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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone and the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

When I was a freshman in High School, I went to a 3-day retreat called Chrysalis (they are also called flights). It’s called Chrysalis because when you first arrive on Friday you are a caterpillar, on Saturday you are in the chrysalis stage and on Sunday you become a butterfly. There is a guy chrysalis and a girl one, once in the Fall and another in the Spring.

They split all the caterpillars up into groups called “tables” because you sit at a table together. You get to name your table. When I went my table name was MCL (like the cafeteria) which stood for Made Christ Like. Each day you have 5 “talks” where someone working the “flight” basically gives a speech about a certain topic. You have a table leader and a youth table leader. You learn a lot, make new friends, and experience all kinds of surprises showing you how much God and others love you.

It’s an incredibly hard thing to explain- one of those “you just had to be there” kind of things. I can tell I’m not doing it justice but just take my word for it that it is an unforgettable journey for those who come in with open hearts and minds. It was one of the few experiences that helped me become closer to God. Working the next few Chrysalises is what really helped my faith grow. I was a “log”, a youth table leader, and then the youth lay director my senior year.

These experiences helped me become more confident. They helped me see how much I am loved. They helped me be myself. They taught me how to have a servant’s heart. They let me be a witness for others. They turned me from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

Ever since then, I would consider “my symbol” or something that represents me to be a butterfly. It has a significant meaning to me. Butterflies represent my journey from a caterpillar. They remind me that I am a new creation because of Jesus.

This is a common question for children. Actually, it’s a common question for children, teens, and young adults. As we get older and go through college and eventually become seniors in college the question transforms into “What do you want to do after graduation?” It’s basically the same thing just based more in reality which makes it much more scary.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I was very young I wanted to be a waitress. My mom would play “restaurant” with me and I’d take her order and bring her some plastic food. As I grew up and actually became a waitress I realized I never ever wanted to be one again.

At one point in my life I used to say ” a chef.”  My parents went to San Fransisco on vacation and brought me back a white chef’s jacket as a souvenir. I used to pretend I was on a cooking TV show and I’d talk to the wall behind the stove (that’s where the pretend camera was) as I made some noodles out of a bag or au gratin potatoes from a box. Needless to say, eventually I realized I’m not that great of a cook nor do I really like cooking that much.

As a teen, I started my own “radio station” using walkie-talkies at Camp Shakamak with my cousins. It was a way for me to be crazy and show my humor without the embarrassment of doing it right in front of people. So for awhile, I thought about making my own radio station one day. I thought it’d be awesome to have a Christian radio station that actually played the stuff I liked during the day- stuff like TobyMac, Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch, etc. We didn’t have one of those stations where I lived. But eventually that faded just like everything else.

Once I was in high school, I started doing the announcements broadcasted over TVs in every classroom. It was called CCTV (Clay City TV) and it was again a way for me to be myself without actually doing it in front of an audience. It helped that my best friends were also in it so I was really able to open up and be silly. For awhile, I started thinking being a newscaster would be cool. But I’ve never been into fame. Even if I were to be a small town newscaster, people would still recognize me and I’d rather stay under the radar.

My senior year, I started working in the Mac Lab creating random videos using iMovie. I loved the editing process and would spend all my free time in that little corner room tucked away on the second floor. I loved the feeling of seeing the final product with all the effects and music and knowing I created it. That’s when I decided to go into broadcast production…which eventually led me to AU. But as I took classes here like Television Studio Production and Audio Video Concepts I realized I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should be if it’s going to be my lifelong career. I was interested in editing and the only editing class offered wasn’t available until my senior year. “What if I go through this entire major, finally get to the editing class and realize I don’t really like editing?” I thought. At the same time, I was taking Writing for the Media with Holly Miller (best writing professor ever) where I realized I love writing and I’m fairly good at it. Sophomore year I switched my major to journalism and made broadcast production my minor.

So what do I want to be when I grow up? Even though the career option has changed many times throughout my lifetime, one thing has always remained. See, when I was little I used to play “house” with my brother or cousins or whoever would play with me basically. I would be the “mom” and we’d play with my dolls or maybe my cousins would be my “kids.” As I got older, I started babysitting. Sometimes, I’d pretend I was in MY house with MY children. (That may sound creepy, but I bet every girl does it at some point.) This desire to be a mom someday, unlike all the other things I wanted to be, never went away. I have a passion for children, not just because they are adorable no matter what age, but because they teach me things no else ever could. I love the way they rely on me, accept me, trust me, and believe in me. I love how innocent they are and the way they see the world through little joyful eyes.

What do I want to be when I grow up? Maybe a writer. Maybe an editor. Maybe something I haven’t thought of yet. But I know I want to be a mommy. (Someday, not anytime soon-don’t worry)

For all you millions of people who have asked or will ask, “What are you doing after graduation?” -I’m doing whatever God leads me to do and hopefully eventually that will include becoming a mother. But I don’t know all the details and I’m okay with that. God’s taken care of me so far and I think He’ll keep it up.

So what about you? What do you want to be when you grow up?

 

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