Good morning, it’s God’s morning! I’ve been out of town for a tour de Tennessee the past few days, so it’s good to be home and take a deep breath. Maybe you can relate?
Over the weekend I attended a Christian product conference. One of the mornings kicked off extra early – the kind of early that had me dashing through the coffee shop drive-thru to make it there by 7:30am. But it was totally worth it because of 2 words: Veggie Tales. The day started off right with a Bible devotional led by Larry the Cucumber himself. That’s right folks, Mike Nawrocki, co-founder of Veggie Tales and voice of Larry the Cucumber led the Bible message.
Truth be known, I was probably the only one in the room who was young enough to grow up with Veggie Tales from day one. The little girl inside me was totally geeking out. Silly Songs With Larry was always my favorite part. (If you haven’t seen “The Water Buffalo Song” or “The Hair Brush Song” look it up on YouTube. You’ll be glad you did. And you will be singing along in your head all day.)
But it wasn’t the on-the-spot Larry the Cucumber voice on stage (which, spoiler alert, isn’t his real voice, thank goodness) or the presence of a creative genius that stuck with me the most. It was 2 Bible verses he shared with us.
“Perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” -Esther 4:14
“We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps.” -Proverbs 16:9
His story of starting Veggie Tales remains his to tell, but one part related closely to my story, and it comes down to these 2 verses. They were guiding words for him in choosing where to go when he came to a fork for his future when he was about my age. He could continue the path he was on, or chase after a passion and a dream that he never saw coming.
The exact same fork showed up on my table.
Several years ago before I started college, I had the huge decision of what major to choose. I was completely torn between my lifelong dream of becoming an elementary school teacher and pursuing a business degree for my growing company, Ashley Ink & Paperie. One degree had a clear path with known end result: teacher. The other had seemingly endless possibilities, but even more risk. I had always wanted to be a teacher – I even took an orientation to teaching class my senior year of high school! Why was my heart suddenly feeling like it was moving away from what felt sure and safe and known?
Proverbs spoke so much wisdom and truth for me in those deciding days. Every plan I made up to that point was suddenly walking a different set of steps. Just as I felt convicted to walk up to Samford University’s table at a college fair, I felt the same conviction to walk up to the table called business school. Looking back now as a recent business school grad, I see the thread of Esther’s story that has woven into mine today. Even though I did not understand at the time why I was risking leaving behind my dream of becoming a teacher, God was working in my life with greater purpose for such a time as this. He brought me exactly where He wanted me: full-heart surrendering to Him, pursing the gifts and passions He gave me, trusting even when I couldn’t see the full outcome. I’ve found this same posture to remain in me today. Because of those fork days, my life has been bent on pursuing Jesus and where he has be for such a time as this ever since. I would not be where I am today in my faith and in my company without following the fork. Little did I know on my first day of business school, my little stationery company would grow into Winnefred Austin before I would graduate.
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a similar spot. Maybe you’re deciding on a major, beginning a new job, moving to a different place, starting a new relationship, weathering a changing season. If you feel like you’re taking a leap of faith, here is your encouragement to hang ten and leap! Through every step and leap, God is with you. What’s more: He’s gone before you to prepare a way. When we choose God, Bob Goff says we’re trading up. We’re giving up our old ways and expectations for a life beyond anything we could possibly create on our own. Is it joyful and exhilarating? Of course! Is it unknown and scary? You better believe it. But it’s all worth it for the sake of praising His glory.
So if you see a fork show up on your table, don’t be afraid to pick it up and take a long, hard, prayerful look at it. Maybe that fork is a tuning fork, dialing you closer into who God make you to be. And who knows, perhaps you have come to this position for such a time as this.
P.S. all the photos above were taken in between sessions and events this weekend. Who knew Murfreesboro, TN could be so fun! 10/10 would recommend checking out the antique shops and perhaps stopping for some (dairy free for me) ice cream at Hattie Jane’s.