This week, I experienced a life-altering revelation; I have no idea where I’m going in life. Alright, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. It could be much worse. At least I have a few things to anchor me (and honestly, those are the most important things in life anyway). I have my Lord, who has a plan for me and gives me a purpose through and beyond the details of my life. And I have my husband, who is my eternal partner on this planet and gives me support and a home base. I also have a world of opportunities available to me, if I’m willing to work hard enough, and a wonderful support network of awesome friends and loving family. So I can’t say that I’m completely lost. But as far as career and life direction go, it turns out that I really don’t know what I’m doing at all.
Yes, my dream is to be a novelist. I want to write young adult science fiction. But the reality is that I most likely cannot make a decent living solely on that. At the very least, I won’t be able to start making money right away. In order to even start this kind of career, I need to be in a place financially where I can survive without making a dime for at least several months. Even after I finish writing my first book and get it published, there is the likely possibility that I won’t make enough money to live on from its sales. So overall, I just don’t think that I can realistically focus on writing fiction as my main source of income. That leaves me with a question; is there anything else that I can do for a living that I will actually enjoy?
This question has been haunting me lately. I’ve tried searching career databases for anything that sounded remotely right for me. I’ve tried looking into career paths that I’ve considered before, like teaching. I’ve tried thinking about the alternative, about being a stay-at-home mom with my future children and focusing on that instead of having an outside career. The truth is, that may still be what I want to do. I can picture myself spending my days taking care of my family and homeschooling my kids, writing novels on the side for extra money. That sounds great, actually. But the problem is that kids aren’t kids forever and once they grow up, I’ll be left with nothing to focus on but my novels, and I fear that that won’t be enough to satisfy me for the duration of my life. More importantly, I don’t know how long it will take for my husband and I to get to a place where we can live on his income alone. Even if this is the path that I take, what on earth am I going to do in the meantime?
It’s all a bit confusing and scary. The first thing I did when this all hit me like a ton of bricks was to pray with my husband. God obviously knows exactly what I’m going to do and He has a really awesome plan for my life. So we asked Him to help me see what that might be and to trust Him to help me find my way there. The second thing I did was to come up with a plan. For now, the main component of this plan is researching all of my options. I’m reading The Purpose Driven Life to ground myself in a purpose beyond my career, which is what matters most anyway. I’m also reading a few career-planning books to help me figure out how best I can use my God-given talents and abilities in satisfying work. With any luck, I’ll be on a clearer path in a month or two.
I write all of this to say that even though I feel lost and confused right now, I don’t have to be afraid. And the same thing can be true for you! Sometimes it’s hard to see, but the truth is that God has a plan for you. He has a great plan for you! And I don’t just mean a rhetorical “you.” I mean you, the person who is reading this right now. God doesn’t plan for bad things to happen to you, but He plans around the bad things that He knows will happen to you. He plans those things into the awesome grand plan! So if you’re thinking that you messed up His original plan for you and now you’re off track and lost forever, then you’re wrong. He knew what path you would take, and He built your plan around that. So don’t be afraid when it comes to your future. You have great things ahead of you. It’s never too late to start walking on God’s path for your life.
Whether you feel lost like me right now or you know exactly where you’re going, it’s always good to take stock of your life and think about whether you are on the right path for serving God’s purpose for you. Are you heading towards something that will bring you joy and fulfillment and that honors God? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. If the answer is no, then why not reassess? Pray for wisdom and guidance, do some research, and take the time to really think about where you’re headed. We only have one life to live here on Earth, and it’s so short (especially compared to the eternal lives ahead of us). Let’s make the most of it and live in the best way that we can— living with joy for God’s glory.