On Choosing the Right Path

Choosing what to do with the rest of your life is a lot of pressure. I mean, it's the rest of your life, right?

The hardest part of making a choice for me was/is figuring out if what I wanted for the rest of my life was what God wanted for the rest of my life. Sometimes we get so crazy passionate about something, it fills us with so much joy and purpose, that we feel like yes, this is it! this is what I'm meant to do.

But how do we know if that's what God also wants for us? When we are filled with that passion and lust for the career or that lifestyle, it feels right! But whose to say our plan is the same one God has for us?

I get that crazy, passionate feeling about creating beautiful things + being a small business owner. But the more I dwelled on it, (I've been working from home for four months now,) the more I felt this nagging thought creeping in....

Is this really what God wants me to being everyday for the rest of my life? It felt like nagging because my honest thought was no, this isn't doing enough good in the world to be his plan. 

It was hard for me to accept because I LOVE making beautiful things and I LOVE my businesses. This is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. But the more I think about God's plan and what He wants for me, the more I wonder if this is it.

So how do I find my true path?

I think God means for us to better the world. I feel that He wants me (and each of us, probably) to leave it better than it was before. The easiest way to do this is by helping individual people. I knew I wasn't passionate about ABA therapy anymore (working with Autistic children,) what I was going to school for previously. I've been feeling so burnt out from spending the last 10 years of my life working with special needs children. It was something that I started coming home from work stressed out over and after 10 years, I was questioning whether I even wanted to have kids at all, because work was affecting me so negatively.

So I started looking at things I'm passionate about that can be used to better the world. It comes back to relationships, infertility, helping people and being an encouraging voice to others who are going through these tough things.

But I can do this in so many more ways than just through my blog. I can do this as a career, for the rest of my life.

Bingo.

So how do you figure out what God's desire is for you? (Keep in mind that this should be something you enjoy to some degree!)

This is the formula I came up with-
Make a list of the things you love/are passionate about.
Can you help somebody doing any of the things you are passionate about?
Can you make a living doing the thing you are passionate about that also help others.

Here's how my list narrowed down.
* Things I am passionate about- relationships, paper crafting, making pretty things, being a small business owner, helping others, infertility, shelter dogs
* Which of these can you use to truly, deeply help others- relationships, paper crafting, making pretty things, being a small business owner, helping others, infertility, shelter dogs
*Which of these things that you're passionate about, that also betters the world, is something you can make a living doing- relationships, paper crafting, making pretty things, being a small business owner, helping others, infertility, shelter dogs

My list at the end looked like this-
relationships, helping others, infertility.

So then I needed to look at career options that use these three things.

*Career options using my previous list
-Helping people with IVF as an embryologist, infertility nurse or take the counseling route as a marriage + family counselor.

*Which of these things am I qualified to do?
Well, I suck at science and I'm not a huge fan of bodily fluids, so the medical careers are out.

I'm left with the counseling route as a marriage + family counselor.
After dwelling on this for a while, (I mean, it took me 25 years to come up with this formula to figure out what I am really meant to do with my life, I didn't want to rush the final decision,) it started to feel more and more like I should do this to help people. But I don't really want to go back to school. I have an Associates in Social Science (psychology,) from the last time I was in school to become an ABA therapist, so I'm already 1/4 of the way there to becoming a family + marriage counselor.

And I feel that being trained professionally in this area is an invaluable skill to have to help others and my own relationships. I also think being a licensed counselor would cultivate more opportunities to help people to the best of my ability AS a small business owner... But do I really want to go spend another 4 years in school and interning?

There is so much pressure to choose the right thing to do for the rest of your life; but here's the thing nobody tells you- it's okay if you choose wrong.

You probably will choose wrong. When you figure it out, you make a change and you choose something better.

I am 1,000% passionate about making beautiful things and being a small business owner. I will continue to pursue these things and do my best to make them successful. In the meantime though, I'm struggling with the decision to go back to school this fall and start working towards my Bachelors to be followed by my Masters degrees. It would be a crazy amount of work. Especially considering that I will still have to be working when I go back to school, but it's 100% worth if for the RIGHT career.

