As kids, we all have dreams. As a matter of fact, a typical question posed to children is, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”
I, like all other children, had my answer. By the age of three, I wanted to be an airplane pilot. I would get super excited every time I would see an airplane flying high in the sky. I knew that I had discovered what I wanted to do as a job. As a career. As a life.
When I was seven years old, I felt God calling me to be a missionary. This time, I had truly found what I was supposed to do with my life, what God had called me to do for the rest of my life. I don’t remember a booming voice or a special stirring in my spirit; I have often described it as a knowing, and a contentment in that knowing.
This goal has been one that I have reached for during all the following years of my life. Everything I did, studied, read, was somehow related to this future I had in mind for myself. But along the way, other dreams crept in.
For example, in middle school, it became my grand ambition to be a singer. I wanted to worship God and share about him through music. I wanted to be a famous singer, travelling, performing, the dream life. I almost wanted to be a singer more than a missionary.
By high school, I realized that this dream of mine was a tad unrealistic, seeing as how I am not really that talented and had no chance of being “discovered.” And I refocused on being a missionary, serving God cross-culturally someday.
Heading into my one-year anniversary on the mission field, I started thinking about all the things I have wanted to be or do in my life. As a somewhat achievement-minded person, this list is quite long. And the funny thing is, I am living out nearly every one of my ambitions. Or should I say, God is allowing all of my dreams to come true as I submit to his will.
I remember wanting to be a teacher when I was very young. My friends and I would play school, taking turns teaching our dolls and toys. Nowadays, however, I don’t have to set down a collection of stuffed animals to be a teacher. I teach English as an outreach to my neighbors here in Cusco. There is also a woman I am discipling that asked me to teach her how to read and write. I am teaching people here in Cusco, seeing that dream from once-upon-a-time come true. I also love kids, and now playing with them is part of my job.
When I was in high school, I discovered my affinity for baking. Cupcakes, cookies, pies, whatever. If it had sugar and went in the oven, I enjoyed making it. And I thought it would be so cool to have my own bakery someday. I knew about coffee shop ministry, and wanted to have my own bakery ministry. This Christmas season, though, I utilized this desire and baked about eight dozen cookies for the people I am discipling or my contacts around Cusco. Another checkmark on my life goals list.
It has always been natural for me to speak in public. This thing which terrifies many is exciting and exhilarating to me. And a couple of times a month, I get to stand up in front of crowds in public plazas and share of God’s amazing grace.
I wanted to be a pastor. I wanted to plant churches. I wanted to be an artist. All these things, I get to do now.
My dream was to be a singer, and when we do events in public plazas, we often use music to draw a crowd. This means I sing in front of crowds. I worship God through music. I am a singer. God answered the desire of my heart. I am finally a missionary, fulfilling my life-long dream, living in the center of his will. And not only am I a missionary, I am doing every other thing I have ever wanted to do. (Except being a pilot, but there is still time for that.)
“Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)