My future. This is something that has been a question mark, exclamation point, period, and back to question mark several times within the last year and a half. I’ve given up so much to follow where I felt God was leading me, but man, it hasn’t been easy. At all. Sure, I’ve met some incredible people, made some awesome memories, sought after God, but the question still remains. “Where am I going to end up after I graduate in May?” Entering into my senior year of college has made this question more real and pressing than it has ever been. Throughout the last few years, my ideas about my future have changed several times. Those of you who know me relatively well know what I’m talking about. To go into the details of all that will take way too much time, and frankly, I don’t feel like going through it all. All that matters is that I’ve ended up where I am.
Over this summer, my plans have changed yet again. Although the change is relatively minor, it is a change nonetheless. As a side note, I need to be careful to not “boast about the future” as James warns about in James 4:13-17. After reading through James, I realized that I do this way too much. I would think that I would have learned that by now with how unpredictable my life has been thus far, but I obviously have not. It’s all a process, right? Anyway, back to the point of this whole schpeal. Previously, my plans had been to, upon graduation, possibly go to Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and participate in their Discipleship Training School (DTS) and after that 6-month program apply to be on staff with YWAM to lead trips and whatnot.
Well, after much thought and introspection, I came to the conclusion that, although I love missions trips, and I definitely want to be involved in many more in the future—a few a year if possible—I don’t think I want to be a full-time missionary. This was a tough decision for me to make because of the whole argument of “What has God called you to?” When Donald Miller spoke at the Oaks last semester, he said something that made a lot of sense to me and seemed very in line with the character of God and Scripture. He said that he didn’t think God necessarily cares what you do, as long as you’re doing it with Him. I completely believe when our desires begin to match up with His desires, we cannot be anything but in His will. After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (ESV).
In light of this, I began to search my heart for what desires God has put in my heart. I thought of the things that made me feel strengthened. Things that if the opportunity arose, that I would be excited to do and know that I would be able to do it. After much thought, I realized that I love to talk to people. More so than talk, I like to listen to people. Specifically boys, anywhere from kids to young adults. Simply put, I just want to be able to influence, guide, and be a helping hand to anyone who needs one. That’s it. So this leads me to what I want to do with my future. Lord willing, I would love to go to the University of North Texas to earn a Master’s in Counseling. I guess actually saying, Lord willing seems weird to me. Point is, I know He knows exactly what’s best for me, and if this is something through which I can glorify Him, He’ll provide a way for this to take place. I also know that if it may not work out, and if it doesn’t, there will be something else. So these are my plans for now.
After reading David Platt’s Radical I’ve begun to really consider making his church, The Church at Brook Hills, in Birmingham, AL my home church. Hearing his heart, the heart of his church, their focus, and reading through their website, I think I would absolutely love it there. Their emphasis on community, missions, living simply, prayer, and just loving people, is exactly in line with what I want my life to be about. I’ve been browsing through ways to serve at their church, and one opportunity that really struck a chord with me is their need for special needs buddies. They just need people to be one-on-one with a special needs child for a service to allow the child’s parents to attend the worship service. I have always had a heart for special needs kids, and I think I would love that.
But anyway, like I said, these are just my plans as of right now. If the Lord doesn’t let me know specifically in one way or another to change these plans in any way, then this is what I’m going with.