Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Year's Revolution

I’ve never wanted to actually be a store as much as I want to be Anthropologie. That may not make sense, but I'll try to explain: Have you ever heard an incredible song (Like "Sergeant Pepper" by the Beatles, "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder or "The Blower's Daugher" by Damien Rice), and become so enraptured by it that a part of you is inexorably lost in the music? For a moment, you want to be that song.

The same is true for me and Anthropologie. I'm sure that comes across as silly and frivolous. In a way, I guess it is- but with its quirky books, whimsical dresses and chunky "curl up by a window and read a book on a rainy day" sweaters, the store personifies what my soul aspires to be.

I’m in San Antonio for the day, and since Anthropologie is only minutes away from my parents' home, I determined to lose myself for a few hours in the store. Call it "retail therapy" … minus the actual exchanging of cash for goods (I’m poor).

My mom agreed to accompany me on this soul-soothing sojourn, and in the car along the way she and I talked about a new academic policy that affects my younger brother at Texas State.

"That’s crazy," I said. "When I was in school that never would have happened." I kept on talking, but all at once I was struck by what I had just said.

"When I was in school."

I still can’t believe that I’m no longer a student. On December 9, 2006, I said goodbye to my beloved University of Texas. In the days and weeks after my graduation, I left Austin, moved to Dallas and began a paid graduate internship at an international public relations firm. It’s been a thrill so far; I’ve enjoyed exploring my predominantly Mexican neighborhood, venturing into “exotic” bodegas, panaderías, and fruterías. Work has offered its share of excitement as well. The woman who made the final decision to hire me indicated that most of their interns are hired on to full-time, salaried positions, so come May, I could be a true public relations professional.

A small part of me rejoices in that possibility. "Okay! Security! A great job in an exciting, glamorous field! I could buy cute work clothes from… Anthropologie!"

But then another part of me wilts when I think of spending every day putting on a mask, trudging into an office where I will spend each day on the phone, behind a desk, basking in the glow of my computer monitor, feeding the corporate machine. Is that the life I’m destined for? I could probably do fine in PR, hold a job in marketing, make some money as a journalist… but those things are not my passions. Why haven’t I figured out yet what sets my heart ablaze?

Some things I do know about myself: My spiritual gifts are Mercy, Pastor/Shepherding and Exhortation. I love to help and teach people in need. I always love to learn. Money is far less important to me than personal satisfaction and the knowledge that I am "making a difference." I love experiencing new things, and routine exhausts me.

As for the specifics, I’m desperately seeking the Lord to reveal His purpose for my life. I’m doing my best to offer myself as a living sacrifice to Him, and I’m looking for ministry opportunities. I’d like to go on a mission trip. I could also see myself going back to school and getting a Masters of Education or Counseling. I feel primed and ready to serve His kingdom, but I’m pleading for the Lord’s direction. To be honest, at times the lack of certainty feels discouraging and frustrating.

I’ve been reading the autobiographical account of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch WWII-era Jew who found a ministry in the concentration camps to which she was confined. After she was released (due to a clerical error; she was supposed to have been executed the week after she was released), she traveled to the United States and stayed in a YWCA while she tried to find permanent housing. After some time, the clerk at the facility told Corrie that she would not be allowed to stay much longer, and asked where she should forward Corrie’s mail. Her response?

"I don’t know yet. God has a room for me but He has not told me where yet."

The clerk handed Corrie her mail, clearly concerned about the woman’s impending need for shelter.

Corrie opened one of the letters in the stack. It was from a woman who had heard her speak in New York, and wanted to offer her the use of her son’s room.

Bottom line: Our Father is faithful, and he provides. He has a “room” for me too, even though I don’t know where yet.

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19 (NLT)

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Beautifully written. It's scary how your thinking seems to be exactly the same as Brad's.