“Am I really where God wants me?” seems to be a reoccurring question in my mind and conversations lately.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m twenty-three and we’re all in the same stage of finishing college and heading into our careers, but over the past couple months, I have had multiple conversations with people who wonder if they’re doing what God wants for their lives.
The past two weeks at Awakening Ryan has been speaking through John 15. I love the visual metaphor of fruit and branches. I have always read through this in the context of my spiritual walk and growth, but never in the context of God’s unique path for my life.
In high school I decided I wanted to pursue a career in nursing. As I began college, took my prerequisites, and began applying to nursing schools, I thought God would bless it. But at this time in my life I approached my relationship with God half-assed. I never once prayed about this. I assumed because I called myself a Christian, God would bless what I pursued. But I was not connected to God outside of church on Sunday, and there was no evidence of fruit in my life. I didn’t spend time with the God who created me. As I finished my junior year of college, God made it really clear pursuing a career in nursing was not what He had in mind for my life. Truthfully, I was frustrated. I had spent my first three years of college taking difficult classes, studying for countless hours, and working really hard to get into nursing school. I thought I knew what was best for my life.
I thought I knew what was best for my life.
How pathetic and self-centered does that sound? A close friend suggested I take time off school to figure out what I should be doing. For the first time, I began praying through this. The unknown scared me, and I was so far from any idea of what I should be doing or even what I wanted to do. And now, finishing my degree in Business Administration and working for Awakening Church is one of the last places I ever thought I would be.
So, what does this have to do with John 15? As I remain and abide with God, He speaks clearer and makes Himself known. I have realized that God gives me everything I need to succeed. Yes, I could have pursued a nursing degree, but I don’t think I would have learned what I have. Friends, I fought with God. I told God what I wanted, and I’m grateful that He was not persuaded by my pleas. The times God took to shatter my idealistic universe and these plans for my life were exactly what I needed for complete dependence on God and God’s plan for my life. As I have chosen to abide with Jesus, I have not been disappointed. I have a deepened love and appreciation for the work God has begun in my life, and I know God would not want me anywhere else. Through my job and schooling, I see God clearer, and God is getting far more glory because I checked my expectations at the door and obeyed what God asked me to do—even though it wasn’t what I thought I wanted.
The situations you are in are shaping you into the man or woman God has intended you to be. Friends, I encourage you to remain with God. Rest in the knowledge and peace that He is sovereign and in control. As you draw closer to God, He will draw closer to you. This is the promise of John 15.
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