I have decided to take my own advice.
I am frequently asked, "How did you get the courage to start your own business? How did you know what to do? I want to do [something other than what I'm doing now] but I have no idea where to start." And I almost always answer, "Figure out how you can do what you love and get paid for doing it. Pray. Pray. Pray. Then take the next step." I find that most people want to know what the path looks like that will take them from Point A to Point B. That's just not realistic, it's also not very much fun!
Take into consideration this passage from Psalm 119: "Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." Those that have been apart of the Christian culture for a long time know this better as the Amy Grant song: Thy Word
. Loooove it. I used to sing it while my junior high bestie, Jen, played it masterfully on the piano. Alas, I digress. I mention that piece of Scripture because as Master of the Universe, God already knows how we are to get from Point A to Point B and how the path will point our hearts and others toward Jesus for healing, freedom, liberation, and grace. I truly believe that no matter where Point A is (a lonely marriage, a hair-raising parenting situation, a bored-to-tears work environment, younameit)we are best off seeking God for directions to Point B (a joyfilled marriage with that spouse, a support group for parents like you, a job that you love, letHimnameit). God's Word to us is clear that we should seek Him first and that we can find Him in the Holy Scriptures. Also known as the Bible, for clarity's sake.
What He has shown me over the years is that when I seek Him, I will find Him, and He will give me just enough light for the next step. His Word is a lamp unto my path...not a GPS that gives directions for the entire route as soon as I enter in the destination.
Is this making sense?
Like I said, I'm taking my own advice: "Pray. Pray. Pray. Then take the next step." I've already figured out what I love to do and how to get paid for doing it. I am a storyteller at my core. I have told stories to anyone that would listen since...well at least since elementary school. I got in trouble for it then but I'm planning to get paid for it now. I have gotten to speak at several women's events and I have a blast doing it...as well as the discussion that follows. I had a lot of ministry connections in Colorado but now I'm in Austin. I don't know where to begin. I don't know how to get new people to trust that I can tell a story, make sense, be funny, and inspire others when they've never heard me.
So, in taking my own advice, I have slowed down (my mind was racing with things I thought I should be doing) and thought about my truest desires. Here are a few:
1. To glorify God.
2. To be true to myself as God made me.
3. To encourage single moms and to help others know how to support them.
4. To go where He sends me.
I have prayed about the next step. I believe it is this: Find a Mentor. So, I'm asking around. Jen Hatmaker recently told me to "Keep your eyes
peeled...sometimes these connections are surprising and don't look exactly
like you thought" after asking if she would be available to mentor me. What can I say? I start at the top! Her words are wise and a good reminder to "go where He sends me". So I'm looking for a mentor and I'm also blogging. But you know what? I don't really like to write stories, I like to speak them. So I believe I'll be video blogging in the near future. Of course, this will involve outlining some stories, setting up a YouTube account, and figuring out how to record myself on my iPhone. But hey, that sounds pretty fun!
And then here's the goodie. Today, as I was talking to God about all of this, He reminded me that this journey should be about quality, not quantity. Anytime I have an idea that points to God and not to me, I know God put the thought in my heart. On this journey, quality means immersing myself in the Scriptures so that my stories are infused with God's stories. It means training myself to write, speak, and network in the ways known to be best practices. It means dedicating free time to it: sacrificing leisurely reading for industry/spiritual reading, sacrificing TV time for Vlog time, etc. Bottom line: I'm not going to get to Point B without a lot of hard work. And I want to arrive there because people were touched by stories, came back for more, and told their friends about me. I want to arrive there because I pointed people to Jesus and they couldn't get enough of Him.
I realize that I'm not going get from Point A to Point B overnight. Of course I want to get there overnight, I'm human. But I've traveled enough to know that the journey is sweetest when I let God be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.