My senior year of high school I told someone I was going to major in journalism. We were in a college math course. Although I was a year ahead in math, Calculus was hard for me. A lot of tears were shed and a lot of all nighters were spent trying to find weird patterns to make sense of it all.
My classmates and I all got to talking about what we wanted our majors to be and I said shamefully…”journalism.” I had a secret love for writing and hadn’t told anyone yet.
Although her intentions weren’t to hurt me, one peer said something I’ll never forget… “Haha communications. Cute! Have fun doing that, making no money. Living the dream, right?”
“And what are you majoring in?” I asked eager to know what was so great.
“Engineering duh… haha an actual job can come from this degree.”
I lived in the suburbs where a lot of parents raised their kids to believe that they needed to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer in order to live the “dream life.”
I wish I could say I killed her with kindness and was the bigger person. But nope, I am not perfect, and in that moment 17-year old Grace called her a not-so-nice name and laughed in order to make it seem like I did not care.
I feel bad about that okay… but that is not the point of this article.
I then tried to say to people maybe I would study Law. It didn’t make me excited, but that was the career cluster I was in. It made more sense and was more stable. Plus I loved Elle Woods.
When I visited Baylor, I sat in a political science class on preview day—and I hated it. I was bored. I even cried that night in the hotel thinking Baylor wasn’t for me, but truth be told, I knew Baylor wasn’t the problem. I was meant to go to Baylor...The problem was the career I wanted to want wasn’t for me.
And then at high school graduation, I won a small academic award for being in the high school career cluster track for law, but as they announced my name they said, “Grace Valentine will be going to Baylor University to major in Journalism and we know we will be seeing her one day.”
I almost gave up who I was to please society. To please the girl in my class. To make people think I was going to “be somebody.” I almost hid from my calling in order to chase dollar signs and a sense of “success.”
And the other day as I got done talking to my editor about my book that will be released next year – I got teary eyed. I went through the Chick-Fil-A drive thru after and as the lady handed me my Diet Coke, she looked at me worriedly.
“Are you okay ma’am?” She asked.
“Honestly…I’ve never been better.”
I’m thankful I did not change my passion, my desires, and my calling in order to please the girl in my math class. I’m thankful I didn’t chase dollar signs and instead decided that I would chase my Lord.
For clarification: I am not saying being a doctor, lawyer or engineer is bad. In fact, if you are gifted in those areas and enjoy them – GOOD FOR YOU. That is incredible and do not ignore your gift. So much good can be done through those careers. However, I want to remind you that you should never chase a career, you should chase Jesus. You should always remember your gifts come from the Lord. And never change who you are; change the world. Your gift, when given to the Lord, can change the world.
So to the girl who loves to sing– don’t stop. To the man who loves to write stories– write. To the mother of 4 who has always dreamt about going back to school to become a nurse– do it. To the single father who desires to become a youth pastor–do it. To the young man who desires to be a police officer– be it. To the college students scared to change their major but feels a tug on their heart to do something different– change it.
Stop chasing the American dream. Stop chasing the ability to be 100% financially stable and forgetting your passion along the way. Stop chasing the feeling of being comfortable. Chase Jesus.
One day as you tuck your child into bed, they are going to ask you why you chose your career:
“Mommy, why are you a lawyer?”
“Daddy, why are you a fireman?”
And I pray the reason you tell them isn’t because of money. I pray you can look at them sincerely and say, “God gave me this gift, and tugged my heart to pursue it. God pushed me to remind me my gift could make a difference for someone.”
Never ever believe that you were meant for ordinary. This life is meant for something more than living pay check to pay check.God designed the wildflowers and the sea. The birds and the trees. He handcrafted our hearts to love, desire and empathize. He created our minds to grow in wisdom and skill. And He breathed life into you so you can have the opportunity to live for Him and chose Him over the world.
Please don’t read this article and think this was simply a story of mine meant to inspire you for two seconds. This is YOUR story. And the Lord is whispering in your heart right now asking you to give your talents, future and desires to Him. He will give you a purpose in return. Chase that, chase Him.
And never change who you are to please a hot crush, make money, or to satisfy this world. Those things are never fulfilling. Your Lord is fulfilling and letting Him use you everyday to bring Him glory is beautiful.
Stop striving to be “succesful enough” to please the moms at the local gossip shop in the suburbs who still gossip about the high school class of 2014. Stop striving to please the person who told you your dream was too crazy. Strive to be a disciple and a servant. Chase Jesus, not the world. Change the world, be who He designed you to be.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Photocreds: https://www.instagram.com/jacobalves/ — JACOB ALVES