Finished School? What now?

"Well, you can't live at home forever, so what are you going to do with your life?"

"So, are you going to college?"

Have you been bombarded with these questions from well meaning teachers and curious neighbors?  When I was in high school I would inwardly groan when the questions of college and a career were brought up.  My responses ranged from hurried "I don't knows" to vague lawyer-like explanations.

Since my father is a doctor, I was often asked if I intended to also be a doctor. One person told me a story of a woman who became a doctor and then had several children. She had a special room in her clinic where they were babysat. Then, between patients she could "mother" them. I was horrified. I didn't want to become locked into a career that would limit my ability to do the one thing I was sure I would love, being a full-time mom.

Occasionally, I would admit my desire not to attend college. Eyebrows would immediately raise and often disapproving or disappointed looks would follow.

Upon reaching the age of 18 and officially graduating from our family home school, I immediately met with very intense pressure from friends, teachers, and others to pursue a profession, attend college and even move out and get a "place of my own."  Many people assured me this would enable me to become a successful, independent career woman.

Happiness and fulfillment would of course naturally follow. Thankfully, I had several older women in my life (including my mother), who by example, showed me that true success, happiness, and fulfillment come from God and doing His will.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

We don't have to conform blindly to what the world tells us is our next step in life!  Instead, we can seek God's wisdom. After all, God put us on this earth, designed us with a specific purpose, and gave us the gifts we need to do it. He's got a detailed map, and all we have to do is ask for directions!

Taking my mother's advice, I asked the Lord to show me what I should do with my time and talents. It seemed like everything I read in the Bible encouraged me to wait on the Lord. This was NOT what I wanted to hear!  I wanted an answer now!  I even prayed one day that the Lord would solve my dilemma by the following Thursday. On Thursday the answer came… Keep waiting Jenny!

Looking back, I can now see that the Lord was teaching me to trust Him in this area. When I finally released control of my future to Him, he began to reveal, in small pieces, His will for my life.

I accepted an opportunity to take a correspondence writing course. Soon after, my father found himself in need of a secretary. A year and a half later, the Lord opened a way for me to start a spring season greenhouse business on our family property. It is now three years since I opened the business and I am continuing to expand.

I currently teach 13 piano students, and have been called on to play the piano and organ for several different churches. Because the greenhouse business only keeps me busy during six months of the year, I am also available for other different things such as helping a mom on bed rest, filling in as an accompanist for a music festival, teaching 5th and 2nd grade Math and English to my brothers… this list goes on!

What the Lord has not called me to do so far is to attend college, move out of home, or embark on a full-time career! The very things many people told me I needed to do in life were not at all what the Lord had planned for me. His plan is so much better!

God's plan has allowed me to get to know my father better after working with him for nearly four years. It has enabled me to become an entrepreneur, doing the things I love--working with flowers, children, and music! On the financial side of things, God's plan has blessed me with no debt, no rent, very few expenses, and a nice little income with room to grow.

Over the last few years there have been many times where I have been unsure of which bend in the road to take, but the Lord has always come through, even when there were problems with the greenhouse, or church organs with broken stops!

JENNY McGINNIS

Larsen, Wisconsin, USA

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