I met my husband while in graduate school, a rigorous design program at a renowned institution. He was an associate pastor at a large downtown church. We fell in love and almost immediately got engaged and married 10 months later. It was magical.
Of course, realization came quickly that the future I had planned wasn’t the one God had for me. I wasn’t going to graduate, move to a big city where I’d work for a prestigious design firm, then start a business of my own with years of incredible experience. No. As the wife of a Methodist pastor, I was going to move around in South Georgia, living in small towns, likely for the rest of my life.
Funny, while I was putting up some Christmas photos that I stick in the existing frames in our living room during the holidays, I saw, on one of the first pictures taken of us, this in my handwriting…
Life is God’s gift to us. With every sweet breath, we confirm the fact that God has us here for a reason, that He has a plan for our lives. The more we surrender our lives to Him, the more we trust Him with the days He gives us, the better off we’ll be.
There is such peaceful freedom, such uninhibited joy, in knowing that God Almighty is the reason we woke up today. If we have tomorrow, it’s because He has more for us to do.
Such goodness in that. We plan and plan, but God has His own plan. And it doesn’t often match up with ours, you know? We’d just as soon stop trying to figure it all out on our own and let God be God.
In his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps,” right? (That’s Proverbs 16:9, a verse I memorized a long time ago and need to be reminded of just about every day.)
I struggled for a long time with my chosen profession and how it really matters in the grand scheme of things. Like truly matters. Especially in light of my husband’s career. Now he was making a difference. He was doing Kingdom work. His job really did matter. Like, eternally. But interior design? Not as much.
Obviously, it matters to you and me to have nice-looking homes that we want to live in. But filling up client’s homes with expensive things and charging them a fortune to do so? Not in my plan. In fact, it makes me feel sick.
I still have this struggle at times – how to balance my appreciation for nice things and desiring a beautiful home with my commitment to not overspend and over-consume. Our culture is all about overconsumption and buying whatever it takes to make you happy, because “you deserve it”.
Truth is, we don’t deserve it. And happiness can’t be bought. Created in all of us is a desire to love and be loved.
What was the point of of this master’s degree?! Why did I work so hard (and have huge loans to pay off) for the life I embarked on once married?
Because God has a plan. I’ve always known He did, but a decade into our marriage and I still wasn’t sure what that was. I still am not sure.
But, this dream started forming in my heart. I believe my extensive schooling to become an interior designer wasn’t for nothing. I know that I am supposed to use my gifts and my life experience to serve God and accomplish His will for my life. We all are.
The more time I spend with God, the better I can discern what He wants from me.
And so, through lots of prayer, I know what I am supposed to be doing. At least for now. I’ve set out in starting my own business. One in which “what I do” and “what I believe” are interwoven. What matters to me most – people – will be reflected in my work. The mission at our new church is to “Serve God and love people”.
I will strive to do just that every day.