What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?
Do you ever wonder if your role is important? I had a moment of doubt.
We had friends over for dinner this weekend. She’s a pharmacist. So smart, capable, credentialed. She has a Doctorate. She is an essential part of the medical team. And she makes great money to help provide for her family. I am so impressed when I hear her talk about what she does.
And then her husband thoughtfully asked me what I want to do with my life. Do I want to keep teaching preschool?
And I just said, "I don’t know." I don't know what I want to do next. The only thing that popped into my head was, “I just want to love people.” And I guess that’s not really a job.
I think about this often. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. After I graduated from college, I taught elementary school, then I stayed home with my little ones, and now I teach preschool. And I suppose I don’t intend to teach preschool forever.
But what will I do next??
Our friends were so kind and so supportive when we were talking about this, but somehow in my own head I felt insecure. When I went to bed that night and then all the next day, I kept thinking, “Can’t I do better? Don’t I have any skills? Can’t I make more money? What am I supposed to do with my life?? Am I smart and capable?...I thought I had some gifts…but now I’m not sure because I’M NOT QUALIFIED TO DO ANYTHING.”
I cried. And asked God if He had forgotten about me. Did He still have good plans for me?
I started looking online for jobs. Which made me feel worse. Things like “must have a Masters degree in theology” or “three years of experience in related field” were so discouraging. I’m not qualified for anything! What do I want to do??
I felt emotional chaos, panic, and anxiety. I felt like I needed to FIX THIS.
And then as I was looking at websites for area churches, hoping for some kind of job opportunity that would rescue me, I remembered that some churches have Saturday evening service. And it happened to be Saturday evening.
And I got in the car and went to meet God at church. I knew that He was really my answer. I wasn’t gonna FIX THIS. I just needed to fix my eyes on Him.
When church service began, I cried my way through the worship songs. “Lord, I need You, Oh I need You…every hour I need You…”
The sermon was given by the women’s pastor, and guess what she opened with? As trustworthy Christ-followers we sometimes feel discouraged. What can we do to see His presence?
I had come to the right place.
Psalm 42:5 “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for yet will I praise him, my Savior and my God.”
When I left I felt grateful instead of anxious. I felt trusting instead of panicking. I knew God had not forgotten about me. He’s just waiting for the right time to reveal what’s the next step in my life. And I’m okay with that.
So I want to tell you something that’s precious to me. The risk is you may think it’s silly, but I'm going to share it anyway.
Several weeks ago, a friend of mine told me how God had once given her a new name. A name that freed her and showed how much God delights in her. I absolutely loved her story. I thought about it for days afterwards. And one morning as I was driving to work I asked God, “What would you call me?”
Instantly He said, “My little flower.”
And I knew it was God, and I began to cry because there was so much tenderness towards me. It makes me cry right now just remembering it.
A flower doesn’t have to do incredible things. It just blesses people. It’s simple. And lovely.
I asked God to sometime confirm to me that He called me that.
And then this weekend, on Saturday, the day I was spinning out and feeling like I just wasn’t as good as others in what I had to offer, the day I thought maybe my role wasn’t important, and that maybe God had forgotten about me, my daughter Ivy drew this:
"A flower does not try to compete with the flower next to it. It just blooms."
I was stunned. Wise words, my girl. I just need to be me. And keep blooming.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
But I know who I want to be.
Someone who loves Jesus and follows after Him. Someone who loves people well. I’m going to try to be that girl today, and I hope I’ll still be her when I grow up.