When I came to California I had an idea of what the first year of my MBA program would look like: I’d breeze through my classes, get an entertainment summer internship, and be THE sought out 2nd year to speak with when classes resumed in the fall. Whelp I was wrong on all accounts. While there have been many high moments in business school and great experiences there have also been many trials and struggles. Thankfully I was pretty solid on my sense of self before business school started but there would have to be a lot of professional growth that needed to take place in between business school years.
I had to get some tangible internship experience and I had to get my hunger back. When I first started the program, I would have been content interning at a big company and taking cute pics, but my naivety and immaturity probably wouldn’t have gotten me far in the role or helped in my campaign for full time positions. So God led me somewhere unexpected: an e-commerce art company, a position I almost didn’t apply for. It is in this role working alongside the company founder that I am being molded and equip. As the business is only comprised of myself and the founder I have a lot of responsibility and a vested interest in wanting to see the company succeed. As there are only two of us, there is nowhere to hide, no one to pick up my slack if the work doesn’t get done. I also take more pride in my work and try to make every minute count because I know my hourly rate is coming from an entrepreneur and not a major corporation. In my role, my voice is heard, and I get to wear a lot of hats. Creative direct a photoshoot? Sure! Reach out to potential business partners? Check! Find opportunities to participate in promotional events in the city? Got it! I know I wouldn’t have gotten this kind of varied experience anywhere else; like positions prior to business school I may have slipped through the managerial cracks and simply done my role, not seeking out additional projects or new ideas.
Furthermore, in regards to getting my hunger back, the process of landing a summer internship was long and full of many highs and lows. But I’m grateful to be in the mode of seeking out opportunities, keeping relationships warm, and constantly keeping my skills sharp as I will need this same energy to begin looking for full-time opportunities in the fall.
So as you go about your life and see things aren’t unfolding as they seem, look a little closer and see if God is redirecting you. That redirection may not mean you won’t get to your same final destination but God needed to take you a different route because there were some things He needed to show you along the way.
“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths.” (Psalm 25: 4)
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 56: 8-9)
“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21: 2)
The 10-year mark since my car accident and traumatic brain injury fell during my Tokyo trip and on the same day as the royal wedding but I would be remiss if I didn’t reflect on May 19, 2008, and how far I’ve come since then. I’m grateful for the life I’ve been able to live since May 19, 2008. I went from possibly not living to see my high school graduation to graduating high school on-time with my class, to graduating Magna Cum Laude from college, working for 4 years in local news production, completing 1 year of a top-tier full-time MBA program, and traveling the world along the way. I speak a lot about my accident, so I’ll keep it short and reflect on 10 truths I’ve realized over the last 10 years:
I’m not a huge jewelry person but most days you can find me in a pair of studs and my Alabama class ring. I’m also not the most observant person but one day last week I was laying on my couch and noticed my right ring finger felt bare. I noticed I wasn’t wearing my ring but I shrugged it off and decided I’d look for it the next day. But when the ring wasn’t in its usual spot in my jewelry box, my car, or anywhere at my job I started to panic. I racked my brain of all the places I had visited in recent days and began to call local businesses to see if they had found a gold Alabama ring. No luck.
I couldn’t take my mind off my ring, but resolved I would find it and decided to go to sleep…or so I thought. I woke up at 4am with my ring on my mind. I knew it had to be somewhere in my apartment or my car. So since it was a workday I figured I’d search for a little bit and go back to sleep since I had to be up just after 7 a.m. But luckily it didn’t take long for me to find my ring, it was in the bottom of my work bag. This work bag was the same bag on my shoulder the previous day as I lamented to my coworker about my fears. I contemplated sending a station wide email out to see if anyone had seen my ring. Once I found the ring I kissed it and climbed back in bed. I was so joyful. I hadn’t looked into the option of ordering another ring from Balfour but I knew it wouldn’t be cheap. I just knew I had to find it. While I was feeling the joy of finding my ring I immediately thought of God. A scripture that came to mind:
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one, does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'” In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)
Finding my ring helped illustrate that scripture for me; it really encouraged me to be persistent trying to reach people. I’m convinced God doesn’t give up on any of His lost sons and daughters until the end of time and I don’t want to either. I imagine my life much like how I approached track in high school—leave everything on the track and give it my all crossing the line. I want to do the same in life and hopefully during my race I can encourage people through my walk and talk and help guide them to a relationship with Jesus.
“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart…therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Hebrews 12: 1-3; 12)
How you doing? I’m doing great! Not much has changed since I started this blog over a year ago. I’m still working my crazy shift (11:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.). My job is still stressful and has a daily deadline. I don't have a ton of money after paying my bills. I’m currently #teamsingle, but through it all, I can’t complain! What has changed is my mindset and that has made all the difference.
My whole life I’ve always wanted to escape circumstances. My prayers would be, “God remove this obstacle, person, or situation from my life.” Now, I’m accepting where I’m at, is no mistake, and God is using my circumstances to make and mold me. I’m constantly chanting, “He’ll never give you more than you can bear.” God knew the circumstances I would face right now in my life, before I was born. Nothing is a surprise to Him.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, ‘Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the lord.” (Lamentations 3: 22-26)
Commentary: Trusting in God’s faithfulness day by day makes us confident in His great promises for the future.
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right? And while I’m changing my mindset on my current situation, I’m also changing my mindset about my future. I have big dreams and I know I can’t get there without God, in His time.
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27: 13-14)
Commentary: Often God uses waiting to refresh, renew, and teach us. Make good use of your waiting times by discovering what God may be trying to teach you.
I’m discovering there is comfort in the waiting and purpose.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
I heard a sermon not too long ago and a part that stood out to me was a line that said God loves us all as if we were His favorite. Not going to lie I feel like that all the time and then I think about how God has the capabilities to have intimate relationships with billions of people at the same time. Doesn’t that just blow your mind??! God can intimately know the thoughts, desires, hopes, and dreams of billions of people all at the same time! Sometimes I like to consider the greatness of God and all His creation to remind myself just how small I am and my problems are.
“How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out…Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion?” (Job 36: 26, 29)
A God this big loves us, how encouraging.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10: 29-31)
That worth part is really resonating with me, we’re valuable. Even if people on this Earth don’t appreciate it; life is so short I think we should spend it with people that appreciate us and our value. You can’t pick your co-workers or family but you can pick your friends and significant others; make sure they value you ;)
**image courtesy: multiplythemessage.com
I'm pretty content this holiday season. I managed to think of two things to tell my parents to get me for Christmas, but really if I get neither I'll be fine. As I read over the usual Christmas passages, I'm reminded of the priceless gift God has given us: Christ. It's a gift we could never repay Him for. But the thing I love about God's gift of His Son and the opportunity for eternal life is that everyone has access to this gift. There is no age limit, the gift is unisex, and one size fits all. If you haven't already accepted this free gift from God, I encourage you to seek it this Christmas season.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved...As the Scripture says, 'Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.'” (Romans 10: 9, 11)
I guarantee your life will be better. I'm not saying it will be perfect, but you'll gain a Savior and a hope to live in this fallen world. A verse I’ve been using lately to encourage myself:
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)
Have you accepted God's priceless gift? Do you know someone who needs to accept His gift? Talk to them today.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near…Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55: 6-7)
Salvation is the perfect gift from someone who knows us better than we know ourselves.
“For just as the suffering of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (1 Corinthians 1:5)
Hi! I'm Marilyn!