It is astonishing to me how quickly life moves. It feels like just yesterday I was in high school, and now I’m in my senior year of college!
With each passing year comes new opportunities and challenges. For many of us, we are applying for colleges, applying for jobs, or applying for internships. This is my senior year of college, and I needed to start pursuing new opportunities, primarily internships.
Maybe you’re not seeking internships, but you still have a new adventure in front of you. Perhaps you’ve just been asked to take over the children’s ministry at your church. Maybe you’ve just accepted a new job that you don’t have experience with. Or maybe you just feel overwhelmed with all the stuff you currently have on your plate.
Today, I want to share with you the lessons I’ve learned, that I wish someone had told me when I was in the thick of moving into new opportunities! Let the adventure begin!
God promises to direct your paths
This spring, I applied for a writing internship with a non-profit that advocates for the poor in third-world countries. After my application, I was contacted by the company, and my chances of being hired looked great! But as I spent time with God, something just was not sitting right with me about pursuing the internship any further. God wants to lead and guide us, but most of the time He will not speak to us in an audible voice. Through His Spirit, He will quietly warn us that something is not right.
I obeyed God’s leading, and I stopped the application process. At the time, it did not make any sense to turn down this opportunity, but often what God is telling you to do does not make sense! Looking back, I realize one-hundred-percent that the internship was not a good opportunity, and God saved me from a ginormous waste of time and energy.
Colossians 3:15 says to let the peace of God rule in our hearts. When we do not have peace about something, it often means that God is leading us away from something. God sees the end from the beginning–He has the big picture of our lives right before Him. Even when God’s directions do not make logical sense to us, we can obey with confidence because we know that God has good plans for us and He has the big picture of our lives constantly before Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says that as we acknowledge God in all our ways, He will make our paths straight. It might not make sense to you, but God sees the end of the story. He wants to lead us into the good works that He has already prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10)!
Do not get discouraged when opportunities fall through
Oftentimes, opportunities that look promising just do not work out. In other situations, it takes a long time for something to work out. Something I quickly learned with the application process is that opportunities falling through is a natural part of the process.
In the spring, I was offered a marketing internship, and I was very excited about it! Then, COVID hit, and my internship there was canceled. I was discouraged because I had felt like this opportunity was from God. As I was still searching for new opportunities and even applying for a job, the company that I currently intern for emailed me! They asked me to do some volunteer work for them, which I gladly did. The president of the organization saw my work and liked it, and I was offered an internship for this fall.
Being patient is not one of my strengths, but I have learned from these setbacks that there is usually a better opportunity right around the corner! Do not allow yourself to get discouraged when it doesn’t feel like the right opportunities are coming your way. When I interview for my current internships, it took them well over a week to get back to me on whether I had gotten the internships. While that waiting period was a little bit stressful, I found out that they had decided to hire me immediately, but they were trying to work out all the internship details before they contacted me.
It may feel like things are not working out well, or you may be waiting for a while, but I promise you that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf, putting you in the position He has for you that will bring Him glory.
Never let fear stop you
For us teenagers and young adults, new opportunities often feel scary! Everything is new to us–we do not have prior experience to fall back on as we walk into our schools, our jobs, or our internships. As we go on new adventures, it is easy to let fear of the unknown build up in our heads.
My internship is in a busy, downtown office building. I do not spend much time in these areas, and after I got the internship, I worried incessantly about driving down there. Even the thought of navigating the parking garage terrified me! As I found out on my first day, all my worrying was for naught. My driving skills have only gotten better and better as I have learned how to navigate the busy city areas.
Maybe you are not scared of driving like I was, but other things that scare you about the new opportunities in your life. God sees and understands every fear you have. God does not want us to live tormented by fear–instead, He wants to comfort us with His love. And God’s perfect love casts all fear out of our lives (1 John 4:18)!
God has amazing plans in store for each and every one of us! Sometimes pursuing those opportunities can be a little scary, or maybe things do not work out when we expected them to. But, God is with us through the entire process, and as we listen to His quiet whisper, He will lead us in the direction that He has for us!