I can’t believe 2018 is almost over! Goodness, time passes fast. 2018 brought a lot of life change for me and here’s my recap:
I met with a friend over coffee just to chat. While talking, the subject of ‘what would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?’ was brought up. As we sat there talking, it struck me that working in medicine was never anything I had imagined doing growing up. For some people, that’s okay. People discover new passions later in life and decide to pursue those. But from the time I was 4, I had always wanted to be an artist. I loved painting, drawing, and ceramics. So as I sat there I started to reflect on how I ended up in medicine. And where my creative spirit went…
My birthday month! After some serious life reflection after my coffee date, I wanted to do something creative. I had always wanted to learn calligraphy (which you can read about in this post), so I asked for some supplies for my birthday. Meanwhile, applications for physician assistant school were going to be opening soon.
A slow, sinking feeling was settling over me that going to PA school was not what God was calling me to anymore. Being so far healed from my idolatry of school I almost didn’t desire it anymore. But what else was I going to do?
PA school applications are now open! This time last year I was a stress ball. This year? I made a good effort, worked hard on my essay, but honestly was not that into it. Oh, and as for those calligraphy supplies? I literally had not touched them since I got them for my birthday in February.
My parents came to visit and asked how applications were going (eh) and asked how my calligraphy was going. I admitted that I hadn’t done much with it because I just didn’t even know where to start. My mom immediately jumped on her iPad and found out that another calligrapher in my town was hosting a workshop the next day, so I signed up. By the end of the workshop I was head-over-heels in love with calligraphy. I practiced about 4 hours a day.
My husband encouraged me to start sharing my work on Instagram. He also told me that I should do calligraphy as a job instead of being a PA (which was crazy to me because he himself is an advanced practitioner). I thought he was crazy but also started to wonder…
I kept working on calligraphy. People start to commission me for pieces. Now seriously praying over choosing my creative side instead of medicine.
My husband and I had been wanting to move closer to family (we lived in Minnesota, everyone else live in Georgia and South Carolina). He applied for a few jobs and was offered a job in North Carolina. Meanwhile, I hadn’t heard back from my PA applications yet. August was a pretty defining month for me. Zach had been offered a job in a city I had not applied to school. If we chose to move for his new job, that basically meant I was officially saying ‘no’ to school and ‘yes’ to the arts. After working so hard for 3 years just to apply to school, the thought of giving all that up was crazy. I told Zach I would sleep and pray on it. The next morning I awoke with an overwhelming sense of peace from God that I was supposed to do art.
I start telling people that we’re moving and of course people ask if that means I got into school. Try explaining to people: ‘well, no… God told me to not go to school anymore and to pursue art instead’. Some people thought I was crazy (who gives up medicine for art?). All of my friends and family supported me. Most of all, my husband was so excited for me!
I said goodbye to all of my co-workers at the hospital and geared up to move. I was still working on my calligraphy. Oh, and I was offered 2 PA school interviews.
We moved to Asheville, North Carolina and I am now officially a calligrapher for a living. My husband is my biggest marketer!
To be honest, a hard month. Starting a new business is hard. Going full-time 6 months after learning calligraphy is even harder. I wasn’t already super established with hundreds of clients where quitting my day job was easy. I literally quit my job and went full-time before I was ‘ready’. And so, my business has been suuuuuper slow growing, which has had me to turn to God in a lot of prayer.
And that is where 2018 leaves me.
A year of extreme growth in my faith:
1. I have learned to listen for God’s voice. So often I pray and pray and talk and talk and don’t stop to listen for His reply.
2. I have learned (and still am) to rely on His instruction and prompting instead of on my own self-determination.
3. I have learned that just because God delays in His responses (i.e. clients/customers in my business) doesn’t mean He is denying them. He’s either trying to grow my trust in Him even more or weeding out a bad fruit in my heart, such as pride or idolatry.
4. I have learned that a solid community of friends are sweeter than honey. My friends believed me when I said God called me to give up PA school, encouraged me to take a risk for the Lord, and have prayed for me and cheered me on every step of the way. There is a reason Jesus had disciples – we need people in our life to love us and encourage us in our journey!
5. I have learned that no matter where God decides to take this business or if He decides it’s going no where at all, that there is something so much better and brighter out there for me. God has seen every moment of my life played out and all of it is good. I can rest assured that as long as I am living for His glory and not my own, whatever my job is, I’ll be joy filled because my worth comes from Him alone.
I am looking forward to 2019 so hopeful and expectant to see how God will move. It’ll be fun to write this post this time next year and see all that God has taught me and what exactly it is that I am doing.