I could specialize in infertility and counseling those who are dealing with that. Degree wise, there is no option to specialize in infertility counseling, but I know that with my personal experience + knowledge combined with a need for this kind of counseling that it will be possible to work with those who need this specific kind of help. A lot of reproductive (IVF) clinics actually require their clients to do mandatory counseling in order to start IVF, which would give me an amazing opportunity to help those whose personal mindset + marriages have been affected by infertility.

Talk about finding your niche, aye?

But again, there's the passion part calling- do I want to go back to school and get the fancy degree to do this really awesome thing? It is an awesome thing but it would cost me a lot of money, time and stress to be able to even start doing it. Especially when I feel like I'm in love with creating + being a business owner and like that is my true calling- even if it isn't "helping" people. Is it enough to do what you want to, even if it doesn't help people. In a world where so many people need help, it feels selfish and wrong of me to choose a career simply because it's what makes me happy- even though I could do something that makes me less happy + fulfilled but helps others.

I want to know if you struggled to find the career when it came to aligning what you would like to do with what God wants you to do! How did you decide? Did you ever choose a degree or career path and it ended up being the wrong one? (I know I did, the first time I was in school and I still don't know if I want to go back to school and pursue something different!)

xoxo,
Laura

When God Gives You More Than You Can Handle

When we are going through an especially difficult time, people love to throw faith-based statements at us to give us some kind of comfort. The trouble is, sometimes they aren't true statements. And sometimes they leave us feeling hopeless; because when things are really, really difficult, it can be hard to understand why it's happening to you.

Right now I want to tackle one of the biggest phrases people throw around; "God never gives you more than you can handle." A phrase that I've never in my life found to be true.

When God Gives you more than you can handle

This is one phrase I've never figured out. How it could possibly give somebody comfort? If they are feeling hurt, vulnerable and weak, why would you tell them, "Well obviously you can handle it, toughen up. God knows what He's doing." You might as well stab them in the heart and tell them to get over it. Sometimes in life, we are given way more than we feel we can take. Burden upon burden. Heartbreak after heartbreak. Challenge beyond challenge. And while you say "God never gives you more than you can handle," you're wrong.

He doesn't necessarily give these burdens to us, (I don't personally believe that He is responsible for the bad things in our life.) But bad things do happen in our lives. Things that we can't control, things that will break our hearts. That's kind of the point. When you are lower than low, when you have no more strength to fight and no more faith to hope- He's there. He's there to help you, he's there to take some of the pain, to give your heart encouragement and comfort. He's there to show us, that being human means we can't do everything on our own. We need Him.

A year ago, I was struggling daily with the feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness due to my infertility. For a very long time I wavered between blaming Him or not believing in Him. How could such a wonderful God let such bad things happen to good people? (I cringe just typing that now!) I was very lucky (or maybe it wasn't luck at all, but God) to have some really great friends come into my life and talk about their love for God. They talked about how they rely on Him whenever things got to be too much for their fragile human hearts to handle. They talked about how their God is a God of hope and happiness. And they softened my heart enough to seek Him out for myself because I was tired of living everyday in a state of repressed sadness.

When we learn to accept that we have weaknesses and that we can't take it all, do it all, handle it all; we open our hearts and souls to God. That's what he wants for us. He wants us to believe in Him, trust in Him and love Him. When everything is going wrong and we don't know what to do- He is there for us- all we have to do is look. He never wants to see hurt in our hearts or pain in our lives. He only wants to take all of that from us and help us to rejoice in Him.

This is one of the biggest life-changing lessons I've learned in the last year. I've learned that if I truly look to him for comfort, He does heal our hurt. Not completely, but He gives us enough strength to get through and rejoice in His presence. He gives us hope and purpose. I'm still trying to find my purpose if it's not to be a mother one day, but I know that I will find it. And on days when I'm feeling extra crumby, (I've had a lot of those the last week or so,) I remind myself to look towards Him for comfort. Because there is no greater love than that of our God.

I hope this message finds you well today, and that if you are dealing with any kind of hurt in your life right now, that you find this as a reminder that it's okay to ask Him to help. He wants to help us. There is nothing more precious to Him than us and He wants us to lean on him when we are given more than we can handle alone.

xoxo, Laura