I spent ALL of last week on my adventure tangent. The hope was that you would enter this fall/school year/semester/season full of renewed purpose, hope, energy, and passion! I enjoyed reading through my old journals and remembering all of the random adventures the Lord has seen fit to take me on in these past few years. Some (adventures) were taken willingly, while others I went crying all the way. (For real. Just ask my husband about the time I cried all the way through the grocery store.)
I received a pretty personal question last week. I put off answering for a day or two because I knew the response was going to be a long one. As much as I love writing, my head tends to work faster than my fingers can keep up. So when I write something I’m passionate about it’s probably fairly comical to watch. The question basically boiled down to “Do you have any practical advice on how to get started as a writer and a speaker?”
Short answer: I don’t really know how to do THIS. I’m making it up as I go along! I read a lot of books, blogs, watch conferences live, take notes, and say “yes” to just about every opportunity sent my way.
The long answer: I think the first step in launching out into any dream career is determining your passion. Identify THAT and you are already steps ahead of most of the adult world. In my teens and early 20’s I felt paralyzed by passion. I love and enjoy a lot of activities. I could see myself happily employed in various avenues of the arts and education. I didn’t know how to choose just one. So rather than identify the outlet for my message, I began to think about the message that was burning inside of me.
Kevin East is the Senior Director of Camps for Pine Cove Christian Camps. He is also a new voice in the blog world with great passion for leadership… he also happens to be someone I respect very much on a personal level. He wrote a great post on blogging this summer that helped me to hone my own ministry vision in an even more specific way. I want to encourage you to read the post and follow his blog, but I’ll summarize this particular post with one question:
What makes you angry?
Surprised by the simplicity? I think I was. After I recovered and read the rest of Kevin’s article I began a flurry of writing that gave me much needed direction and energy.
I answered his question [What makes you angry?] with the following: An overwhelming number of young women seek attention from negative sources, derive their dreams from Hollywood, find identity in their appearance, and deem truth to be irrelevant. This angers me.
THIS ANGERS AND IMPASSIONS ME.
Once I could identify my passion, I could more easily identify what my role might possibly be in God’s greater plan for redemption.
My goal/passion/mission: To encourage and sharpen young women to find their worth, identity, dreams and truth in the source of Jesus Christ.
Once that was established I considered the gifts God has given me in theatre and speaking, my high energy personality, my love for teens, and my desire to communicate God’s word in an exciting way and I knew that THAT was what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
My husband and I made professional goals for each of us this year. Mine included business cards, a website, at least 3 new speaking gigs, and a book manuscript complete by the end of the year. These are pieces I can bite off and chew. Since making those goals and praying over them God has somehow decided to give me even more than I could have asked for! (He’s so good at that.)
I don’t know what next month will look like. Sometimes writing a blog isn’t overly encouraging. I don’t get immediate feedback. 90% of readers don’t comment. Some days I feel like I’m speaking to no one – putting hours into something so that my family can read it. (Hi mom!) But every once in a while I get a comment or an e-mail that reminds me WHY I am doing this. And sometimes, it IS one of my family members. :) I love that God is using my ramblings to reach teens, women, and even men of all ages. I welcome it! But I don’t do this because I like it (although I most certainly do!), but because I am called to it and compelled by Him.
“Once God decides something needs to be done, it is never a matter of if… The issue is usually who? Who will step forward, embrace the vision, and move ahead by faith?” – Andy Stanley
My husband said this to me sometime in May when I was feeling especially discouraged: “Church has them for one hour a week. The world gets the rest. That’s what you’re up against.”
I get excited and impassioned when I envision women who:
-Read the Word
-Respect their bodies
-Find belonging, acceptance, identity, and redemption in Christ alone
-Embrace real life
I’m learning as I go. I still fail. But He seems content to use my failures for HIS glory.
I don’t understand why or how – I only know that once the vision is set- the rest is just details. If you know the WHAT He is calling you to – He always has the HOW to accomplish the task. It’s all His anyway.
With love and joy and passion (still following),
But if I say, “I will not mention him
or speak any more in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9