My heart was beating so hard I thought the people around me could actually see and hear it. “They will laugh at me,” I thought. “They will think I’m stupid.” Anxious and trying to grasp every ounce of self control I could find to stay in my seat, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. It was 2 seconds of bravery that led my feet down the bleachers and into the arms of a girl named Sarah who prayed over me at the altar call of my high school chapel. I already had accepted Christ, but I wasn’t living a passionate life with Him in the driver’s seat, so I decided I would that day.
At that point in my life, I had been in church most of the days of my life. As in, every Wednesday, Sunday and depending on the youth group event, possibly all weekend. So, what was different about the response I had to this specific message? The medium.
Acting, singing and anything on screen were my language. I could listen to a lecture, but I could LIVE through a performance or video. That’s when I realized what my passion was. Even though I knew then that I wanted to relay God’s love in an entertainment medium, I didn’t realize that it was actually possible. Sometimes when things come easy to us, we don’t recognize them as gifts from the Lord. Often, we think our passion should fit in a box and we limit ourselves. I did exactly that as I tried to figure out what my calling looked like in action. I didn’t pursue this passion until I was 22 years old!
Here are the steps I took at 22 to get right back to the passion I found at 15.
- Brain Spill – When I was trying to discover my passion, I got a poster board and some markers. I started writing down things I loved or just enjoyed doing in my free time. A few things on my list were: Making videos and Powerpoints, acting, producing PSA messages, teaching teens about their self worth, writing, etc. My list went on and on for three giant poster boards covering my door.
- Categorize – Do things you’ve written down have common link or theme? Could the skills you have and passions you’ve written fall into a job description that already exists? Could you make a job out of your brain spills?
- Action Items – Make a list of things you need for STEP ONE of your passion, NOT step twelve. You’ll get there, but thinking too far ahead is overwhelming and discouraging. Just Step One for now.
- Fight Fear – As I went through this process it dawned on me that I hadn’t pursued these passions because I was scared. “They will laugh at me,” I thought. “They will think I’m stupid.” The lies of my 15 year old self were resurfacing, so I went into battle. My Bible and I were BFFS and I’ve never prayed harder than when I was starting to pick my passion.
Lastly, Start. Then fail. Then, start again. Failure is inevitable. It’s going to happen. Ah, feel better? No? Oh. Well, the sooner you fail, the sooner you succeed. You know when you go to the grocery store and there’s a million speed bumps before you can actually park and walk in to get 50 items that you don’t need when you just went in for toilet paper? Sorry, the wound is still fresh. The sooner you get over the speed bumps, the sooner you’ll reach your goal AND THEN SOME because of the lessons you learned along the way!
Try the four steps and see where it leads. Picking your passion can be an exciting adventure with the Lord!