Just follow your arrow wherever it points.
Where does your arrow point?
No, not that one. Not the one your family painted on the ground for you. That's their arrow. It may work for them, but probably not for you.
Or that one either. I see you looking at the one the institution said was a good idea. Trust me, the institution is not looking out for you personally. Even if your institution is the Church. Institutions look out for themselves. One of those rules of nature.
And no, that one isn't your arrow either. The one that tells you what to wear and how to look and who to date and what music to like and what is success and what is failure.
No. YOUR arrow.
Oh, you lost it? You can't see it? Don't think it's there?
That happened to me, too. I thought the arrow of look, it's a big, fancy, rich church and you can be the sassy girl priest and make everyone else happy but don't worry about yourself was my arrow. It seemed okay for a while.
And then it wasn't okay. I had to wander in the desert before I could see my arrow again. I wrote a book about it, if you're interested. But again, that was my arrow. Your path will be different. I hope it doesn't involve bullies or as many tears and more chocolate than mine did.
Finding your arrow is hard work. It's why so many people just follow other arrows, the ones easy to spot: bigger is better; titles are awesome; conformity is best; it's who you know; be logical not vulnerable; look at my awesome car and home and money - those are just a few. They will work very, very hard to say it's their arrow, it's exactly what they want to do, and all sorts of language that sounds good. My experience is that these people will try to sell their arrow as your arrow and, when you hesitate or say no or decide to follow your own arrow, they take the arrow they're following and stab it in your back.
But trust me, even bleeding, follow your arrow.
God painted your arrow just for you and no one else. The feet that can walk that path are yours and God's. The journey that will make your heart sing is only for you and God.
Most of us knew how to follow our arrows as children, then we went to school, were told about all these other arrows, and told we had to pick from one of them. And then we follow all sorts of good choice arrows until we hear God's siren song.
Many ignore it. After all, there are all these other arrows right here! I don't have to do much work and I can see them so easily.
But God keeps singing until we wander away from all of those arrows. We will find ourselves lost. For some reason, the only way to follow your arrow is to be lost for a bit...or a long time.
And then, do you see it? Yes! THAT! Your arrow!
Following your arrow won't always be easy or fun. Others, especially those who are fearful of following their own arrow, will diminish you. You will likely make some choices that others will say, "Hmmm, I don't know. Will that look good on your resume?" You will be called by God to explore some old wounds and offer them to God for healing. You will most certainly find yourself falling into love with life in a new way. You will laugh and weep; you will sing and be silent; you will dance and be still.
And you will be with God.
So, follow your arrow wherever it points.