I was in middle school when I first sat down with my advisor, a blank high school course planning sheet, and a book with more classes than I knew one high school could hold. Ironically, it was the same day that I made flan for extra credit in a course that I already had an "A" in. Overachiever was a label I wore well and ready I felt to map out my life.
Never mind the fact that I wasn't old enough to drive or cast a vote. According to the schools this was a critical step in making sure I took all the right classes to have an impressive college application and make my adult dreams a reality. Apparently my tween self was old enough for that.
I bought in to my plan hook, line, and sinker, even taking summer PE and geography to fit in the extracurriculars plus advanced placement classes I needed to take to one day be a medical doctor. And, outside of my physics nightmare where I couldn't figure out where to place the annoying paper cup to make the marble fall into it after working its way through a contraption, landing me after school time in the classroom, it went very well.
During my junior year I applied early admission to my college of choice and was accepted. Excitement overwhelmed me. Everything was falling into place.
However, when I started classes on that campus - more mature in my faith and having more self-awareness than that feather banged, pegged jean life planning girl did- I felt God tugging my heart away from the science courses and towards religion and psychology. What do you do when you don't find joy in the direction you always believed yourself to take? For me, it meant parking myself on my pastor's couch in a heap of tears with lots of soul searching to do.
That is why I love SISTERHOOD magazine (formerly known as SUSIE). It's a global community for teen girls that helps them make Jesus the center of who they are and empowers them to live that out in a pressure-filled world. And, through rubber hits the road articles, it encourages keeping the Holy Spirit a more powerful guide than any thought we have.
This month I'm honored to have an article about choosing your next step after high school graduation entitled "Let God Pen The Plan."
In it, I ask girls to consider if they are doing what's right for them are if they are fulfilling someone else's expectations. I also challenge them to consider the next step in following God's lead (work, tech, or a 4yr school) and how to pray over location, setting, and size. Through it all, I encourage them to remember God has a greater purpose for each and every one of them.
Pressure for what we believe to be right for our lives can threaten to drown out the voice of God. But, as one who followed the path to medical school and turned out an author, I know there is true fulfillment in living out the plan God pens for your life. And often, it's one we would never dare to dream.
If you have a teen girl, you absolutely need to put this magazine on your subscription list. Also in this 63 page issue are articles on modest, trendy beauty, being changed by grace, talking about faith with non-Christian friends, making dating decisions, inside looks at Anthem Lights and Kelly Clark, the trust story of how one girl found healing from sexual abuse, and much more all on the face of really cool layouts with an additional online sisterhood component so subscribers can be actively encouraged by the body of Christ. This is one magazine you will be GLAD to have in their hands.
Tween, teen, or adult, God wants all of us. And, in order to find true happiness, we must always stay tapped in to the Holy Spirit, willing to follow its lead and trusting the Author to write our story.
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