Fun Filled Journey

Guess what, everyone? The day has finally come! I can finally announce that the Lord has brought me to a new place in life and where He’s taking me…. And I actually don’t mean that with the slightest hint of sarcasm. Really, it’s finally happening.  It’s hardly what I ever imagined or expected, but it’s just one more way that He’s showing me how magnificent He is.

One of the lessons Jesus really made me soak up during my season of rest, was how much I never want to be where He is not. I don’t mean that I wasn’t in the center of His will, and that’s how I realized it. It was simply through the process of us communicating and Him confirming, that even though my life was sitting obnoxiously stock-still, He was there. He was not forward, He was not backward, He was there. I read an excerpt on She Reads Truth the other day that summarized this whole point perfectly:

“We all have different “kingdoms.” Each of us has been led to a different destination, by a different path, journeying through unique circumstances to get where we are today. Where you are right now—where He has you in each moment—that is your kingdom. That very place is the piece of God’s Kingdom that He has entrusted to you. Whether you believe your kingdom is substantial or completely irrelevant, it is still yours and it is still His. You are still His. He has brought you here on your journey for such a time as this. .” – She Reads Truth

Rest was my kingdom. That was my domain. But now He’s graduated me to a new domain. So without further ado…

When I was little, my definition of a good, successful, adult, life was one that was FUN. I told my mom, “I don’t want to grow up and things not be FUN! That sounds miserable!” When I was little, I had a hard time grasping and understanding what made me happy. At that time, if I was in the McDonald’s playhouse and had a Happy Meal, I was having fun which made me happy. If it was after school and I was in the woods with my neighborhood friends pretending in our playhouse, that was fun which made me happy. If I was going to the beach and going to get to swim and make sand castles, that was fun which made me happy. (That last one is still quite true). You see the pattern here. FUN=HAPPY.

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Epitome of a very happy “little me”: full abandon going down the slide at McDonald’s. (Clearly unaware of the static in my hair).

I think for me, growing up has also meant learning what makes me happy. Now I know that it’s not always fun. In fact, I can be doing the most boring things like eating on the couch, watching TV and I’m happy. The truth is, none of those things determine what a good, successful life is. It is solely based on Jesus, who brings immense amounts of joy and peace, and that joy and peace brings a feeling that surpasses “happy”, because happy is dependent on other things whereas my joy and peace are not. They are dependent on the most valiant Savior that ever graced the world. I now know, that I can be living on top of the world, but without Him I am without joy and peace. And vice-versa, I could be in the pits with Him and be filled to the brim with joy and peace. It simply is not about FUN.

(If your looking for the big news, here it is). Recently, I accepted an internship with heidi elnora, a wedding gown designer in Birmingham and am working on in-house social media and public relations. I’ve been here for one week, and already I’m having a blast. I’m surrounded by creativity, a brand that is well-established, and there are so many good things to come for them in the near future, such as her show called Bride By Design by TLC that will premier soon. I’m a mere intern, but it’s a move in the direction of the professional world (what what?) Not to mention, it’s FUN.

I know what you’re thinking, and I know I said fun does not determine happiness. It does not. But the Lord took me on quite a journey to get here, that I would not trade for anything in this world. He defined for me what makes me truly joyful. He set me upon His rock, and I know that no matter what, because of Him I will not be moved. So essentially, He gave me true happiness and then, knowing the desires of my heart, has given me a job that I enjoy. It’s pretty phenomenal the way that He has worked. He kind of did the reverse route of what I always thought would be necessary to be a good, successful adult. Instead of going fun-happiness-fulfillment, He went fulfillment-happiness-fun. And now no matter what, I am fulfilled. That’s actually what it’s all about! I’m thrilled and excited to see what the future continues to hold, no matter what it is.

Now, for a FUN added bonus to all of this. God is just mind-blowingly awesome at loving us. Psalm 37:4 is so commonly referenced because it provides us with the promise that if we “seek the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. It’s a good, heart-warming promise, but at times I’ve doubted if my desires were true or wholesome. Something that this scripture doesn’t say out loud is that He knows our hearts and our desires and He knows which ones are true and wholesome, even when we don’t.

