How do you bridge the gap between what you want to do with your life and what you are currently doing? How do you bring yourself into the vision or dream you feel your life should be? These are some of the questions I have asked myself for several years now – and I believe I am beginning to discover my own version of the answers.
I dream of working to protect our planet and wildlife from danger – whether caused immediately by humans or by the repercussions of our actions. There are many ways to do this: through education, volunteering, bringing awareness to causes, or by simply doing what is put on our hearts. But sometimes, what is put on our hearts just doesn’t make sense.
Lately, I have been praying for God to help me understand why I am where I am right now and how it could possibly lead me more directly into conservation. Yes, I have my Masters in Conservation Biology. Yes, I have done several bouts of volunteering, working for, and interacting with wildlife conservation organizations. But I have yet to find that niche I feel my heart yearning for.
Sometimes this causes me to feel down on myself – like I am wasting time or that God is upset with what I am doing. But when I look back at the joy that the journey thus far has brought me, the amazing people it has allowed me to meet, the personal progress I have made, and the prayers that God has answered – I know I can’t be as wrong as I think I am.
The devil creates doubt and steals joy, not God….
Carrying on, within the past two to three months I believe God has been revealing to me a part of His faith plan he would like all of us to journey on. You see, in the Bible it is generally the individuals we would least expect that God selects as the greatest leaders.
Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Mary, and Abraham to name just a few. Their beginnings should in no way have lead them to the extraordinary places that they would go and to the acts they would perform. But ultimately, their success and impact was not because of them. It was because of God working through them, their faith, and their willingness that they were able to accomplish the unexpected.
For example, Moses was supposed to be killed as a child and yet eventually grew to lead an entire nation to freedom under God’s direction. Daniel’s bold faith had him thrown into a lion’s den and then latter raised in stature as a prophet of God. Mary was a poor peasant whose humility lead her to be selected by God as the mother of Jesus Christ.
God truly does have a way of using the least likely of us to perform some of His greatest miracles – both in the Bible and in the present. Considering this knowledge, God can literally change our entire life regardless of what we think to be possible.
Several times this week I have been reminded of 1 Peter 5:5-7, “God will promote you at the right time.” After digging deeper into this verse, I found a really interesting and encouraging commentary on its meaning.
Basically, the commentary described how having anxiety of the future can in itself be a form of pride. By not allowing God to have full control of the future, we can unknowingly be denying him of his power in our lives.
However, I believe that God can and will take us from one step in our lives to another in unfathomable ways. Yet in order to do so, I believe we first must practice self-control and learn to free our thoughts of pride and anxiety. God is creating blessings for each of us that we simply have to continue moving towards. And maybe the abstract path that God takes us on will bring us to even bigger dreams than we originally considered.
So… Am I doing exactly what I thought I would be at this point in my life? Not entirely. But has He fulfilled all of my needs and allowed me amazing opportunities that I may not have had otherwise? Absolutely.
Do I get frustrated on days when I feel like I want to jump on a plane back to Africa? Yes. But in my heart I believe that in the future God will provide a more stable and clear opportunity for me to board that plane back to my favorite continent.
Right now, I get to enjoy the journey and bless others through His spirit in me. I can begin to see how He is drawing everything together. The vision is still blurry, but for the first time there are new colors beginning to emerge in more depictable ways.
I hope this encourages you in some way wherever you are in life. Keep going and cast your anxieties on Him. I trust Him, I know he will continue to answer all of my prayers in His timing. And yours as well!
You will grow into your own versions of the Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Mary or Abraham you were meant to be – so long as you put Him first, practice self-control, and stay connected to your passions in action and in prayer.