I have a calling, and my eyes are on the prize.
I remember hearing that our likes and dislikes, our dreams and goals, provided they are in God's will, all come together in some fabulous way that only God could put together. Like using songs and singing/dancing routines to teach English to young students. I wasn't expecting that combination of my skill set to come out.
Or leading worship in Italian while in Poland for the first time. I never saw that coming!
I'm learning about what I like and don't like. My dreams, my hopes, my fears, and the steps I need to take to navigate through all of that.
I've mentioned time and again that I am torn. I love Italy and Europe, but I love my family and friends in the U.S., and the ease of living in a country as a citizen. My friends in the U.S. want me in the U.S. My friends in Europe want me in Europe. I want... I want both. I want my cake and I want to eat it too. That's possible, right?
I remember again a woman who had many passions. She got degrees in different fields, some not clearly related. She did her thing, despite some people wondering what on earth she was doing. They didn't see its connection to God's plan for her life. In the end, every single thing she studied and knew was called upon as she directed an organization. (Sorry I'm so fuzzy on the details, but you get the point I'm trying to make, right?)
Coming back to the states to pursue my goals in higher education looks foolish if I know that I am called to Italy, but it's what I want to do. It's what gives me peace. Yes, my heart still aches for Italy, and sure there is good I could be doing there, but I want to be prepared for what God has in store for me. I've been told that the Holy Spirit provides, even if someone doesn't have a graduate degree. I also know though that the Holy Spirit provides when someone has a graduate degree too. I love learning! I plan to be a lifelong learner and traveler, and right now I am in the process of building the road for my future. I don't want to leave any of the road unpaved.
Feelings are not always the best indicators when one makes a decision, and so I have waited in prayer for this for months, missing a few deadlines in the process. But I know now that what I would have applied to earlier is not what I want anyway, so no harm done there. I waited on the Lord, and He answered. In context this verse has a different meaning, but it spoke to me this morning. I was praying, asking God what to do next. I said, "God, I want to be prepared for what's ahead. I feel that studying international policy, education and intercultural relations will prepare me for what's ahead. This is all with a purpose, to prepare me for the prize: missions in Europe." I looked down at the pages of the Bible I had open in front of me from my morning devotion, and this verse literally jumped off the page at me.
"Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize." Colossians 2:18
Again, this verse doesn't meant the same thing in context, but I mean, it had the exact same language in my prayer. As soon as I finished praying about this preparing me for the prize, bam! There it is. I don't see it all clearly now, but I know it'll all make sense in a little while.