Last night and this morning I have been thinking a lot about school. I am excited about the next two years of my Masters program. I don’t know that I have fully expressed why I am looking forward to the next two years of my journey.
First, I feel that this step is completely God-led and inspired. He has proven that every step of the way to me. Second, it is going to be a challenge and with challenges come opportunities for growth. Finally, I will meet many people in the next couple years that will help me to become who God created me to be and will sharpen me in so many ways. I don’t know how to communicate this, but I feel that these next couple years could possibly be two of the most important years in my life in terms of becoming.
I am nervous about some things, though. First, I know that it is going to be a lot of work and I always have this voice in my ear telling me that I am going to fail and not finish what I have started. This voice reminds me of many instances in the past when I have failed to accomplish what I set out to do. It is hard not to listen. I also know that I am going to be stretched immensely. I saw that even today when I had breakfast with some pretty awesome people that have done and are doing some great things in the world. Who will I become? The answer depends on how much I allow God to work in my life and how I will respond to the challenges I will face over the next two years.
I have been thinking quite a bit about goals. Who is it that I want to be? What kind of work ethic and mentality do I want to establish for myself? Here are a few things to start:
-I want to be a constant learner and have a passion for research and knowledge. This is not something that comes naturally to me, as reading is not enjoyable. I feel that in order to be successful in my field, I need to change this.
-I want to be willing to take risks, even when those risks involve the limelight. I tend to shy away from leadership opportunities because I am afraid of failure. When I was younger, I was always involved in leadership teams and such, but something happened between junior high and now that changed that for me. To be the leader that I know God created me to be, I need to be able to take risks and leadership responsibilities again. I must discover what it is that damaged me, and seek God’s healing in this aspect of my life.
-I want to be more sociable and actively interested in the lives of those around me. Good leaders are not focused on themselves, but rather on those around them and the unique gifts everyone on a team brings to the table. I need to start conditioning myself now to see the depth of those around me and get to know them better than simply as acquaintances.
-I want to learn how to manage the fear in my life. This fear holds me back from accomplishing so much. If I could somehow learn to believe in myself and God’s ability to work through me, then half the things in my life wouldn’t cause me half the stress they do. My struggle with finishing my homework is not because I am lazy or a procrastinator. It is because I am afraid that I am going to do it wrong. I need to get over that. I need to manage my fear.
-I want to learn how to foster and maintain long-term relationships. This will be essential in the world of non-profit leadership, because just like in everything, it is not what you know but who you know. Beyond the networking side of things, the accountability aspect is very important. Sometimes I am afraid to share what God is doing in my life right now with someone that I knew earlier on in my journey because I do not like to remember what I was like back then. I have too many regrets. What I am forgetting, however, is that these people are the only ones who can truly see how far I have come and how much work God has really done on my life. There is no comparison. I am missing out on an encouragement and a blessing by giving into my desire to leave the past behind me.
-Finally, and certainly not least, I want to grow closer to God. I want to fall more in love with Him every day. At the end of these two years, I want to look back and not even recognize who I was when I started this journey. I was telling my cousin today that God believes in me far more than I believe in myself, and that scares me. One of my best friends Rachel called last night and she reminded me to not be ashamed of my passion for God just because most people around me do not feel the same way. I love Him so much, and I need to be careful that my desire to please others does not result in toning down my zeal for knowing and following Christ. Jesus calls us to go against the grain on a lot of things, and I want to grow in my understanding of what it means to follow Him rather than my idea of what it means to follow Him. As my professor said today, we must pray that God would give us a paradigm shift to anything that does not encompass His thoughts and His will. I no longer want to see the world the way I see the world; I want to see the world the way God does.
These are just a few thoughts that are on my heart today. Just thought I’d share.