Compelled By Love (Nearly Thirty and Caught Up in the Possibilities)

I’ve been thinking about myself a lot lately.

Even more than usual. Mostly because I’m about to turn 30, and that seems like a fitting time to take stock.

Who am I and where am I headed?

I just came back from a missions trip to Indonesia on Monday, and that trip helped me gain perspective. God had told me beforehand that it would be a new beginning for me. And it was.

I like possibilities.

I’ve realized that about myself lately. I enjoy contemplating all the future scenarios just as much as, if not more than, I enjoy actual life. So it’s exciting entertaining thoughts of things I could potentially do in the future.

(One of the downers of getting older is that slowly those possibilities seem to diminish. For instance, I can no longer be one of those under-30 millionaires. Sad.)

Sometimes I have trouble figuring out what I actually want to do, because contemplating the plethora is more exciting than actually choosing something. Choosing something locks you down.

But I have clarity about at least this much:

1. I shouldn’t choose out of fear.
2. My aim shouldn’t be to prove myself to others.
3. I should be motivated by love.

I have become slightly obsessed with Shawn Bolz lately. For those who aren’t familiar with him, he is a pastor/minister/author whom I stumbled upon on Youtube several months back. I’ve been devouring everything I can find of him on Youtube since. I really connect to his messages. I think mostly because he is a great storyteller, he is a creative person (like me), and he is all about God’s love.

He talks a lot about how your calling should be about love. God won’t give you authority over something until you love it.

That truth has set me free.

If it were all about me, I think I would run around in circles until I wore myself out. (Haven’t I already spent plenty of minutes and hours doing just that?) But last week in Indonesia, I saw it clearly: It wasn’t about me.

In the best of ways, it wasn’t.

God loves me. He delights in me. He made me for amazing things, and He wants to see me do every single one of the things He created me for. Those are important components of the whole thing. But when He calls me higher, it’s not just about me fulfilling my potential. It’s about Him desiring to bless people through me.

Understanding that gave me so much boldness last week. In my prayers, in the way I spoke, in the way I went after things. It wasn’t myself I was promoting, it was God’s agenda of love.

It also gave me wisdom about when to back down. Because so often we want it to be about us when isn’t.

So now what?

I feel freer than I have in a long time. Free to dream. Free to imagine possibilities. Despite having just signed on for my fourth consecutive year at the same job, I feel a ripeness in the air for change. I haven’t pinpointed exactly what it is yet, but I think as long as I follow the principle of love, I can’t go wrong.



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After living in South Korea for over 7 years, Elizabeth is back in the States finding a new normal. Currently in seminary, she is enjoying unpacking questions of faith in a new context. Amidst the tension of brokenness and conviction, she continues to find grace. And above all else, she continues to pursue the God who inspires childlike wonder.

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