With college just around the corner, I have been reminiscing of my own college experiences. For those of you who are finding yourself in a new stage of life – it can be frightening. Everyone around you is probably asking you what your whole life will look like. What degree are you getting? What job are you going to have? Do you plan on getting married? How many kids do you want to have? The list goes on and on and on.
As I reflect on my college experience, the one thing that stands out is – the time is NOW. We are a very future oriented society. I will admit to being guilty of planning everything. I keep a bucket list, always set goals on my future, and I have a planner where I map out the next year of my life. However, I have learned plans change in an instant. I recently returned from a mission trip to Mexico. Our motto for the trip was:
Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.
This should be the motto of all of our lives. As you head into your next phase of life remember that plans and dreams change. If you are walking with God, they can be better than you ever imagined. What if Esther had been inflexible? What if Ruth had been inflexible? Let’s look at their stories and how their lives were changed in an instant.
Esther was a Jewish girl living her life. In one instant she was selected to be one of the girls who might marry the king. Esther went through many beauty treatments and lessons to be prepared to meet the king. I always think of the king’s selection of his new queen like the first Bachelor show. There was no guarantee that Esther would be the queen. She did not seek out this role but she fulfilled her part by living in the NOW. Esther won the show and stole the king’s heart. What happened after this was amazing! By letting God guide her life she became queen and rescued her people from the possibility of death. To read this story in more depth you can go to the book of Esther in the Old Testament. Esther lived FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS.
Another woman who lived for a time such as this was Ruth. Ruth was a girl living her life and fulfilling her duties as a wife. When her possibilities of having a husband ended after all her mother in law’s sons died, she decided to stick with her mother in law Naomi. Ruth said she would go wherever her mother in law went. This led Ruth to a new land where she would help her mother in law so they could afford to live. Naomi told Ruth to go get wheat from a man named Boaz. Ruth followed Naomi’s orders and the things that needed to be done NOW. This led Ruth to later become Boaz’s wife. Ruth and Boaz would become part of the lineage of Jesus. What if Ruth had chosen a different path? What if she had not lived in the NOW?
I have a personal story of this as well. When I went to college I had been preselected into a nursing program at a private, Christian school. I went and did the first year. I got a C in one of my classes second semester which meant I had to reapply to be accepted back into the program for the next year. I was devastated. I had been volunteering at the Children’s Hospital since I was 16 years old on the cancer floor. My dream was to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I was rejected from being in the program and told to reapply the next year. My advisor told me he had watched my abilities throughout the year and noticed I had a knack for helping people. I had also noticed that I loved my Psychology classes and could read the textbooks all day. In that instance I decided to switch to Human Social Services and Psychology.
Fast forward a couple of years down the road to my internship junior year and the story continues. I did not know what I was going to do but I chose to continue in my Psychology classes. I had no idea what I wanted to do for an internship but my advisor and mother kept telling me how great it would be if I interned at a pregnancy help center. I found an adoption/pregnancy help center and interviewed with them. The director and I hit it off and I was invited to their fall banquet. I went and loved the place and the employees. However, things fell through when they wanted a one year internship and I decided to graduate college early. I ended up working with another pregnancy center and interning under a director who taught me all the ropes of being a director of a pregnancy center.
This internship was the greatest experience and I loved it so much that I felt called to get my Master’s in Social Work at a Christian University in the South. I packed up all my bags and moved from Wisconsin to Kentucky so I could possibly one day direct a pregnancy center. Before I even moved into my apartment a job opened up 10 minutes from my University. That job was in a home for teen moms. I was accepted almost instantly into the job. Fast forward two and a half years later and I am preparing to graduate. I was still dreaming of directing my own pregnancy center and working in one. I had a couple of job offers and was ready to accept one but it just did not feel right. I went online to look at the adoption/pregnancy center that I was supposed to intern at but had not. There just happened to be a job opening and I instantly applied at 3:00 a.m.
One year later here I am today back in Wisconsin. Guess what? I work at that adoption/ pregnancy center! I work with the woman who interviewed me for that internship so many years ago. Seven years ago I started as a nursing student. Today I have a Master’s in Social Work and live out my dream of doing social work with women in unplanned pregnancies. I did not even know I had this dream seven years ago! I hope hearing this story and the stories of Ruth and Esther inspire you.