I am used to forgiving myself for the mistakes I made before I came to Christ, knowing that God has given me a new beginning. For some reason, it is much harder for me to show myself grace for things I have done incorrectly after receiving Christ. I have access to the One who has all wisdom and knowledge and I am still making stupid mistakes? Ugh! (insert face palm)
Without a doubt, the thing that was missing from the first 26 years of my life was a sense of purpose. For as long as I could remember, my only job was to go to school and do well. Of course I had responsibilities as a young person in my parents home but the bulk of their expectation for me lied in my academic success. So I did that. After finding my feet in middle school following my move from one continent to the other, then again in high school after changing schools in the middle of the year, I excelled. I maintained high marks in school. I went to college and killed the game academically. I graduated with honors and met my goal of going to law school. Law school was a beast of a different nature but by God’s grace, I finished and I passed the bar on my first attempt. My purpose for those 23 years was to go to school and do well.
Done and done.
However, I did an extremely poor job of preparing myself for life after graduation; so without academic goals to meet, I found myself floundering for a sense of purpose at the age of twenty-four. My dream job never materialized and I was completely unprepared for not having opportunities fall into my lap. I did not know how to market myself or be aggressive in pursuing the salary I desired or deserved so I lagged behind, waiting on anyone who would drop the perfect opportunity in my lap because they liked me.
Encountering Christ in 2009 filled my life with purpose but I did not allow Him to direct my career. I had given up on myself career-wise so I poured myself into spiritual enterprises. I flourished spiritually even as my career shrank. I convinced myself that material success did not matter and buried my head in the sand, preferring to invest my time in my spiritual growth. My purpose was to expand the Kingdom of God and I was trying to convince myself that going to school for 19 years (I started when I was 4) was just fulfilling my duties; it had nothing to do with my calling in Christ.
It was a lie. I was avoiding addressing my shortcoming because it hurt my pride to think I could be failing in such a necessary area. The year 2009 should have been the year I took the bull by horns and addressed my fear of career-failure. It should have been the year I began the process of perfecting my craft in order to monetize my gifts. But I squandered a golden opportunity. Looking back almost nine years later, I still kick myself for “starting late.” So many of the holes that I had to dig myself out of in my 30’s would be non-issues had I not squandered the gift of time given to me all those years ago.
But I am glad God is a Redeemer. Even though I was allowing my gifts to waste away rather than letting them make room for me and bring me before great men, God did not allow me to rot to nothing. He has used various means over the past 10 years to keep me creating – this blog being the greatest of the avenues to keep my dreams alive during those desert years.
My dreams are finally big enough to scare me. These are not vain ambitions or delusions of grandeur but ideas and thoughts that have been part of my understanding of myself for as far back as I can remember. The things that I find myself doing with ease, that fill my life with joy and purpose also happen to be areas of need in the lives of those that I meet or those to whom I am already connected. I am still forgiving myself for not starting earlier. I regret the wasted years but I am encouraged that God who dwells in eternity can make time work in my favor.
If you are sitting on your dreams and waiting on the perfect time to start, allow me to be the push that you need from the Lord. There is no perfect time. Start today. Start now.