We start asking children this question at such a young age and it definitely starts off being such a fun question to answer. Like we really need a reason to talk about ourselves, our dreams, and our hopes, right!? However, as time goes on, this question can either get more exciting or become very confusing. For me, the answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” has always changed year by year and season by season. Yet, in the more recent past I (so very wrongly) didn’t like the answer I had to give: Right now, I work part time and I am a wife.
I graduated CSUSM in the Spring of 2010 with a B.A. in Human Development with emphasis in Counseling Services. I had so many expectations of what life would be like after graduation, what job I would have, how much money I would make, what a difference I would make, etc.
Well…I don’t have the job I thought I would, I don’t make the kind of money I thought I would, and I definitely don’t even have the capacity I thought I had. I now realize that a lot of those expectations were, in some ways, sorely misguided and, worse, even sinful. When I think about it now, I’m not even sure how often I incorporated God’s desires for my life into my own expectations – that should have been my first thought! For a while now, I have struggled with believing the lie that I need to do one very specific thing with my college degree and that if I do not do that one very specific thing, I have failed. What it basically comes down to is this: I keep telling myself that what I am doing with my life at this time is not “good enough.”
But God has taught me, through His perfect Word and the encouragement I’ve received from both my husband and my sisters in Christ, that those thoughts are completely bogus and, in some ways, even more misguided and sinful than the expectations they stem from. When I believe those lies, I am also believing that God is not in control, or (worse) that He is in control but He’s doing it wrong – Wow – how little faith do I have!? Just because I’m not yet using my degree in the way I thought that I would, does not mean that I am a failure. It only means I’m not using my degree in the way that I thought I would – plain and simple. For the time being, I have been blessed with a great job where I succeed and grow. On top of that, I would never want to belittle one of the biggest callings I have been given: being a homemaker and a wife to the kindest man I know, which brings me great joy and excitement.
I don’t know why I thought my dreams and aspirations would stay the same forever and ever. Especially when I look back and remember all the things I thought I would be when I “grew up.”
Here are some things I have aspired to do/be as a child & adolescent:
Here are some things I have aspired to do/be during college:
marriage and family counselor
SD County adoption worker
Here are some things I aspire to do/be in the future:
own a french cafe
Pretty all over the place, huh!?
Well, here’s the good news: If I do reach some of these dreams, or if I reach none, I am still a child of God, covered by the blood of Jesus and redeemed for His glory. I can never forget my true identity is secure in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross.
I also need to remember that God’s will for my life is GOOD and that He doesn’t waste a single thing. Everything I learned in college and all the experiences I grew in throughout the past couple of years can be used by Him and for His glory! It just might look different than I thought it would. Maybe my Human Development degree was meant to help me in my own marriage, or in counseling my friends in their marriages, or in teaching my children someday. Or maybe none of those things. Maybe cooking meals for my husband will help me grow culinarily and I will open that Cafe someday. Who knows?! Ultimately, my hope lies in the God who saved me. That’s more than enough.
So, here is a picture of me in 7th grade (yes…I looked that good! j/k!). I have obviously grown and changed a lot since then! It was really refreshing to look at this picture and see the answers I wrote down. It reminded me once again that, even now, I will continue to grow and change for the rest of my life and that’s okay because the God who loves us is in complete control.
What did/do you want to be when you grow up? I’d love to hear it!