It was junior year of college. Cold. Rainy. Probably a lot like today. Many of the students in the dorm had left for the weekend and I remained. As the Resident Advisor, it was my job to be the last to go, and I liked the quiet.
Except that it wasn’t quiet. Not in my spirit anyway.
That “what am I going to do with my life?” question was at it again, taunting me.
As I wondered what God had to say on the matter, that night I came upon Proverbs 31:8-9:
Open your mouth for the speechless,
In the cause of all who are appointed to die.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
The words grabbed my soul. For over 20 years they’ve never let go.
I knew, right then, that I would devote myself to the freedom of those who were hurting, unheard, unseen, dying. I’d found my dream rudder. (<==== Click to Tweet)
Problem was, I didn’t know HOW that calling would materialize. Would I end up going into international missions? Continuing along my then-path of becoming a doctor? Go to law school?
Well, not yes, explicitly. But yes to what was behind all those careers: setting people free.
- The missionary: bringing relief from poverty of body and spirit.
- The doctor: freedom from illness or unhealthy patterns.
- The lawyer: freedom from misrepresentation and injustice.
I didn’t end up doing any of the jobs I thought of that night, but this passage has guided my choices through each step of the dream. It’s what drove my choice to adopt two kids from foster care. It pressed me to become a teacher, which ultimately revealed to me the calling of speaking and coaching those students’ parents. It fuels me through times when raising my two daughters with special needs is almost more than I can bear. It steers me toward coaching and speaking with people who need someone to set them free from thoughts and behaviors that keep them stuck.
It’s what led me to write the book that just released—Get Your Joy Back: Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family. A book built while navigating storm swells just about every day of the process.
The one thing that got me through the challenge of fulfilling this dream—this book—was the scripture above. One part relentless taskmaster, one part inspiring life-verse, it steered me through hours of engaging the painful stories of other parents like me to help us all find our way out of resentment and into joy. It kept me going when I was tired. It pushed me through writer’s block. It called to me when I was scared of the depth this dream required I plumb in my own heart.
Rudders do that for us. In life and in the pursuit of our God-sized dreams. They steer us through the waves of doubt, fatigue, anxiety, and discouragement.
But a rudder’s only as helpful as the material it’s made of. Mine? It’s life-giving God-words.
Do you have a guiding word from God that keeps you going in the right direction? I’d love to hear it!
Shared by: Laurie Wallin
Photo Credit: Carla Wosniak