When I was 16 I knew that I wanted to be a Physical Therapist when I “grew up.” One of my dad’s best friend’s was a PT and he allowed me to go to the clinic after school and shadow there to see what it might be like.
Before I even started college, I had hours of volunteer time built up. I loved it. I felt this was the perfect job for me and set my mind to achieving my goals.
As a Junior, I was pre-accepted to the private college of my choice, located in my hometown, with scholarships. It was the college that both my parents had both graduated from. Everything was falling into place, perfectly.
I had no doubt that this was God’s plan for my life.
My first semester of college was tough, but I worked hard and did well. Then in my second semester as a Freshman, I took Organic Chemistry. It was HARD and nothing about it came easy. I studied and studied for my first quiz. I got 20 out of 25 wrong.
I felt like a complete and miserable failure.
I was overcome by the belief that if I couldn’t pass the first quiz, I wouldn’t pass the class. And if I couldn’t pass the class, I could never get into PT school.
So with my head down in disappointment and shame and my mind filled with thoughts that the quiz defined my abilities, I walked away from my original career path and ultimately my “dream job.”
I changed my major to Psychology and because of the limited classes available at the private college, I transferred to a state school an hour away.
I started my Sophomore year ashamed and defeated. And while I enjoyed the Psychology classes, I had no idea what I wanted to do after college. All I knew was that I wasn’t smart enough or good enough to become a Physical Therapist, the job that I had been so certain would be for me.
I felt the fool, a girl who had been so sure and yet unable to follow through. What would people think of me?!
Sometimes our greatest failures can lead us to our biggest success. (<==== Click to Tweet)
I graduated with a degree in Psychology and after about a year working in a retail job, ended up at a bank working as a teller.
It was almost a joke to me, having this degree and feeling like I wasn’t using it. Certainly not a dream job!
But I worked hard and had the chance to work in several different departments. For 13 years, my knowledge about the banking environment grew. Then after my husband and I moved to Minnesota for a new job opportunity for him, I found myself working for a financial planning office. Once again, not what I had imagined for myself as a young adult, but it was a good job and I learned a lot about investments and insurance.
One day, a little over a year ago, my husband came to me and said he needed help at his Estate Planning law firm. He knew that all of my experience over the past 15 years would be an asset to what he was doing.
A perfect fit.
Every year, each moment of training and growing in the financial industry, a field that wasn’t ever part of my “dream,” prepared me in a perfect way to join my husband in growing this new business.
I had no idea, but God did.
What seemed like my greatest failure 20 years ago has led me to one of God’s biggest plans for our family.
I couldn’t see it then, but today I can see all the ways God prepared me for this specific time.
I hope this can be an encouragement to you. No, the journey wasn’t exactly the route or the pace I might have liked. But I don’t think Dominic and I would have been prepared to manage a successful business together even 10 years ago.
Refinement takes time and God has been working on me for years. (<==== Click to Tweet)
Today I can use my experience to encourage my own son who is looking at making some big decisions about college himself. Like me, he has some specific plans about what he thinks his “dream job” is.
I encourage him in his plans, but also make sure to tell him that it is okay to change his mind. Change doesn’t mean we are a failure; it just may be a better avenue to our success.
I am not sure at what stage of the journey you find yourself today. Maybe like me you are wondering how you found yourself so far away from what you believed the “plan” was for your life. Please hear me on this, God is in the details. Sometimes the course is unknown and a little scary, but keep the faith and press into Him as you go.
Just be confident that God will lead you exactly where you are supposed to go in His perfect timing.
Shared by: Kristin Smith
Original Sailboat Photo Credit: Derek Keats