Thursday, February 28, 2013

recent reflection

It's funny how you can think you understand life (and yourself) so well, but when you get older you realize you had no idea what you were doing or thinking. 

I'm looking over a huge summit right now.
I can see clearly behind me and I am trusting the steps forward.  I don't have worries, doubts, regrets, or fear.  I'm thankful for this time, and I'm quite excited to leap into a new adventure.  My dream adventure.

Allow me to explain.

When I look back on the specifics of my "career path" thus far, I realize even moreso how I'm called to youth ministry.  He keeps revealing specifics in this area of my life that he wants me to pursue and fulfill.  See, I started kindergarten a year earlier than everyone else.  This meaning that all my life, I have been a year younger than everyone in my grade.  I also happened to have the majority of my best friends in the grade above me - meaning they were all two years older than me.  It's never been a big deal and I have always been very thankful that my parents made the decision to start me early.  Age is not really what I'm getting at here. 

Although I've been told all my life that I'm "mature" for my age, I now see that there are several sides to maturity.  Yes, I have always been a rather quiet kid.  I was never just bursting with energy or unable to control myself.  Some people call this "maturity".  I would say that word doesn't quite fit the definition I was portraying.  Although I do feel like I was "mature for my age" growing up, I don't believe that is a justifiable reason for the adults in my life to not invest in my future.  What I mean is, I've always been a listener.  I usually forget that other people may want to get to know me because I'm so busy getting to know them.  I think this hurt my future (which is now my past) a bit.  You see, listening doesn't exactly allow you the opportunity to be invested in.  And really, no one has control over someone else investing in them and their future, but it may be easier for people to see the need if the person needing the investing is talkative.  Am I making sense?

Basically, because I've always been on the quieter side, I think that adults thought I had it all figured out.  Maybe they thought that if I wanted guidance that I would ask for it.  Not the case.  When I was younger I was somewhat afraid of talking.  I always just wanted someone to seek me out and to ask, "What are your passions?", "What do you want to do when you grow up?", "What path do you want to go in college?", "Do you want to talk about your future?".  And then really dissect each of those questions with me to help me understand who I am and what I'm good at.  Anyway, I don't want this post to seem like I'm bitter at all, because I'm definitely not; I have just recently realized the specifics to my being 22 years old and finally figuring out what I want to do with my life - which is a good thing.  I don't blame it on anyone by any means; I think many people just don't know how to handle a quiet child.  And I also think many people just don't care - unfortunately for me, that was every counselor I ever had in high school and college.

My best friend just got her Master's in Counseling, and I'm pretty sure it is what has sparked all this thought in my mind.  It's made me think back on who my counselors were throughout school, and it's really made me realize that I would love to be a counselor.  I think I would be really good at it, and I know I am super passionate about it.  So I looked in to it.  There were no schools within commuting distance that offered the program and no where with a similar program where I could start before the fall.  I re-evaluate. 

Hence, Converse College.  Several months ago, Christopher researched their Master's programs and saw that they offer a Master's of Arts in Teaching.  He felt really drawn to this for me but I needed more time to mull it over.  An art teacher?  Really?  Yes.  My high school art teacher changed my life in so many ways.  He gave me a deep passion for art and he also became a role model for me for many years.  So as I'm weighing the options in my heart, I'm realizing that every sign is leading to this one path - I'm called to work with youth, I'm passionate about art, my high school art classes had the biggest impact on me than any other classes I ever took, etc.  So I begin to realize that this is a pretty clear picture (also accounting for the fact that I have not had a single call back on the job front).

Yesterday I met when the director for the Master's of Arts in Teaching program at Converse College (which by the way is a b.e.a.utiful school and very prestigious).  Shortly into the meeting she realized I did not have my undergrad in art and was sorry to tell me that I could not get into the program without it, BUT that there was another option.  May I mention that everyone there has been super nice?  She quickly began to do everything she could to find out exactly what I need to do to make this work AND to start this summer.  The result you ask?  I can get a second degree in Art Education that will certify me to be a high school art teacher.  Basically, this is a cheaper and shorter program that won't make me too "over qualified" (by having a Master's) for any other job I may want to have in the future.  Christopher said the Lord probably allowed the mistake to happen on Converse's website, which mentioned nothing of having a degree in art, so I would be interested enough to have that meeting and learn about this better option.  He may be right. ;)

How does this all tie together?  It took me till my Junior year of college to figure out what I want to do in my lifetime (be a potter).  By that time it was too late (in my option) to start the 4-year program for pottery.  I got my Business degree with hopes of owning my own studio one day.  This may not be ideal, but it is good.  It took three more years to figure out what I was going to do to make my pottery studio a reality.  Here I am.  I'm 22 (which is still very young and I am so very thankful) and I'm figuring out what I'm supposed to be doing.  Like I said, I'm not upset about it in any way; I'm actually very thankful that I have figured it out and excited to move forward.  But I'm still left with the intense desire to invest in youth.  And invest in youth I will do, with thanks for my past.  I'm not sure if everyone is like this, but most of my passions for people have come from the lack of one thing or another in my past.  I get so grateful for the things that have been hard in my life because they allow me to be more for other people.

The Lord has been so very good to me.  He is my rock.


In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:6

4 comments:

  1. :) boy o boy am i excited to hear all of this! Peaceful people make great teachers because they set the mood for the class, and i believe that if this is what God calls you to, he will show many teens the peace of trusting in our awesome God and the beauty of his creativity. WOW. if i could say it again...i am SO excited about this!

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  2. Erin, you have opened yourself in such a beautiful way to life's possibilities. You recognize that 22 is young and few young people know what they really want to do with their lives. Trust God, trust the still, quiet voice within you, and trust those who love you. You will find the path (or paths) for you. I didn't start teaching until I was past 30, but I knew from about your age that it is what I would do. I had a passion for teaching and working with young people until the day I stepped away. Since then, I have been free to direct my passion in other areas, esp now that I'm retired. If you live each day as a calling, you find that life is good, whatever the circumstances. So I say to you...GO GIRL...

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  3. Your childhood/youth sounds like it was a mirror image to mine. As the quiet, "good," and "mature" one, I didn't have leaders or adults building into my life. Like you, I suffered greatly for that. I'm so glad you're desiring to build into other's lives in the way you and I weren't built into.

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  4. This makes me happy. I am smiling. You are wonderful. God is good. I love you.

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