This Week’s Reading: 1 Peter 4

Anyone who follows me on social media or been within 12 feet of me over the past month or so knows I just got back from New Zealand. For those who have suffered through my wordless swoons at the mention of the trip or my dramatic retellings of stories that’ll never be as funny now as they were in the moment, I am thankful for the way you have indulged me.

It was the trip of a lifetime, and I still haven’t fully processed the way it has changed me.

Once I get past the “what was your favorite ____?” questions, many people have asked what I learned while I was there, and here it is: I love writing.

Which I suppose is not an earth shattering revelation given the fact that 1) I went on this trip as a writer for a travel magazine called Alpine Living, 2) I’m writing this blog right now and 3) writing is kind of my chosen life profession.

But basically I found, or rather rediscovered, that writing truly makes me feel happy and purposeful.

Back up about a year or so ago, I began to question the validity of both my major and my own talent as a writer. Through a lot of overthinking, misinterpreted comments and hard life situations, I slowly let go of the dream I had to write for a magazine.

In January of this year, I was walking along the cool night sand of Orange Beach with two of my best friends when I asked, “When did I stop thinking that I could do something extraordinary with my life?”

My roommate, Bailey, asked if it was because I lost faith that God would provide, and truthfully, I said no. I really had lost faith in myself.

And I had let that self-doubt creep into every part of my life — from my schoolwork to leadership roles and definitely to job applications.

When I was searching for jobs, I told myself (and others) that I had to find somewhere that had some sort of Godly mission, regardless of if it was really what I wanted to do.

Really, I think I was trying to validate what I was doing by only applying for jobs that I saw as “more glorifying to God,” and shying away from any position that would scare or challenge me.

Working for a God-centered company would be a wonderful thing. But as I was a part of an amazing team in New Zealand, so full of life and creativity and passion, I realized that I can be serving God’s purpose while doing what I love and what He has gifted me in — even if it’s not necessarily at a faith-based company.

I don’t have to be on staff at a church or working for a Christian nonprofit to love God and love others — God has others He places to do His amazing work there as well — but that may not be where I am supposed to serve Him. As long as I am pursuing His will and His glory in what I do, that is enough.

And through Him, I am enough.

Which brings me to the verse in 1 Peter 4 that I want to point out to you, friends, as you dream your own dreams:

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10

I feel strange saying I am now assured of my talent as a writer because it feels a little prideful, but I know it is something God has gifted me with to use for good (James 1:17). For that, I am humbled and grateful.

So whether I write about New Zealand or for The Dwelling Place or even just jot down notes in my journal, I want to be a good and faithful steward of words and use them to serve others.

God will use me in this form, as a writer somewhere, and friends, whatever your passions and gifts are, He will use you in that form. If God has placed something on your heart as a way to serve Him, that is all the validation you need for your talents. Be brave and use them.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17

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