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The Dreaded Question: What Do You Want to Do With Your Life?

My sister and I in front of our alma mater where the "what do you want to do with your life" questions began. Fun fact: They tore down all of our school buildings and built one really nice, gigantic school so I have actually never been in this building.

What do you want to do with your life?

At some point, this question has haunted every one of us during our lives.

It may have happened when you graduated from high school and you were supposed to make a lifelong career decision by picking a college major. Maybe it happened to you when you became a parent, and you did not know if you should work full-time, part-time, or not at all.

So. Many. Decisions.

Then, your kids went to school, giving you glorious silence during the day, and again, you wondered if this is what you should be doing with your time. I do not have experience in this, but I assume these thoughts happen again when you have an empty nest or retire.

What do you want to do with your life?

For many years, I dreaded this question.

I am now in my mid-thirties. I have a clearer idea, but it is still not very concrete. In fact, you may not like my answer one bit.

Do you want to know what I plan to do with my life?

Whatever God puts in front of me.

Young Lauren would have thought that answer was a cop-out. I totally understand that working hard is a biblical trait.

'Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.' Colossians 3:23 NIV

Doing our best is always possible whether we have a clear purpose or taking it day-by-day.

I believe that God gives each one of us passions and talents. I have even heard people say that our calling is where an earthly need and our passion meet, which is true. Some of our future occupations are just a little more obvious than others.

I am jealous of people like my husband who know from the time they were young that they would get a computer science degree and spend their days doing what I like to call computer things. Scott is great at it. He is one of the best in his field.

He is using the talent and passion God gave to him well.

My envy towards people like him has lessened over the past few years. My perspective has shifted. As humans, we are all so unique.

Some of us like to do the same thing year after year. Some of us like change.

Some of us want to be an expert at one thing. Some of us what to be an expert at a lot of things.

Some of us care about details. While some of us have flexible as our middle name.

I have shared this before, and I will share it again.

Someone in this world needs you to live out your God-given calling today.

It is not because you are this great person, but we need to spur each other on. Our God-given personalities and talents can be a force for the Kingdom if we allow God to use them. (Shout out to the local church!)

So, if you find yourself overwhelmed by what to do next, look up and around. If you are open to it, God will put people and places in your path.

You will find freedom and peace when you give God complete control of what to do next.

It is how I found my words published in a book and on multiple websites. It is how I found my family renting an apartment in South Korea. It is how I find myself standing on stages sharing about the faithfulness of God. It is how I happily drive around A LOT of loud kids in a decade-old minivan.

There was no long-term plan for any of these things. There was no striving. Just small, everyday yeses that led to some of my most fulfilling work.

It did not come from a 5-year plan. It came from obedience to seeking what the Lord had next.

When I stopped grasping for control and stressing over what to do with my life, I began to feel free, peaceful, and content.

I cannot promise easy, but it has all been MORE than I ever could imagine.

So, let me ask you a life-giving question.

What has God placed before you to do today?

P.S. Lest all of my fellow Type A personalities think I am anti- goal-setting. The goal is to always be obedient to Christ. Everything else is a sub-goal and held loosely.



  • How has the question What do you want to do with your life? impacted you over the years?

  • What things do we miss out on when we are consumed with striving and searching for what's next?

  • When was a time God placed something or someone in front of you that came out of nowhere? How has that impacted your life?

  • What has God placed before you to do today?

  • What are some practical ways to remain open to what God has for you each new day?


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