So I once thought that I was destined for greatness. I’m pretty sure every cocky 18 year old has had the same thought as they start off strong in their freshman year of college – I sure did. I had moved halfway across the country and was doing really well at living on my own for the first time. I had decided that I wanted to study Athletic Training because I was fascinated by it, and I was accepted into a very selective program, even though I had no experience and my peers had all been athletic training students in high school – I went to an all girls school with a grand total of 180 students, so you can guess that our athletic department was not quite the focus that it was in larger public high schools. We didnt even have an athletic trainer on staff, much less the ability to train or learn in that field (HA, field…no pun intended!)
I took classes and carried a heavy courseload of premed credits because I wanted to be able to go to medical school if I chose to, and went to practices and clinic hours daily. I had to work really hard because I had a lot to learn to catch up to my peers, but I think I held my own, and I really enjoyed it! So naturally, I started thinking that I would be a trainer at a big school one day, or traveling with a team, or go on to med school to be a team doctor, or something equally awesome.
Fast forward another year, and I was packing up my life to leave my dream school and go home to transfer to a public university and live at home. All of my hours balancing a job, science labs, clinical hours, practices and studying had cost me my scholarship because I had let my grades slip about .2 points lower than was allowed. Complete and utter heartbreak. The pretty picture I had for my life just shattered, and I felt like a complete and utter failure. I had worked so hard, I had dreamed so big, I had been doing everything that I could…what happened?
Key word: I.
I truly had felt called to go and pursue this dream, and I don’t regret going at all because I honestly feel that this was a huge lesson that God was allowing me to learn that I desperately needed in my life. After I felt He had called me to that school, I tried it all on my own (as I really had done most of my life so far), and didn’t turn to Him for strength, guidance or direction as I pursued my dreams. I thought that ambition and determination and sheer busting-my-butt hard work would get me to that dream job, that dream salary, those coveted letters behind my name, and that’s what was important, right? But that’s not enough.
The Bible says:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phillippians 2:3).
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
I didn’t do any of these things, and God allowed me to fail to learn my lesson the hard way. The good news is that if you just keep moving after you fail and seeking Him, God will use that failure to direct your way to His path for you, and will develop your character and your faith along the way. Even a big failure isn’t final.
I did go on to get my degree, but don’t have any letters behind my name. I have held many good jobs since graduating, but now have a different position. I am currently covered in oatmeal and boogies and am wearing a business professional outfit of yoga pants and a bleach-stained t-shirt. I collect a substantial salary of dirty diapers and wonderfully slobbery kisses. I am not important in the corporate sense but I am fulfilled and joyful and complete because this is where God has called me to be. So, I am still destined for greatness, its just that my definition of greatness has changed.