I went to the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference in Anderson, Indiana this weekend. From it, I learned enough to keep me journaling for an entire day! My goal was to share advice I learned from it about stepping into professional scenarios in which we’re the minority as young people. However, what I learned isn’t a tidy list of tips, but deeper truth about our passions.
Do you remember the birth of your passions? I do. Every day growing up, I felt them steadily vibrating like violin strings in my soul. When I thought about what I loved – writing and ministry – I felt physical hunger. I dreamed about using my gifts, and imagined people being changed for the better by them. These passions drove me to seek the highest from life, to give others the love we all crave with my gifts.
This drive came from the internal assumption that my gifts and desires had power – that I had abilities to reach into people’s lives in ways no one else could.
Along the way I’d lost sight of that. I doubted the worth of my passions and dreams.
At my college, I’m surrounded by people who share that same drive to have impact. I began to lose sight of how my particular passions and dreams were unique. What if there were people who could do the things I hoped to accomplish better than I?
Until the conference, I hadn’t even realized I’d begun to think this way. All I could sense was this dullness in my spirit, a sort of monotony and mundaneness. My internal zest was diminished. The conference jumpstarted my passions because it reminded me of God’s thumbprint expressed uniquely in me.
God’s thumbprint…it’s on every person who has ever lived – His image in all of us. Yet, universally, that thumbprint varies with everyone. How does this contradiction work? Because He is infinite. We are all expressions of who He is, and these expressions extend from his infinity, going on forever. There are infinite versions of how God expresses Himself in us, so none of us can be the same.
At the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference, I was surrounded for two days by people who had the exact same heart passion as me: writing. Yet, in that also, I saw how each of us was vastly different. My own skill and gifts stood out because I was surrounded by people who were so similar to me. I saw how God chose to put his thumbprint on my being with something that only I could fulfill with the passions He’s put in my heart. I felt urgency to live with the calling to live out God’s independent expression of His image in me.
As we grow into adults, we often fear that our dreams and desires for doing good, wonderful things fall short. Our passions are precious, but do they really have potential? If God has given us a unique expression of Himself, how could our passions not have potential?