next steps

“When I really pray about the plans God has for me, it’s His agenda that I desire. My plans might look great on paper. I’m Type-A enough to actually have plans ON paper. I sit and imagine ‘if this happens, then I could do this, and then maybe they would offer me that and it could all work perfectly!’ Those plans of mine are exhausting to create and would likely be even more tiresome to carry out to completion. God doesn’t want worn out worship. He doesn’t desire for His children, His daughters, to carry burdens of plans and agendas until our arms are so heavy we can no longer reach them to Him. He wants us to rest in Him, giving Him back the desires of our hearts so that He can plan, pave the way, and guide us.  We can come as we are to the foot of the cross with the deepest, wildest dreams of our hearts and know that we serve a God big enough, strong enough, wise enough to take them and make them beautiful in His time. He will take the parts of us that we don’t think are good enough, the ones we forgot to put make-up on, the ones that might be less than perfect, and He will refine them until there is beauty from the ashes.”


Those words aren’t mine, but ones I found in early June, as I plowed through Holley Gerth’s God Sized Dreams.

sunset at golden gardens{sunset in seattle, labor day weekend, 2013}

I have sensed and prayed and wondered what plans God has for me for a long time.  It’s been two years since I got laid off from my architecture job.  To be honest, a new season was stirring inside me long before that day.  It was that particular day, however, which caused me to realize I didn’t want to go back right then.  That was scarier than getting laid off.  I had been carrying all of it, stumbling really, for many months, trying to solve it all on my own.

I didn’t really talk about it that much, especially here, in this space.  So much of this place was rooted in B and I being architect buddies, and I felt like a part of my identity was suddenly gone.  I also didn’t exactly know what to say or where to go, but I knew myself enough to realize how private of a journey this was. Or, while I could talk to in-real-life people, I didn’t exactly want my words to be out there for all the world to read just yet.

I have slowly begun a journey, one that most would call a period of discernment.  For the past year, I have taken a few (very few) classes at a seminary in seattle. I still work at my church.  I still volunteer with a dynamite group of darling high school gals, who are in the 10th & 11th grades this fall.  I’m not sure what I’m being called to do vocationally.  One thing is entirely clear though, never cloudy.  The one thing God has asked me to do, and very clearly given me the heart for, is leading these girls out of high school and into the next steps of life.  For a type A, five year plan, over achiever like me, it seems like God’s certainly changing up my perceived plans.

Suddenly my architecture degree doesn’t seem like the most important thing I’ve got on paper to measure my success – instead its the scrapbook they made me of reasons I’m great.  Suddenly the project that I worked on which filled me up creatively seems miniscule compared to the gal who meets me for a walk to ask me to pray for her through one of the worst things imaginable and tell me through her tears that I’ve changed her life. Suddenly the redesigning and aesthetics of space seem to not matter as much as spending 4 hours one night at camp this summer praying over our students, asking God to redesign their images of who they are closer to the reality they are His Beloved children.  The next day one girl, who I don’t really know, sits next to me for one movie on the bus home, just to ask me how I got so close to God that I could talk to Him.

So, my next steps. I want to just be here, be available for them, follow God with them.

And seminary.  That’s part of my next steps for me, at least for this fall.  I am not going to lie.  As much as my discernment has involved taking classes, I’m still scared.   I am still not sure God is calling me to be a pastor, which seems to be the reason you get this degree.  There are many other careers in ministry where I don’t necessarily need this degree.  Will it help me be better prepared?  Yep, I have already seen that become reality.  I liked getting my first master’s degree, so I don’t doubt I will enjoy school.  But do I have time for all these classes, and really do I have the money?  I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘no’ to both those fears.  It’s those things that I don’t have the perfect answer for that I’m just trusting God will handle or reveal a new and different next step.  For now though, I’m sure enough not to miss the start of fall.  I’ve max’ed out the number of classes I can take without enrolling and joining a cohort through the first year of seminary.  These start every fall with a week long class on an island just north of Seattle.  For me, for this fall, that’s my next step.

It begins today, whether I am ready or not!


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4 thoughts on “next steps

  1. I’m so inspired by you, D. The journey you’ve taken over the last couple of years is truly impressive. You can see the happiness within you – you’re following your heart.

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