In the Midst of Confusion…

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Recently, I’ve been having doubts. I’ve been having doubts about my calling, my choices, and the direction that I’m going. In the midst of my doubt, God gave me permission to look back. We aren’t meant to be always looking back; it can prevent us from moving forward. However, I believe God gives us certain times to look back on specific things. In these situations He allows us to see how what I thought was a broken, tangled path to where I am was actually a distinct plan. (duh Ashtyn, God has a plan)

This story starts almost two years ago. It was the summer between my junior and senior year. It was my hundredth year working at kid’s camp. (actually my fourth, but you understand) I had my senior year in sight, and college plans basically ready. I was going to finish my senior year with the same people I started kindergarten with. I probably going to Lee for Psychology, but USM was a great backup. It’s so crazy how everything seems to be perfectly in place, but falls so quickly when God moves. I spent the week teaching drama, and helping with games and activities. This was my comfortable, happy place. However, the ministry team needed a volunteer to put on this crazy dinosaur costume for part of service. Of course, I was the only one small enough to fit into it. Now, all those that know me personally know that I prefer backstage. I dance in dramas at church as a form of worship, but even then I’m shaking. Acting is not at all my jam. But it happened. I loved it. After the service was done, they had staff in the alter to pray for students. As I stood praying, one of the girls from my drama group came to me. I prayed with her, and hugged her while she cried. To this day, this is distinctly what comes to mind when people ask if God has ever spoken to me. Although it wasn’t an audible voice, it was so clear that it may as well have been.

“This. This is how your future is meant to be.”

Specific moments from the past few days came to the front of my mind. I knew that I was supposed to go into Children’s Ministry.

The following year contained more changes than I could have imagined. A calling to vocational ministry led to me transferring from my safe, familiar school to a small Christian school because I both needed to learn how to be a leader and a servant. The degree in Psychology became a degree in Children’s Ministry, which became a Discipleship major with a Children’s ministry minor. Now, there may also be a possible Youth ministry minor, because sometimes even when we think we see the full picture, God sees so much more for us. The safety school? Yeah, I didn’t even apply because I needed to learn to trust God when He speaks to me.

All of these lessons were things I didn’t see immediately. In the middle of it all, I only saw confusion. I saw doubt from others, but especially from myself. I saw where I felt I was failing. I saw the aches and struggles that were actually growing pains.

I tell this story as encouragement. People often say “God works in mysterious ways” as some sort of comfort, but I find it more comforting to know that God will reveal His will to us and direct our path according to it. (Amos 3:7, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 10:36) It looks like a messy puzzle right now, but eventually we see it fall into place piece by piece.

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