Everything in my life pointed towards one goal: to be a magazine editor.
In high school, I interned at a local magazine.
I then majored in journalism and communications. I began working for the student newspaper the first week of college, and I finished college as the executive editor of all student publications.
I interned for Martha Stewart’s book division, and I spent my summer surrounded by editors from publishing companies and magazines.
The other things happening in my life seemed temporary and inconsequential compared to the steps towards my dream...
Traveling to Greece with my friend after my freshman year. Adding a public relations major to fill credit hours. Interning at a local missions organization. Leading teams to Greece to do refugee outreach. Dating an education major. These things were happening in the background of my life, and I had yet to see how God was going to use them.
After graduating from college, I accepted a full-time role in the communications department at the local missions organization. I began leading more teams to Greece. I settled in yet wondered what my next step would be.
I vividly remember the moment when I received an email from my former boss at Martha Stewart, asking if I would be interested in an editorial role at the company.
The next two months were filled with an anxious questioning. The question was not ‘could I’ but ‘would I’ - Would I leave my community? My relationship? My new job? The ministry I loved? Suddenly, my future seemed to split in two. Taking the next step towards my dream meant saying goodbye to everything God gave me in this season.
I decided that I would not.
With my decision came a deep feeling of loss. I felt that I failed in my pursuit of such a long-held goal, a pursuit that defined how I saw myself. But in the months that followed, God worked on my heart, aligning it with a different dream.
Psalms 37:4-5 says to "delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act."
These words were frequently on my mind as I committed more fully to this season of life instead of focusing on the ‘next step.’ The Lord gradually replaced the feeling of loss with excitement for new opportunities.
He gave me friendships with long-term missionaries serving Muslim peoples. He blessed me with a relationship with a man who hopes to teach internationally. He reminded me of the importance of the Great Commission - Jesus’ command to us to spread His Good News around the world - and my role in that.
He showed me how he was using those background things all along.
While this is not a grand testimony of God shifting me away from one dream to run full force in the direction of another - I have no set plans to move abroad or be a full-time missionary - it is a story about God quietly and gradually giving me trust in His plan rather than my own. Instead of loss of dream or identity, I have joy for the unknown future.
The girl who pursued her own dream whole-heartedly could never have imagined the life she has now. In the same way, how can I fathom what the next season will bring? God’s plans truly transcend our own, and when we delight in Him, His desires become ours.
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