask me that." In reality, my safe choice and easy answer would be to move up in the ranks at my current job. It's a respectable company and I already "have my foot in the door," as I am reminded. However, I have been convinced this semester that while I still love promotion, communication, PR and advertising, I don't want to use those skills for just anything. It's hard for me to admit that I have "talent" in the areas of writing, editing, graphic design, etc. As I grow more confident in my abilities, I realize that these talents are spiritual gifts from the Lord. As if I wasn't already receiving confirmation from God that this was a revelation from the Holy Spirit, I volunteered to be a part of the creative team and wedding coordinator's team at my church... and then on New Year's Eve as I read 1 Corinthians 14, there was one verse that stuck out more than the rest.
Verse 12 (NIV): So it is with you. Since your are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church.
This simply confirmed that I want to use my talents to bring glory to God and promote Jesus in our city, and beyond. Life without Jesus is wasted and worthless. Life with Jesus is the fulfillment of God's love and grace. We can live with a purpose beyond ourselves, which gives life meaning. Right now, there isn't even a paid position in existence at my church for communications. There is a position at my current job that is exactly what I thought I wanted in a job; it's the safe, obvious option. But after praying about the position and the future, I feel confident that I am not supposed to apply for the safe option, but hold on to God's promise that he has a purpose for me and will use the skills he's given me to bring him glory. Working in ministry won't be easy. In fact, I can already foresee challenges in my faith and character. All that being said, I know that,"if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." And I believe 2014 will be a year of beautiful, amazing changes in my life.
Here's to a year of serving Christ: in my faith, in my relationships, in my physical health, in my time, in my conversations, and in my graduation and career. Here's to 2014.