Hope :: Chasing the Wrong Things

Listen here!

Hello, readers!

As the school year drew to a close, I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t receive any summer internships. I applied for many but didn’t receive any.

When I started hearing about all of the internships my classmates received, I have to be honest. I was in my feelings.

My professors and industry friends have complimented my résumé and told me how it’s odd that I haven’t received a single interview. They’ve told me I’m skilled.

But that doesn’t help when nothing happens.

Then I realized: I’m chasing the wrong things.

I find joy in writing. I find joy in editing (real copy and developmental editing). Book publishing has always interested me. So I thought that meant I needed to chase the editorial internships and get into one, even if I wasn’t sure what — besides editing — I truly love to do when it comes to publishing.

I’ve been asking God for months (really for years…) to lead me in the right direction. I asked Him to open these internship doors, and all remained firmly shut, and I just didn’t understand.

When I heard my classmates talking about their internships for the summer, I started to feel bad.

Then I realized: God did exactly as I asked. He’s leading me where I’m supposed to go. I’ve just been too stubborn to realize it.

Once I accepted this, I started truly looking at what brings me joy and why I’m seeking out these internships. Every person in my life has told me how skilled I am with copy editing and developmental editing — even people not in the publishing world and people who are in fields I’m unfamiliar with (i.e., engineering) and I’m still able to transform parts for the writer.

And yet I was still chasing the editorial internships. Why?

Because it’s what the world sees as the right next step to success.

The moment I started accepting that it isn’t the right path for me, my main priorities shifted and I became far more excited about the two activities that matter in my life and for my future: editing and writing.

Many of you know that I’ve been writing a book series since sophomore year of college. I knew I needed to rewrite it, but hadn’t gotten into it because I was in my feelings about many other things. My focus was elsewhere.

In this past week alone, I’ve been able to really dig in and make the writing come to life.

And it’s because I stopped chasing the wrong things.

I’m not saying the things we chase are necessarily bad.

I used to chase relationships: I felt like if I wasn’t moving toward marriage then I was missing something in life.

Having a significant other isn’t a bad thing. But chasing it to the exclusion of all else is what got me in trouble. I didn’t care about the details; as long as I wasn’t alone then it was okay. Even if the guy didn’t treat me well or have the same values.

I bought myself a ring to remind myself that God comes first and that I should place my value in Him and what He says about me. Though I still fail to journal every day, journaling my prayers is how I keep track of the promises of God and can better see where He’s taking me. It’s where I work through my struggles.

Now, I’m single and content.

I’m internship-less, and I’m content.

I’m writing, and I’m more than content.

I’m finding real joy in my life. And it’s because I’m done chasing the wrong things. At least for now. I’m not perfect. I’ll probably get caught up in something else, but eventually I’ll return to this and remember to find God’s purpose and provision.

What are you chasing right now that is bringing you anxiety instead of contentment? What can you turn to to find joy?

Brittany Stonestreet signature with Dove

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