During my break, I was really forced to give everything over to Him. From my worldly desires of success, in what I thought meant success, down to my very last ounce of talents that I had rejected because I didn’t deem them legitimate.

Basically, I thought that PR and politics was my game. I thought it was my domain, and in college I thought law school was my road to success. Why? For some reason, growing up in elementary, middle, and high school, I really began to think that there was no way to be successful using writing, art, creativity, acting, singing, and design. Unfortunately, that was everything I was good at, and pretty much the only thing I was (still am) good at. In my mind, the only way to be successful was to excel in science and math. Science, I could hold my own in (not excel), and math? HA. Y’all, I have Dyscalculia, AKA Mathematics Disorder, meaning I transpose numbers. It’s like dyslexia, but with numbers. In fact, they’re in the same family. So clearly, the Lord didn’t create me to calculate numbers. I now know it’s okay, because He created other people to do that for Him. But growing up, I just didn’t think I was smart.

In high school, I went to Girls State and found out that I was good at improv, speech writing, and public speaking. Rather than recognizing those elements, I automatically assumed public policy and law should be my path.

All along, even until my junior year of college, I pushed aside my talents. The truth is that I run the gamut in the arts, but I’ve never counted it as worth anything, until now. I always thought everyone could do it, and that it wouldn’t serve me as a real career. But that’s not true. Even after I graduated, I didn’t think it was possible to incorporate my degree (which requires some of those talents) into a industry that I just loved. The other half of it (which I later realized) is that the things I do love: fashion, design, art, writing, reading, movies, acting, improv, I never thought could be turned into a substantial career. Yet, here I am doing PR for a wedding dress designer. I even work alongside the folks that do Birmingham Fashion Week.

It’s so so special how the Lord knows us, and how He delights in us and will treat us to things like a fun job. Just like Psalm 103:5 says, “He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s wings”, He really does give us good things. In fact, this verse perfectly sums up what’s going on in my life right now. He’s treating me to things that I only dreamed of as a little girl. He knows me so well!

Again, I’m only an intern until the end of April. They may choose to keep me, or chalk it up to good experience, but either way, the Lord has shown me that 1. He does care 2. He knows me better than I know myself 3. I’ve got a lot of talent the HE gave me and since HE gave me it, it is worth something 4. If I give everything over to Him, He will take care of it all and He will do it in ways that I never even allowed myself to dream of.

Birmingham skyline to accompany the drive home to Tuscaloosa.

Birmingham skyline to accompany the drive home to Tuscaloosa.

So, all of that summarized, is that I am gifted, but not in a way that I deemed successful or feasible. I was discounting His creation, and also assuming that He couldn’t work in whatever way He wanted to. Which is horrible, I mean, what kind of connotation does that put on His vast love for us? It makes it not vast. I was putting limits on what He could do in my life, simply by believing what my teachers and peers had told me about how to be successful. It makes no sense.

He is beyond good. If He is simply good, than no other thing in this world deserves the adjective “good”. I know that I will have highs and lows in my life, but how can I get past what He has done for me? And then on top of making me whole, He richly blessed me with talents that are a reflection of Him! It’s amazing. And can I add, thank goodness He did not make us all the same. It just further shows how dynamic He is. He is a really really great King, Father, Friend, Lover of my Soul. I will never get past it.

I hope that this has blessed you today and served as a reminder of how wonderfully YOU are made in YOUR (His) OWN way! Just get happy about that. Have fun with that. And know that your talents and who you are please Him. They make Him happy! Never limit yourself to the definitions of the world. (I mean, use common sense). Don’t be like kid Chaslee and say, “my talents can’t do anything of real worth”. That’s not true. Listen to Him. Let Him reveal to you what He has created you to do and Let Him have control. Give Him your all today. 🙂

I have more news coming soon about something else that I have always prayed for: what is my mission field? He’s given me word on that, too. He’s doing so much today! Not just in my life, but all around! 🙂

Love y’all,

Chaslee

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