Is God’s Way the Risk?

So last week I had an epiphany, or a clear cut conversation with God over a brewing cup of coffee Thanksgiving morning. That conversation led to the ease of getting back on track with several posts I had gotten behind on.

Then at lunch someone mentioned that my eldest had said he was still thinking about going to school for architecture. I replied, “That’s one of a few things.”

Which launched an entire conversation about his other choices.

Between acoustic, electric, and bass, this is what this child does 24/7.

I was taken aback when a younger person said he shouldn’t go to school for music because it was a hobby not a profession. No money in it where we live.

Our son has said he wants to be an architecture for as long as I can remember. When they first started talking about careers at school, he started talking about architecture. 

However, as he has progressed through life, it is easy to see where his gifts and talents lie. None of those gifts and talents point in directions that I have spent his lifetime hoping and praying he’d grow up to be. My dreams are nothing compared to the purpose God created him to fulfill.

This Sunday in church one of our sermon notes said “God is responsible for the outcome. I am responsible for obedience.”

Today in the midst of my overwhelming stress and struggle to fight off a panic attack, I logged on my blog and saw someone new to my blog had left a comment. When I read the comment I was certain they must have typed it on the wrong blog.

See, I hadn’t really blogged at all since last spring. In October a couple of my blog posts seemed to be picked up by someone/something and I had over 12,000 page views that month. Prior to that I hadn’t ever received 5,000 page views in a month. My husband made the comment that I needed to get back to writing. Especially if my site was getting that much traffic without any new content.

I struggled with his suggestion. I want to write. I feel like I’m supposed to, but I’ve done it purposefully for three years now with no tangible results. Short of a numbers game, I’ve met none of my goals with this venture.

I’ve re-evaluated and made adjustments each year. I’ve taken advice. I’ve read countless posts on the next steps. Yes, I’ve prayed.

But that conversation isn’t anymore comfortable than the one with my husband.

“God, I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing here. Am I supposed to be doing this?”


“Who am I writing to? Women? Parents? Bible study teachers? Teens? Adults? Sunday school teachers? Who?”


“Am I doing this to become my ministry? Will this be my entry point to being a speaker? A book deal? Which should I actually start with?”


“But I don’t understand. What is my ultimate goal here? What am I aiming for? What is my purpose? To teach? Inspire? Evangelize? Motivate? Love? Build a resume?”


“Ugh. Is that all you can say?!?! I need a plan. I need specifics. I need to know how this works out. I don’t want to get my hopes up and then everything fall apart.”

Just write.

See, I don’t do well without a plan. Just do it with no direction doesn’t match up with my plan. It actually stresses me out. What if I all I do is waste time?

I wonder how often we do things that others think are best for us, but ignore the purpose God has created us for because it doesn’t make sense or match up with our plans?

Years ago everyone told me I needed to be a teacher. I liked kids, I was smart, and the best thing for me to do was to go to school for elementary education. Even though I wanted to do anything except that, I started down that path. Until I did my observation hours. And then I quit the program.

Fast forward a couple years and a couple kids. I’m sitting in the doctor’s office talking to a nurse practitioner. Feeling almost physically ill as I tell her I think I’m going crazy. That I can’t take anymore. That I don’t know if I need medicine, to see a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. She looks at me, laughs, and says, “Carrie, you are the most well-adjust 20-something I’ve seen. You need to be teaching and inspiring high school students. You don’t need medicine or counseling. Go back to school.”

I left that office thinking, “Great. I’m so crazy I have people believing I’m sane.”

Fast forward again to a meeting with a church member who was also a bank president. We were asking for financial advice based on some bad financial decisions we needed to get out from under. His suggestion? You would be a great high school English teacher. Go back to school and finish your degree.

I don’t want my child to follow the advice of well-meaning people. Not family, not church members, not medical professionals. None of those people are God. 

In my experience, God’s plans rarely make sense and yet they always work out. Architecture? Education? Those opportunities will always be there. However, there are opportunities, doors God opens, that don’t remain that way forever.

Would we rather take the safe bet or go with God? Why do we always seem to see God’s way as the risk when we already know who He is and what He is capable of doing?

And how can I expect my child to follow God when I can’t accept a compliment paid to me for doing what I’ve been called to do?

photo credit: barnyz via photopin cc

5 responses to this post.

  1. God is trying to express Himself through you through your writing. He has something to say through you and you are the vehicle he has chosen to express what He has to say. I was an English teacher for years. I loved it. I loved helping students to express themselves through the writing process in their search for their authentic selves. It's not an easy vocation and it will consume your time, even after the last bell has rung. There are other ways to be a “teacher” — one need not be confined to a high school classroom to teach (online teaching, private tutoring, writer's coach, etc.). Good luck on your path.


  2. I also nominated you for the Liebster Award…if you want to participate, you can find out how on my blog at


  3. This is extremely powerful SO powerful. There is much wisdom in your words, and I thank you so much for sharing your heart. God's way makes no sense to us. But that is okay. He knows what He is doing! And my toddler looked at this page and said “Guitar?” Even he at his age loves music, and we will encourage that, like you are encouraging your son. If he follows God, it doesn't matter what people say.


  4. Maybe your son is meant to do both. Music is expensive, and it doesn't pay well. If he enjoys art and architecture, I can see it helping to pay the bills and supporting his music habit until that can support itself. Must it be either-or? Which one can rely more on God-given talent, and which needs training and certifications? IF he hated architecture, found it a soul-killing pursuit, and was only interested because he saw it as a safe or lucrative choice, I wouldn't encourage it. I know a masterful baker who should have done that for a career, but went into accounting, instead, because his family thought it was a more respectable profession. And that's a shame. But no reason your son can't have two career paths to better prepare him for life. My daughter majored in music, but I don't think it's actually her long term “calling.” I see her in a role where she's advocating for the voiceless, or teaching, or helping people. Of course, I could see her doing something like teaching and building instruments here:

    So, write. 🙂 Fiction, you say? What kind of fiction do you most enjoy reading? Many writers feel they've run through their favorite books and write the one they'd want to read. I have spent much of my career in technical writing, but my first love was fiction. I'm not much of a novelist, but I enjoy writing short stories. One night, I wrote a book for my own son – to give him something useful to do while he laid awake worrying about monsters under the bed. And THAT was published a few years later. I've written two more children's books since then, and I think maybe they're my favorites.


  5. You might have your son take a look at the University of North Texas. They have an excellent music program, as well as other academic majors and areas of study. Nothing wrong with being well rounded. Maybe having a double major…


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