“You’re supposed to be writing,” is what Jenny’s dad had told me. He was a pastor. “O, yeah, and I can see some artistic, graphic talent, too. You do, like, some drawing and stuff. You’re going to be doing some writing and creative stuff online.” He then proceeded to pray for me.
He was speaking prophetically into my life. He had seen the “star” over me and was blessing me with encouragement and prayer. Undoubtedly, he had seen these things in me through the few interactions I had with him: in an email I had written, and also the one time he had met me when he had come to visit Jenny. I had been knelt down on the hardwood floor, with markers in hand, and bent over display boards, creating graphics on them for a children’s church class.
What he was saying about me and encouraging me to do, was right. I knew it was inside of me to do those things. But I had no confidence, and neither did I have any resources. But, I suppose, God propelled me forward, and I rode on the energy of the pastor’s encouragement and prayers.
I believe, that in Christ, we all have a promise or two or more, over our lives, and that God helps us to birth those promises. When we birth those promises – when God wants us to do something in life – he provides the encouragement, guidance and resources for us to do it, just how he provided resources and guidance for his ultimate promise, Jesus Christ, when he was born.
Years down the road, when I was living in Evansville, Indiana and had been seeking God single-mindedly for a steady two years, I woke up one morning and knew it was time for me to go to college. I just knew it on the inside of me – call it an urgent unction of the Holy Spirit. God was watching out for his promise over my life and urged me forward.
It wasn’t in my upbringing to call and ask my parents for financial help. We were raised to work hard and earn our money. But, with boldness, I called my parents nearly immediately after I woke up that morning and told them straight: I need to go to college and I need them to help me pay for it. And without flinching, they paid for my first semester at the small, local, public university, and then advised me to seek Pell grants and loans afterward. I did, and I was granted those, too.
All throughout college, I didn’t know what to focus on more: Studio Art or English. And at one point, I took a full semester of classes toward Social Work. At the end of it all, I ended up with a BA in English and minors in Studio Art and Art History.. Then later, through the encouragement of my husband, I completed a teacher certification program for the secondary level. And today, I teach high school English language arts in a public school.
While writing and graphic creativity have always been a big goal of mine, teaching has only been a minor goal, but it seems that it is a goal, indeed, that God has for my life, and so I have accepted this position I am in right now. In it, I am able to spend lots of time focused on reading and writing, which is ideal for my eventual writing and creative goals. And also, I am able to have an influence in the lives of young people, which has been a goal for ministry, but not quite in the way I expected it, Which really is how God works anyway, sometimes. He forces us by nudgings and graduality into the unexpected but blessed goals and dreams he has for our lives.