2 Corinthians 9:10
"For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you."
I have always had a love for drawing. If there was a scrap of paper and some form of writing utensil around, I was probably using it to doodle. It seems like it was always a dream of mine to be a fashion designer (Ok, so when I was really little I had wanted to be a ballerina on a pig farm, but that isn’t usually an option on occupation scroll down lists, so I’m not really going to count thatJ). Being from a small town in Ohio, a fashion designer job seemed a bit of a reach to most people, but I was determined.
I did some research on starting salaries when the time came to decide my major in college, and I got a little worried, so I decided to apply to get a fashion merchandising degree instead of design. I made my way back to my old high school homecoming game during my first semester of college, and I ran into my old art teacher there. He asked me how things were going, and he must have seen the reluctance in the field I chose because it was at that time that he gave me some of the best advice I have ever received. He told me, “follow your heart, the money will come later”. That really hit home for me, so I went back to college and changed my major to design.
After graduation, I packed up all my belongings and made the move to NY with no job prospects on the horizon, but like many of you who moved to NY from small towns across the U.S. and other parts of the world, I came with a BIG dream. I had faith that my opportunity would come. I finally got a job, although it wasn’t ideal or lucrative. I knew that I had to start somewhere. The amazing thing is that after my first two jobs in the industry, I didn’t really have to search for what my next move would be. People contacted me and gave me opportunities by word of mouth from other past co-workers or individuals that had crossed my path in the past-each a better opportunity than where I was at the time. Three years after moving to NY I received the phone call to be the designer at my current job.
As much as I’m sure you’ve all loved hearing about my work history, the point I’m trying to make is that none of this would have been possible without God and the abilities and dreams He has blessed me with. He gives each of us special gifts and he wants us to use them for His glory. With the gifts God has given me I can not only make a living, I can mentor other prospective students/designers, try to be a positive Christian example in my office, and at times have the ability to make clothing donations to needy organizations around the world thru my workplace. I feel blessed that my job has enabled me to freely give of my time, talents, and treasures at the Journey as well by serving in many community service growth groups, and even going on the S. Africa mission trip a few years ago.
My challenge to you is make a list of at least 5 things you really enjoy doing, have passion for, and/or that you excel at. If you really want to give this a go, you should take the S.H.A.P.E test to see your results (Email [email protected] to receive a copy). Think and pray about how God can use the talents He’s given you to produce a great harvest of generosity in you. The more you use the gifts He has given you, the more He will entrust you with more opportunities to use them!
Monique Burkette is a community service growth group leader and she serves in our counting team.