I've often heard the expression that people struggle with taking one step forward and two steps back. But I'm finding the truth is more that it's one step forward two steps sideways. I have my goals and I try to reach them, but every time I think I'm taking a step in the right direction something arises that throws everything off course. And it's not necessarily that I took the wrong step towards my destination, that step just reveals to me that I was headed toward the wrong destination.
There was a time that I was supposed to spend spring break in Florida, but the night before the road trip, we heard on the news that there were massive tornadoes ripping through the states on our planned route, and my friends in Florida cautioned that we should post-pone the trip because there was dangerous flooding going on all around the state.
As my friend and I met up the next morning, we both agreed there was no way we wanted to stay home, so we just hit the road not really knowing where we were going. It wasn't until half way through Kentucky that I realized what our destination should be, when I saw a sign for West Virginia. Neither of us had ever been to West Virginia, or even knew much about it.
Before we had ever left the city limits of Tulsa, we had looked at what appeared to be the best direction to go based on weather. There was fires in the west, flooding in the south, and tornadoes in the southeast. We said, let's just drive north east until we find something we'd like to do.
With no destination in mind, and only a general direction to go towards, this trip would prove to be a milestone in my life. Once we hit the Kentucky/West Virgina line, I found the place I wanted to grow old at.
Just like the story of aiming for Florida and landing in West Virginia, so is the story of my current state of life.
All my life I had my destination planned out to help orphans in Africa. I took the first step towards that goal by enrolling in college. But as I got in to college I found my heart lied with American children who had been hurt by their families. Then I set out for Tulsa with my eyes on a career in taking kids away from dangerous parents. As I traveled the journey through building my career, I found stopping child abuse begins with preventing children from growing up to be abusers and I found I want nothing to do with having to make the hard decision to take a child away from a family.
Then I found that lots of kids in the system are not taken away, but simply abandoned and never grow up with any guidance on how to be an upstanding adult. I learned stopping children from growing up to be abusers begins with helping kids find loving homes that can steer them in the right direction. Finally I learned what a gigantic gap there is in the number of orphan children in America versus loving homes. Thus I've come to believe that my heart lies with helping the orphans of America find loving homes to break the generational cycle of abuse.
I now see myself being an adoption agent and foster care recruiter. I've also been talking to an agency about possibly becoming a foster parent in the future, and I see myself adopting foster kids eventually.
But then there's a twist.
Three times in my life, I've been called out of a large crowd, by preachers who were strangers to me, and been told that God has a giant ministry planned for me. That I would travel through America and the world spreading the good news of God.
In August of this year a preacher stopped right in the middle of his sermon to tell me God was saying that I would have a giant ministry, and that I would surpass the work of Mother Teresa and her likes. The preacher said that he felt so confident in my ministry, that he wanted to have a part in it. He then reached in his wallet and handed me a $100 bill.
This went right along with the two other events where strangers had said very similar things to me, and it matched the visions I've had in my mind of me being up on stages talking to large crowds. But yet, it's still very unclear to me how this would ever happen, with my career goals and my personality.
Then there's another twist.
Like I mentioned before, a couple years back I fell in love with West Virginia. I feel very strongly that I am supposed to live there. I want to write books. I've always wanted to write books. Ever since I learned how to hold a pencil, I've wanted to write stories for a living. I see myself sitting on my back porch, admiring my amazing view, and sipping on coffee while writing books.
Thus, there is the road I am on. I have two years left in a work contract keeping me in Tulsa. I can vaguely see how all my plans may kind of sorta come together, but overall, I am in the same situation that I was on my road trip.
I have no idea where I want to end up, and only a general direction in mind, but I remain hopeful that the end of the destination will be just as magnificent as was the treasure I found at our final destination on our Florida road trip.
So I head for "Florida" now, with no idea what will become my "West Virginia"