This morning, as I recalled the recent breakfast conversation with my son about his future plans past college, I reminisced about my post-college dreams. Just like my son, I wanted a career in which I could make a difference, not just sit behind a desk pushing papers – or stuffing CD cases in his case with the internship he has this summer. So far, both of my college kid’s heart desire is to “make a difference”. They both have leanings towards ministry: one a college or youth minister; the other a counselor. I too had that desire to “change the world” and felt I had a “call into ministry”; however, at the time I attended a Baptist church and women youth pastors were non-existent. My adviser very politely told me that perhaps I could lead ministry as a pastor’s wife. Yea right — no way would I marry a pastor!
I floundered a bit, yet still felt I had a call to ministry. I did marry, after getting a two year degree in secretarial something or other, and my husband and I began serving as Sunday School teachers in the youth department. I thought that was close, wasn’t it? I honestly kept having this tug to become a teacher. I had been one of those kids who played “teacher” growing up, but I didn’t feel qualified – so I kept running. Then along came Daniel – the aforementioned son I had breakfast with. I blame him for pushing me into teaching because he would get mad at me for skipping pages in his favorite book Green Eggs and Ham, but you have to know the child had me read it at least 10x a day! He finally just cried out “teach me to read mommy!” So – I dove into the world of homeschooling when he was 4 years old. I still didn’t really see myself as a “teacher” and wondered if I just avoided my call. Later, when we decided to put the kids in public school, their principal convinced me to get my certification. Long story short – I recently completed my 8th year of teaching 7th grade English AND I now realize this is where God wanted me all along. That classroom has become my mission field – even if I can’t preach sermons – I can form relationships and show the love of Jesus to my students. I say this because we have an image of what our dream ministry or plan should be – just like my two kiddos have this image of God’s plan for their life. Right now – I doubt they would listen to me even if I told them it may change. They may have to walk that road and come to the realization themselves. It reminds me of when my sister-in-law’, Jimmie, thought she knew God’s plan for her future spouse. In her quiet time, she felt like the Lord told her “I’m sending you a David”. She immediately had the idea that her future spouse would be named David, then –“I felt like the Lord tapped me on the shoulder, so I turned around and a new thought came to my mind – I am sending you a man like David – a man after my heart.” God did send her such a man named Jeff (my husband’s little brother) and he was like David. Point being – we often try to get ahead of God and His ultimate plan for our life or we think we know His plan – yet we really don’t.
So I guess my place as the mom of three starry-eyed, ambitious dreamers is to —pray they hear God’s voice clearly and not get ahead of His plan or misinterpret His plan, or runaway from His plan. Most of all – be there to listen if they do.