You’ve made your list of pros and cons. You’ve spent time with God in prayer and study. You’ve resolved to do the next right thing for this next season of life.
But, what is it? How do you know what the next right thing is? Or, how to begin to find it?
I found myself in this spot as my boys were growing out of their toddler years. I became a stay-at-home mom when the little guys arrived. Five years later, as Kindergarten was nearing for my oldest, and preschool was in sight for my youngest, my thoughts were consumed with, “Well now what?” I knew what was next for my boys, but what about me? What would I do next? I felt overwhelmed trying to figure out my next steps.
And then one night, my husband asked me a question that changed my outlook on stewardship and turned my angst into excitement.
“Cristina, what are you grateful for? Can you take those things and cultivate them in order to contribute to something in this next season?”
(If you can’t already tell, he’s my biggest encourager.)
Gratitude was my starting point.
I knew I was grateful for:
- My family
- People (the more the better)
- My church and relationship with Jesus (our Adult Bible Fellowship class, small community of friends, gospel-centered teaching)
Gratitude became my why. It reinforced the idea that all the things the Lord had blessed me with, were meant to be stewarded well as an act of GRATTITUDE to Him.
So, instead of being worried and overwhelmed by the unknown and the possibilities, I could stepped out in faith and excitement and began to really explore what that meant in this new season!
This mindset shift into gratitude, quickly moved into a heart of joy. I started asking myself, “what things bring me JOY?” Here’s a few from my list:
- Connecting people to one another
- Hosting people in my home
- Making someone feel welcomed and cared for
- Helping people
- Knowing my purpose
Even though I had this list, I wasn’t sure how it translated into everyday skills and opportunities.
My Strengths in THIS Season
I had taken a Strengths Finder assessment during one of my first jobs and felt like now would be a good time to explore something like that. So, I retook my strengths finder assessment, and guess what? It CHANGED from the last time I took it, and even for the better. These new results really felt like me in THIS season because apparently, I had changed. And for a girl who was stepping into something unknown, having something that looked familiar…meant the world to me!
Side note: If you’ve never taken a skills or strengths assessment, I HIGHLY recommend doing it. You will answer a set of questions regarding how you navigate situations, what you like, dislike, etc. and the results give you a listing of your top strengths that you can use in your workplace, with your family, and even serving areas!
There are lots of options available, the one I took has a small cost, you can find it here https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx
I’ve been so thankful to have the knowledge of my strengths as I navigate new situations and relationships.
My Top 5 Strengths turned out to be: Developer | Belief | Empathy | Harmony | Responsibility
With my list of strengths in hand, I compared them to the things that I am grateful for, and the things that bring me joy, and it all made sense. My strengths and preferences showed up in the people and activities I love.
My Support Group
With this new information in hand, I then turned to some of my mentors and asked, “what would you recommend I pursue with these newfound strengths.” Reaching out to my network and consulting wise and discerning people in my life who consistently point me to Jesus and His Word were vital in helping me confidently stay the course in finding my way to the next thing.
Then, of course, going to the ONE who created me with these strengths was SO IMPORTANT. I spent a lot of time asking God to present me with opportunities to explore and to keep my courage and faith strong.
Try it Out
Then, the fun of trying new opportunities started. And try I did. There were several tries, and not all of them were for me. But I kept trying until I found something that felt like the right fit.
I ended up serving at the Welcome Desk during weekend services which led to taking on a job on staff at Berean as the Hospitality and Connections Coordinator that fills my cup daily. Recently I started serving as a small group host in my home during the week.
Find Your Fit
Are you coming out of a year season that has changed and shaped you in ways that have you wondering, what’s next? Maybe you’re asking these questions about your career, a relationship, or your spiritual journey. If so, I hope you’ll start by making your lists. What are you thankful for? What brings you joy? And, I hope you’ll find an assessment to help you understand your talents, strengths and preferences.
Maybe you’ve been attending Berean either for a short time or a long time and know that you want to take the next steps to find somewhere you can contribute and serve as an act of gratitude and worship to God.
If this is where you are, I’m excited for you!
I’d like to recommend something called Find Your Fit. Held the fourth Sunday of every month, Find Your Fit is the next step when you're ready to pursue getting connected to a serve team at Berean. For one hour, you’ll shadow another volunteer and try out a Serve Team of your choice, with no strings attached. Once you’ve experienced what it’s like to be on the team, you can decide if you want to stay, or move on to try another team.
Luckily, I get to help you make this connection (because it’s what I love to do.)
I’d love to get you connected to an area that brings you joy and allows you to use your skills and talents to help make a gospel impact.
With a mindset fueled by gratitude and excitement for what brings you joy, you’ll be able to navigate your next steps and start the process of connecting with something that you were made for!