Hey, y'all! As mentioned before, my dad has an annual spring business trip (that we sometimes join). It's hosted by the respective state executives—his counterparts—on a rotational basis. We hosted it in Mississippi in 2014; but in 2009, it was in New York.
You might have already guessed, but I accompanied that one as well. In fact, that trip was the first time I'd ever set foot in the city.
I have four or five distinct memories from it, but none of them really scream, "Drew, you'll move to New York one day." However, I do remember having one continuous thought over that long weekend trip.
It was "Drew, act natural (but cool!) so you can be 'discovered' by an agent!" I don't know what they would have "discovered." Maybe it was my ability to "walk the streets of New York City?!"
It's comical now, which is why I'm typing this out. Don't worry: It's a-okay to laugh! I'll join you.
Four years after that trip, I was a senior in college, and my first New York job hadn't started. However, I remember giving a quote to the school newspaper. It had something to do with my major and how I'd use it in the real world. I answered that prompt but also mentioned some "dream" to work New York Fashion Week one day.
Flash forward again to my now living here. I've attended various New York Fashion Week shows, which have all been really fun. In fact, I remember the first "September show" I attended in 2014. My friend generously gave me access via her job in publishing. (I believe that was also the last season of NYFW being based at Lincoln Center.)
Needless to say, I have dreams, and I currently live in a city that's illuminated by millions of others' dreams. I haven't always been confident discussing my more creative ones, but the Lord has been so gracious to affirm (and somewhat redirect) these over the almost four years I've called this city home.
That said, I've done a lot of "dream processing," and I can tell you at a high level that "hindsight really is 20/20." I can see the faithfulness of the Lord and His hand at work during each passing season, which should give me hope (and by trusting in His Word) that it will only continue.
Learnings and reminders
Through this season of processing, I've had the following revelations/convictions/assurances:
- God sees us where we are and loves us deeper still.
- God has gifted us with purpose and will reveal that for our good and His ultimate glory.
- We shouldn't hide these gifts but should actively practice and pursue them.
- Physical emotions can get the best of us. We should seek direction from His Word daily.
- We should celebrate the past seasons where He's been faithful to see us through and know that it will only continue, even if we don't see it or feel it at the moment.
- It's not a bad thing to have dreams, goals, and hopes. However, they shouldn't take priority over our love and devotion to God.
- We shouldn't hide our faith for worldly successful.
I realize these may come across as "basic points" to some, but it's been healthy for me to pray over these, to write them down, to remember them. I thank God for seeing me through it all, for knowing the desires of my heart, and for receiving them as requests/questions/thoughts.
ON A MORE PERSONAL LEVEL //
Professionally, I don't see myself working at NYFW or being "discovered" any time soon, but that's not what my heart ultimately desires. Instead, my prayer is that the Lord would match my interests and desires with however He needs me to serve the city. I see Him doing that! (Maybe I'll design a line of menswear one day or serve as photographer at a major designer's show. If so, I pray it'll be for His glory and not my own.)
Relationally, I'm grateful for the community I have here. They've cared for me in ways I didn't know I needed until I needed it. I'm confident in God's love for me and in the fact that if marriage is put on the table down the road, then it will be revealed in His good timing. It is a dream of mine (or desire of my heart); but it's been pretty liberating, in this current season, to surrender it to Him. I trust that His Spirit will direct each step along the way.
Ultimately, I believe we have dreams/goals for a reason. The Lord can work through them, whether we see it in the moment or not. That said, I pray this week that we'll be more inclined to reflect on our dreams, to submit them to God, and to share them with others.