I paced my yard as I listened to my friend. I pace a lot during phone calls, but this day I strode with the ferocity of a German Shepherd on patrol. The person my friend saw in the mirror didn’t match who she wanted to be. She’d chosen a career to please her parents, and it fit her like someone else’s pants. Whenever she fell in love, her crushes wanted someone she was not. Approaching 30, she was ready to change everything about herself, starting with a major physical overhaul. Protective, I wanted to bark at those who had twisted her self-perception.
She’s not alone. It’s healthy to spend time on personal growth, but we can waste months or even decades on the wrong things, if we’re not seeking the direction of the One who made us.
We forfeit our impact on this world while we wrestle with our reflections. We miss opportunities to help others, and our gifts go unused or even become toxic.
I couldn’t get our call off my mind. In the week which followed, I thought about my students, my husband, my friends, and myself. We tell people, “You can be anything!” But in a sea of possibility, some drift aimlessly. Others sink in the vortex of self, struggling to become what they weren’t meant to be.
I discussed this with people I know, who are happy with their lives. They’ve experienced uncertainty, and most have been through assaults on their own identities. Even so, they thrive.
Those who successfully navigate the option ocean:
- Know their identities – children of God, dearly loved.
- Know their Father well and imitate Christ in attitude and action.
- Understand their frailties and allow the Holy Spirit to guide them.
- Know their strengths and trust God to equip them for whatever He calls them to do.
I invited a group of 11 remarkable people to join me in writing a new devotional book, aimed at helping graduates live in the sweet spot of following God’s guidance and using their gifts in ways that keep them motivated.
Option Ocean–Navigating the Sea of Possibility has turned out to be a devotional book for people from college age to middle age. Over the course of 31 days, readers examine daily tasks and past experiences to find career path clues. They practice communicating with integrity, in order to manage conflict and build door-opening reputations. Through the personal, sometimes shocking stories of the authors, they learn to trust God and seek the opportunity in every struggle.
Option Ocean–Navigating the Sea of Possibility was released in May. The reviews have made me smile, and they keep coming:
“I’m so grateful for this book! I love the honesty and the vulnerability in people telling their stories. The realness of it makes me feel less alone in the ugly things I tell myself sometimes. Thank you for this book and pointing everything back to the One who loves us the most!” –Jen Snyder
“Kind, inspirational, honest, direct, helpful and very hopeful to ANY young person, or really ANYONE, there is no age limit….good is good. Love it!” –Maria Luisa Castillo
“This is such an inspiring devotional! All of the personal applications are easy to do, but require you to quiet your heart and listen to yourself!! I found the personal application extremely helpful!” –April Briggs
“Today’s young adults face more options than ever before – a tidal wave that threatens to swamp them once they leave the safe harbor of home. As the mother of two teenage boys, my hope is to equip my sons not just survive the rough seas of life but to chart a course to the joy-filled life God created them to lead.
Option Ocean–Navigating the Sea of Possibility brings together a diverse group of men and women who have successfully weathered perilous storms in their own lives with God’s help. Whether your graduates are artistic, athletic, scholarly, or entrepreneurial, these stories will inspire them to pursue their true passions and persevere through the headwinds of adulthood.” –Karen J. Grunst