I believe God has everything figured out for my life. He knows my plans, my desires, my steps before I do.
I really think Paul means what he says in Romans 8:28, “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.” He will work out my life and my calling if I follow him, which I try to do everyday.
I also have no idea what the next season of my life looks like, and I really want to know now (or last month, but whatever.) I hate second guessing myself, my abilities and strengths- the rejections and unanswered job applications cut like a knife to my heart. I hate not knowing what’s next. I hate sitting idle in this in-between. I hate being stuck.
My internship has ended, so now I’m back to where I was last year: figuring out what the heck I want to do or what I even can do for a job. Because for love of Jesus I do NOT want to teach or do anything in education right now (honestly I need a break from kids), but I don’t have the experience to do anything but working with kids. I don’t have enough experience or don’t meet the requirements for any non-kid job I apply for, even ones I have the skills and degree to do. I’ve pigeon holed myself times infinity. It sucks. I was clueless about my job prospects before I took the internship; now I’m not as clueless, but more frustrated that I’m closer to knowing what I want to do, but can’t get a dang job doing it.
I turn 25 on Friday with no career or focus or goal or job prospects, or even and idea of what my future looks like, and this frustrates me to my very core. (And please don’t say “you’re young, you have time to figure it out!”or something of the sort-you may not think it matters, but it matters to ME.)
I don’t want this post to feel like a pity party, but I’m just so stuck and frustrated and exhausted.
I’ve been officially done with my internship for a week. With the exception of one application (for a perfect job for me, that I still haven’t heard anything from), I took a break from the job hunt. I needed to rest and recuperate from an exhausting (albeit wonderful) season of working. I needed some space to breathe. But it wasn’t far from my mind- it rarely is these days.
Now that week is over. I’ve got to get back into gear looking for things I’m qualified for. But I don’t know where to effing start. I just don’t know exactly what I want–or how to find a job that I want that won’t automatically say no for lack of experience. I know what I don’t want, but that’s not really helping me right now.
I just want some sense of direction, something that won’t slam a door in my face.
I was listening to the always-wonderful Annie Downs interview worship leader and musician Chris McClarney on her podcast (it was a great and hilarious interview). They got to talking about his career and how he does multiple jobs at once (worship leading, commercial performing/touring, and songwriting), and their conversation turned into talking about God and plans and things of the like.
When Annie asked him about his different jobs, and figuring out what to do next, he replied, “I’ve always walked through open doors, and waited for the Lord to tell me to stop.”
He then talked about how people tend to wait around for a moment where God tells them what to do or where to go next instead of just walking trough the open door God has provided. Annie went on to add, “they don’t want to see three open doors, they want God to tell them the right open door.”
She hit the nail on the head, at least for me.
I want one door. Just one. Preferably already open, ready for me to walk through without risk or uncertainty. Please, Jesus.
I tend to do a lot of second guessing about a lot of things in my life, and the future is probably the one that I overthink the most.
Is this door really open? Is this the right one? What about the others? Are we really sure I should go through this door? What if it’s not the right one? What if I mess it up?
I don’t just walk through like Chris does, without (over)thinking my choice, trying to figure out if this is *really* what God wants from me. I struggle with outright trusting that I’m making the right decisions– in reality, I’m struggling more with trusting that God really knows what he’s doing, and that I couldn’t do it better myself. (Total pride/control thing, I know this about myself. Still working on it). Instead of just trusting that God has opened this door for me to walk through, I hem and haw and question at every turn, hoping God will put a big neon sign on the right door so I know for sure this is where I’m supposed to go.
That’s not my current struggle, though. Right now, I’m struggling more with finding any door willing to open. I would take having to choose between three doors if it meant I had doors to walk through.
What do you do when you have no doors to choose from? When every door that is possibly cracked open gets slammed shut? What do you do when you just don’t know where any open door is?
I wish I knew. Because it feels like I’m stuck in a room with no doors or windows, no way through to what’s next.
I can’t help but think I should have this all figured out by now. Or at least I should have an idea of how to figure this all out. But I feel so clueless.
No doors in sight. I don’t even know what one would look like if it was in front of me. Or what would be behind it.
The last thing Annie said in this job/doors discussion really got my attention.
You know you are not going to miss Him, right? If you are saying, “God I want your best for my life,” you are not going to miss him.
I’m not going to miss him no matter what I end up doing. This is both comforting and annoying to me. Comforting knowing that God is with me no matter what, wherever I go he will support me. Is annoying because I want a definitive answer, dang it! I want to know what path I’m supposed to go down, which door I’m supposed to walk through without fear or regret. I love knowing I’m not going to miss him, no matter where I go, but I would love to have at least an idea of where to go.
Chris talked about when he was in a season of transition, and he heard God say to him, “what do you want to do?” He’d never thought of that, he said, but it made him think about how God had given him desires and the like, so he decided that those were what he was going to focus on instead of finding the “right” job or the perfect way. He trusted that God had put these talents, passions, and desires in him for a reason; God gave him the freedom to pursue those things, and opened the doors that allowed him to do so.
I want that ability to trust God like that, to trust that he has put in me the desires of my heart, and that He’s given me the skills to accomplish those desires He’s put in me. I want the freedom to pursue the passions and I have, with the talents He has given me.
But how do I know what skills and talents I have for this purpose? What if this talent or that skill isn’t meant to be a part of my purpose, but is just supposed to be a hobby?
How do I know my desires are the ones given from God, not my own desires? How do I determine what is my passion and what is a fleeting thought or in-the-moment desire?
Where do my passions and desires turn into marketable skills I can use to make a career, or where can I turn those skills and passions into a job opportunity that I won’t be rejected from?
I want to believe that God has given me these talents and skills to do something I’m passionate about, something he has placed a desire and dream in me to do. I want to do something meaningful for a living, something I’m passionate about, and something I’m good at– somewhere my skills and dreams collide.
But is this an actual possibility? From all the applications rejected, unanswered inquiries, interviews declined, jobs unoffered, dream jobs dashed,and tears shed I’m starting to doubt so.
I wish I could end this post with a tidy bow or sweet anecdote, a glimmer of hope the midst of the hard or encouraging charge per my usual. But I can’t right now.
Maybe when all these doors stop slamming in my face.