Bloom Where You Are Planted: No Experience Wasted

I landed my dream job at age 23, but I didn’t fully realize then what it meant to bloom where you are planted.

It was the perfect combo for me then: Helping a team that offered hope and belonging to hurting people AND dabbling with data while tackling administrative projects.

Reserved and comfortable-behind-the-scenes, I was thrilled to be offered an administrative role in my church.

However, landing a dream job doesn’t mean every day is filled with sunshine and bunnies. As many fulfilling days as I’ve had, there have been days of boredom, frustration or pain.

The last year had been the hardest so far.

I was soooo ready for something new.

There were days when the only thing keeping me going was seeing how it fit in part of my greater purpose and finding intentional ways to be grateful. I felt encouraged reflecting on how I’ve blossomed into the kind of person I’ve wanted to be.

Fourteen years of learning curves, transitional uncertainty and growing pains have shaped who I am today.

And whatever role you find yourself in now, in the moments you want to quit, you can remember ways your role is preparing you for your dream. It’s easier to recognize your purpose coming together and how far you’ve come when your heart is full of gratitude rather than angst.

Here are 4 ways it’s shaped and prepared me:

1 – Learning new skills

  • Managing databases motivated me because
    behind every name and number was a person with a story
  • Creating processes energized me because
    well-implemented systems helped value others in their journey

2 – Growing in leadership

  • Surrounded by innovative, insightful, imperfect leaders;
    I watched them carefully and took their lessons to heart
  • Handling a few bridezillas gave me opportunities to
    respond with grace to volatile reactions and criticism
  • Understanding an organization’s purpose and mission
    helped us make tough decisions for the sake of some, knowing it meant losing others

3 – Discovering self-care and life balance

  • Burnout taught me it’s not selfish to take time for myself
    so I’m energized to keep giving
  • Burnout also taught me how to balance my relationships and commitments,
    with ones that replenish me and ones in which I serve

4 – Maturing in character

  • Receiving love and comfort when my marriage fell apart
    filled me with grace for others whose lives didn’t turn out the way they dreamed
  • Facilitating groups, learning how to ask questions and listen well
    helped people believe in themselves and live with purpose
  • Dreaming crazy God-dreams and seeing unexpected outcomes
    grew my faith

2 – Now Contributes to Later

Fulling accepting Employee? Aspiring writer? Leader? Stay-at-home mom? Working parent? Teacher? Entrepreneur? Coach? How has your role shaped you? Start your own gratitude list of how skills and growth converge into your calling.

Whether it feels meaningful, challenging or boring, you can find ways to make sure it’s not wasted. I hope you experience the days you feel like you’re soaring. But I know some days making it through is going to take all you’ve got.

You’ve got it in you. Bloom where you are planted.


3 comments on “Bloom Where You Are Planted: No Experience Wasted”

  1. July 25, 2024 at 2:52 pm

    I love this, Emily. I have spent the last four years struggling to bloom where I have been planted (life circumstances more than career) and I am just now figuring out and understanding that the most beautiful flowers don’t struggle. They just grow. The meadow of wildflowers doesn’t fight for air and water and good soil. The simply soak up that which God provides and they blossom. I wonder why we so frequently feel the need to make what is simple hard?

    1. User Avatar
      July 25, 2024 at 4:53 pm

      Beautiful insight, Shelby. I too have been learning to make the complex more simple. Beauty seems to be found most in simplicity. 🙂

  2. […] Grabatin. In reading through her FB group, I found a blog post she had written entitled, “Bloom Where You Are Planted.” This is a favorite topic of mine. I encourage you to read it if you are seeking change. […]

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