As I near the end of my college career people always ask me what I plan to do after I graduate. Most times, after they hear my response, they nod and force a smile with a look that says, “Oh, you want to be a writer? Good luck with that.”
I have to admit I have been a bit discouraged lately. The summer of 2010, God shifted my life to his plan from my carefully plotted course. That meant after years of chasing a financially stable career with a huge safety net, I would now pursue writing and speaking about Jesus as my calling and vocation. To be honest, if you would have told me two years ago about the realities of life and the hardships that come with such a drastic decision, I would have immediately acknowledged the hardships but point to God as my safety net. I was so confident in what God had revealed to me. “God Has equipped me,” I would tell myself. “I have a creative mind, I love art in any form, and I have a natural talent for conveying my ideas in writing, poetry, and speaking. This is his plan for me” Even after some resistance from my parents, I got their blessing to continue and pursue Bachelors in ministry. I could use all of this to foster a capacity for worship. I knew in my heart this is what I was made for.
Two years later, it has become hard for me to trust that safety net I so unwaveringly advertised. I know two years is not a very long time and I have no doubts that this is what I am meant to do. But whenever I start to look at what my life looks like after graduation I see school loans, unemployment, more publication rejection and not much else. It’s overwhelming. I live in a society that would rather pay $60 for a nose-bleed section ticket to a sporting event than pay $14.95 for a good book. Most people would rather shell out hundreds of dollars to see Jusin Beiber in concert than to spend less money to see a symphonic concert. Standing before this reality and seeing the first step that God has placed before me is daunting. All I can see is the first step. There seems to be no security past that.
Sometimes I envy that 19-year-old me. I had no inhibitions. I jumped in without thinking twice. Now after two years of naysayers and countless discouragers, hesitation has worked its way into my heart. Do I stay committed to my calling as God has it? Do I compromise my calling to its commercial potential? Or do I walk away and choose a different and safer route altogether? I can imagine the bewilderment on your face as you read this and think “How can you say that Sophie? Of course you have to be faithful to what God has called you!” Yes, my head knows that but my heart hasn’t caught up yet. I don’t want to sugar coat anything. I am faced with a decision to take a step forward or to turn around. To turn and run has never been more tempting. We all will come to an impasse where what we have known to be true and what we want to be true meet. There is no avoiding it. I want to be a successful writer. I want to be able to live financially off my writing. But realistically that is not always the case. I know ultimately I’m going to choose God and he will provide but letting go of my dream and what I thought my life was going to look like is hard. My faith, or what I know, isn’t put into action until I take that first step. I am at a crossroad.
Plant my feet firmly in the path you’ve set for me. Help me understand what true surrender look like. I want to rely on you as my safety net before anything else. God, regardless of the desperate straits I find myself in, you have shown yourself willing and able to come to my rescue. For this I praise you.
In Jesus name, Amen