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God’s Guidance 4 - In a Career Path

by Marilyn Adamson, director of EveryStudent.com and StartingwithGod.com

I thought I’d give you another example from my life of how God can guide. I hope it builds your faith in God’s ability to guide you!

Proverbs 3:5,6 says,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

I really believe that Scripture. All parts of it.

– Not trust for a particular outcome. Instead, I am to trust in the Lord.

– Not trust my own understanding, but trust that God understands.

– In each step, each day, acknowledge him, look to him.

– He will take care of getting me where he wants me. He will guide me.

There were a dozen ways that God led me to join the Christian organization I’m a part of. (It’s called Cru in the U.S.) But let me share one part of it.

I was an advertising major in college. For two summers of college I worked at an advertising agency in downtown Chicago, right off of Michigan Avenue, and I loved it.

September, in my last year of college, our advertising class took a field trip to the top 5 advertising agencies in Minneapolis. I was thinking of locating there after graduation, so this field trip was perfect!

During the agency presentations, here’s what I heard…

Each agency boasted about their awards. How many tires Goodyear sold because of their ads. How great their advertising campaign was for Milky Way candy bars. How we would make a great income if we came to work for them. We would have a nice apartment, a nice wardrobe, be part of a famous advertising agency.

As I listened, a stark realization hit me: I didn’t care how many tires Goodyear sells. I didn’t care about candy bars. I didn’t care about anything they were talking about!

For the first time, I realized, I didn’t want to work in an advertising agency. It wasn’t where my heart was.

Now, let me add, my son is working at a great advertising agency in Denver right now, and I’m thrilled for him. So, I’m not knocking advertising. Part of me still loves it.

The problem was, God wasn’t calling me there.

A couple of weeks later, in October, I visited my parents. My Dad wanted to know why I hadn’t put together my resume yet. (I wasn’t graduating until May, so that gives you an idea of my family upbringing.)

I didn’t have the heart to tell my Dad that I no longer wanted to work in an ad agency, but that I had no idea what I did want to do.

I went back to campus with a heavy heart. Sometimes you pray. And sometimes you really PRAY! This was one of those times. All the way to campus, I prayed.

As I walked to my morning advertising class, I asked God,

“Maybe I owe my parents a few years in an advertising agency. They paid for my education. Maybe out of respect for them, I owe them. I have no idea what you want me to do. And I really need your direction.”

I walked into my advertising class. This particular professor thinks there is no other possible career than advertising.

My professor also was an atheist. The advertising campaigns he had us working on for class were for Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the U.S.), and Miller Brewing Company (specifically writing ads aimed at under-age drinkers).

I think he was trying to make advertising interesting to college students, so we’d all fall in love with it. He wasn’t a horrible guy. Just had his own way of looking at life.

Ok, so I’m praying my heart out as I’m walking into my advertising class that morning. Here’s how my professor started the class that morning. He said:

“Do you people realize that what you’re talking about is devoting the major portion of your lives to promoting toothpaste, socks, and underarm deodorant?” (I thought, “Exactly!!”)

He continued, “But don’t limit public relations and advertising, because they are broader fields than this. For example, there is a student in this class who has been promoting God, and probably will continue to do so.”

This was a pretty large class, so I wasn’t sure if he was talking about me or not. I left the class now saying to God, “Well, I don’t know what that meant, but I won’t close any doors until you do.”

For the next few months, God became clearer and clearer. I’ll pick it up in the next post.