When I was in college, back in 1984 in Honolulu, I wanted to be a writer or a singer. What I ended up with was a nursing degree. The loop in my head said, "you can't be a writer or a singer because those activities are too self-indulgent and you need to do something that helps people more." Therefore, nursing.
The joke's on me. Though I have no doubt that along the way I managed to provide at least one human being with the kind of altruistic, self-sacrificial aide that the loop in my head required, that's not what nursing is about for me. It's a job that's heavy on technology and science, where I get to work every day with really smart people who are willing to take on the challenges presented by fragile preterm infants. And, though I swear this was never a goal when I started out, I make a pretty nice living doing it.
I thought I was doing what God wanted me to do. I thought that the loop in my head came from God as it guided my decision-making. Along the way I kept singing, and now my main gig is as cantor for my church. See, he's using my gifts, right? So what do I do now that the loop in my head is telling me to write, and what I want to write are little vampire romances? It bothers me that there's not much Jesus in those stories.
I'm almost 50, and if there's one thing all these years (25!) of nursing has taught me is how little I know. I don't know why some babies live and some don't. I don't know why God is so perfect and man's organized attempts to worship are so....not. I trust in something bigger than me to sort it all out in the end. I'm going to do that here, too. If I open myself up and let the words come (the way I maybe should have done 30 years ago), God will find a way to use them, even though they may not be overtly religious. I trust.