Have you ever felt that something in your life was not meant for you? Maybe it was a dream you thought was too big, too grand, or, too unbelievable?
Growing up, I was infinitely practical. At five, I had already determined that I would need a full scholarship to college in order to go. By middle school, I had taken all the, “what should you do with your life” tests and, by high school, I had whittled down my career options based on what I wanted out of life, and the probability of finding steady employment.
I had already given up on: professional rock climber, concoction maker (chemist), research chemist focusing on the regeneration of myelin sheaths, military (two reconstructed ankles prevented that), nursing, biology teacher, farmer, forest ranger, animal trainer, writer, and adventurer/world traveler. I settled on teaching English. I figured that before anyone could learn anything, they needed to be proficient readers and writers and that there would always be a need for such.
Just before my senior year of high school, something happened that prompted the beginning of a shift. I had sustained the injury that would lead to my needing extensive ankle reconstructive surgery and which locked me out of the sports I loved forever after. Seeing how despondent I was after it became clear that this field hockey season was my last and that I would never get to have a senior soccer season at all, my mother decided to try to pique my interest in something else – singing. She purchased me singing lessons. I began to fall in love.
I went off to college, auditioned for and was accepted into the choir, and began singing my heart out. The experience was even more exhilarating than sports. Now came the struggle. I wanted to sing. I wanted to sing for a living. Unlike many parents, my mother was all for me changing my major to music performance. She made countless treks to watch our performances all over the eastern seaboard. She never wanted me to be a teacher, she wanted me to pursue singing as well. Only two things held me back: 1) I wanted a family one day, and I wanted the stability to stay in the same place together and, 2) I questioned the likelihood that I would be able to make a living from music performance. The dream was too big even as a traveling musician and unfathomable as a resident artist.
My greatest passions lay in my artistic expressions – writing and singing and yet, I was afraid to imagine that these were viable options. The dream was too big.
Chuckling to myself, I ponder the fact that now, having lost my teaching, I am left with God’s gifts to me – my writing and singing. And, despite the struggles with my post-concussion syndrome, I love every moment that I have to write and, now that I have begun to be able to look at music again, to sing.
How often do we limit ourselves? How many times does God call us to use the gifts He has given us, but, because of fear, we let the opportunities slip through our hands? The life we have imagined for ourselves is never as amazingly fulfilling and uplifting as the one He has designed. All that we pour into being who God wants us to be is nothing compared to what He is waiting to pour back into us – pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing.
We need only to trust that the spot it meant for us.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.