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5 year dreams??

February 7, 2015

My boss has officially let the cat out of the bag at work, so I feel confident in letting the cat out of the bag on the inter-web. I am in the middle of interviewing for a full time staff position at Chick-fil-A. If you remember from a previous blog this summer, I work as a design contractor at the home office but am not officially a Chick-fil-A employee…. (maybe) yet. So here I sit, interviewing, which is an incredibly vulnerable and emotionally draining process, no matter how fast-tracked my process has been comparatively (there are definitely perks to already working in the role you’re applying for!).

Whether in an interview setting or a dinner party, my LEAST FAVORITE QUESTION OF ALL TIME is “what do you see yourself doing in 5 years?” The worst is to add “PROFESSIONALLY” after the “doing” part. Here’s why it’s so hard for me… because 5 years ago, I was finishing up my senior thesis in undergrad, working on a hospital design project, thinking I so desperately wanted to design hospitals for sick people. The journey from then to now, in no particular order is: having the desire to never design anything ever again, applying for seminary to study urban ministry, thinking of doing overseas ministry full-time, dreaming of being a campus minister for a college ministry, wanting nothing more than to be a mom/blogger/author, thinking maybe I want to design again, longing to own my own restaurant… all over the place! So answering the question “what do I want to be doing professionally in 5 years?” just makes me giggle.

I have zero idea what I want to do or where I want to be in 5 years. Having worked at Chick-fil-A for 8 months now, I haven’t met someone yet who I’ve said YEP, that’s the job I want when I’ve paid my dues. I haven’t figured that out yet. So instead I’ve answered the question like this…. “uhhhhhhh…” (awkward silences in an interview are really uncomfortable!) Thankfully I work for some insanely amazing (and patient) people who have helped me come up with an answer to their question. Instead of thinking so far into the future, the question always shifted to, “well what have you liked to do in your job currently?” and that has helped us both, together, get to some kind of a decent answer.

What’s so funny to me is this morning, reading “The Furious Longing of God” by Brennan Manning (gosh, I just love him) the chapter I read is called “Boldness” and the “Consider this” question at the end of the chapter was…

If Jesus were to ask you, right now– what do you want?— what would you say? Seriously, what would your answer be?

HA. So not only are an array of people at Chick-fil-A asking me this question but now Brennan has put me on the spot too! So there I sat, marker pressed to the page of my journal and wrote “Career or family” and then something about my career being a bigger desire in my life right now than a family and ya da ya da, Lord… am I going to be one of those women who only cares about her career an wakes up at 45 with a checking account full of money and no one to spend it on??? HELP! But then I got down to the good stuff, and starting really prying into what I wanted and realized that my answer was so “Christian-ese”. It was so cliche. It was so…. ehh… just felt like what I was supposed to say I didn’t even want to write it down. But then I really started thinking about my past dreams and wants and the stuff that I have longed for with every one of my hair follicles, the pain that has come from longing for something so much and then having it disappear, or not happen, or not exist anymore. I was going to go somewhere totally different with this post, but forks in the road can be fun, so let’s just walk down this one for a minute…. with all that pain, disappointment, and “being let down by God”, it’s really hard to dream again. It’s hard to want something again. It’s hard to even think about the question “What do you want to be doing in 5 years?” because my answer could lead to wanting something and wanting something could lead to not getting something and not getting something can lead to pain.

My cliche answer is that I want what He wants for me. Because hindsight is 20/20 and I am so grateful He hasn’t given me some of the things I have begged and pleaded for, because what I have now, with those things gone, is far better/healthier/happeier/fuller/and more rewarding than if He settled into giving me what my small mind and perspective had asked for.

My cliche answer is very true. It’s still reality. I want what He wants for my life. Because VA’s plans are measly. VA’s dreams are so small. VA’s vision for her life is teeny-tiny in comparison with what He wants to do with me. Here’s the kicker, I need His confidence to ask for the HUGE things…to ask for the BIG whoopers that I can’t even think up right now because my personal feelings towards myself still rest far too often on my past mistakes and failures and worthless-ness and pain of disappointment.

Therefore, brethren, since we have CONFIDENCE to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He has inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of FAITH. Hebrews 10:19-22

I have no fear when it comes to walking in faith into decisions He has paved the way for me to walk through. I’ve made lots of leaps of faith because with every small leap, my confidence in HIM has grown, which gives me the ability to trust Him more and more and more and more.

“The one thing we owe absolutely to God is never to be afraid of anything” Charles deFoucald

Anything. Anything. ANYTHING. I pat myself on the back all the time because I am not afraid of “anything”! I know who has my identity, I know who has my finances, I know who has my future. But do I know who has my dreams? Do I trust God with my dreams? Do I trust that if I dream something or want something or long for something, and He doesn’t give it to me… do I trust that He still is who He says He is and that He still has my best interest at heart?

It’s easier for me to not dream at all than to face the reality that He hasn’t turned one of my dreams into a reality. 


Didn’t see that coming.

Walking away from this blog post my prayers are going to be a little different…Lord, give me the confidence to dream again. Take me to deeper levels of faith with You as I TRUST You with my dreams. And Lord, just give me dreams! Something! Anything that we can start practicing with. Today, that dream is to get the job I’m applying for… there… I want it. I’ll admit it. And since it’s published on the inter-web, it’ll be a mega-opportunity to practice trusting You if the dream doesn’t become a reality.

Maybe I’m not ready to dream 5 year dreams yet but hey, I’ve dreamed a 5 week one and that’s one heck of a start.

xoxo, va

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