My best friend recently texted me this quote she heard at a work conference: “God won’t tie your soul to a dead-end dream”. That simple sentence struck me to the core. It conveys something I’ve been learning over the past few months, namely that God gave you your dreams and that it’s one of His greatest joys to see you fulfill them. But to be honest I didn’t fully believe that until a few weeks ago.
When I wrote my last blog post, I was positive that God would provide me with a job, and prayed that whatever it was, it would be His very best for me. I didn’t want to settle for some second-rate career where I’d be miserable. I was also convinced that He wanted me to work a full-time writing/social media job in the non-profit sector. Because of my personality type and being a perfectionist, when I have a task or project to do, I get fully absorbed into it. It’s like I have blinders on. That’s what happened in this job search. I was working hard, but I wasn’t asking God for guidance. After months of applications and interviews and getting absolutely nowhere, I began to get really frustrated. He closed door after door and instead of taking a hint and coming to Him for answers, I kept trying to do everything myself. I just thought I wasn’t working hard enough, and the solution lay in me trying harder.
Then I injured my foot and was forced to slow down a bit. I couldn’t walk or run or drive, and of course I had no job, so I kind of had nothing else to do but spend time with God (I know, bad Alix). Once I committed to being still and waiting on Him I felt God speak really clearly. First He told me to do a 3 day entertainment fast (no social media, Netflix, etc.). After the fast was over I pressed Him on what to do next. Why wasn’t I able to get any of these jobs I felt so qualified for? Was I looking in the wrong field? What the heck was I supposed to do??? Then I felt like He told me to start my own videography business. SAY WHAT??! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE making videos. I’ve been doing it since I was 10 years old. I think video is one of the most effective and inspiring forms of communication. Strangely, video work had been an unexpected part of almost every job I had recently interviewed for, and the thought of getting paid to film and edit made me SO excited. But start my own business?? That is a super intimidating venture. In fact, the only reason I hadn’t tried to make a living off of videography up until this point was FEAR. I had always made up excuses like, “I’m not talented enough”, or “I don’t have nice enough equipment”, or “I don’t have time”. So I told God that if this was really Him speaking and that if He truly wanted me to do this, I was going to need a sign. A big, obvious one.
Less than 48 hours hours later, I received an email from a non-profit where I had applied for a social media position a few months earlier. The lady told me that due to budget, they weren’t going to hire for that position after all (classic Alix job search woes). However, she went on to say that she was really impressed with my video work and experience (which we had discussed in an earlier phone interview). She asked if she could hire me to make a video for the non-profit. This was my big, obvious sign that I had asked for.
So now I’m taking the leap and starting my own freelance videography business. Maybe you think I’m crazy, and maybe I am. But instead of being like Gideon in the Bible and asking God for a second super obvious sign, I’m stepping out in faith believing that this is what God has called me to do. After all, what do I have to lose if I’m wrong? I want to live my life taking risks because I have no desire for a “normal”, boring life sitting safely on the sidelines.
This past week I have been working on my business plan. It has forced me to reflect on the why of my decision to start a business. Yes, I’m starting this business in part as a direct response to God’s voice, but why did He call me to do it? When I think about that, I’m reminded of the passion I’ve had for making videos since I was a little kid. The passion I had somehow managed to sweep under the rug and forget about because it was too scary to dream about anymore. Other than sports, making videos is still the thing that brings me the most joy and makes me feel most alive. It allows me to tell stories without words, which I think I value so much because of my introverted personality.
I hope that if you’re struggling to find your calling and you feel like all the doors of opportunity are being shut in your face, you’ll take a moment to be still. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong place, trying to open doors that God didn’t create you to open. I hope you’ll go to Him for answers. He’s the one who created your dreams, and then created you to live out those dreams. We do not have a cruel God who gives us dreams and ambitions just to crush them. We have a God who takes great delight in helping us discover (and re-discover) our passions and purpose, and then helping us live them out.