Young womanhood is filled with adventure, learning, and curiosity. I remember spending countless hours daydreaming about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had a cousin, living on the opposite side of the country that became an Air Force pilot. Not just any pilot, because he flew the famous F-14 Tomcat.
My Grand Dreams
Unlike my sisters, I wasn’t the type of girl who spent my days walking in meadows, like an Anne of Green Gables, smelling flowers and engaging in endless conversations with a best friend named Diana. I craved adventure. Most of my friends were boys, as they seemed to be more level headed, and I wasn’t into all that makeup stuff…so bothersome.
Hearing of my cousin’s new exciting job, I set a new course for myself. I wanted to be the first F-14 woman fighter pilot. Although women were not allowed to fly combat planes, I was confident this would be changed by the time I enlisted.
Then I had an eye appointment, and the doctor let me know that my near blindness would prevent me from flying. I was crushed. But, being young and full of energy, I set out to discover what other careers I might want to direct my life towards.
The Better Plan
Funny thing is, I wanted to be a lot of unique, and sometimes dangerous, things. Whether a pilot, a racecar driver, a professional ice skater, or an architect, it seemed I had lots of areas I was interested in. But you know what I discovered?
Although I loved the thrill of the difficult, I wasn’t thinking through the gifts and passions God had given me, that I was to use for his glory.
Enter, parents. My parents had a business, and they asked me to help with some information that needed to be put into a computer. Now, at the time, computers were not as sophisticated as they are today, and this was not a standard way of keeping records. Most offices still operated with the norm of paper, filing cabinets, and typewriters. (If you need to know what a typewriter is, Google it!)
I was handed a book and this massive desktop computer. The screen alone weighed in at over forty pounds and was over a foot deep! This machine was fascinating. It didn’t put my entire being into danger, but it held the same excitement. Within a few weeks, I had learned two programming languages and written my first program. I had found my passion.
Cultivating Your Own Passions
It seems there are no limits for young women today. Traveling the world, choosing any occupation, and determining where and how you want to influence your world has unending possibilities. This is exciting, but it can also be difficult to navigate.
God has uniquely created each of us and instilled within us two components that should help us in making the best choices for our future. These ingredients are talent and passion. Talent is the skill God has gifted you with, also known as the work that comes easily. Passion is that inescapable longing to do, fix, help, or get involved.
Many years later, I am still a programmer, but through prayer and seeking, I have discovering my passion and my talents reach beyond this one element. I am a mother, a sister, a daughter, a programmer, a designer, an author, a creator, and a woman who lives each day passionately dreaming and praying about ways to help women in my community and around the world.
Your days as a young woman will have lasting impact. Spend time reflecting, praying, and asking God how to best use your time to cultivate your passions.