Transitions with Darbi Masters

Darbi Masters is 27 year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After spending a few years in Chicago, then moving to the UK to lead a creative media team, she's back in Chicago and currently resides in Lincoln Square. This was not "the plan," and that's why I want to share some of her story with you. We all experience transitions. They can be the most rewarding times of our lives if we tune into them. They can also be the most challenging times of our life. I met with Darbi at a beloved place of peace in Chicago—The Garfield Park Conservatory. As we explored her favorite room (The Desert House), she shared with me how she's cultivating her skills during this transition time, while learning to rest on faith amidst the unknown.

What brought you to Chicago?
University. I studied radio communications at Moody Bible Institute. The thought of moving away for school seemed so extreme at the time. It was a big leap to relocate from sunny south Florida to the cold and windy Midwest. But, I had no idea that was just the beginning of my traveling journeys.

You have a background in marketing and were working abroad for a couple years. Can you share with us what you were up to in England?
In 2014 I took a job as the director of a creative media team in the UK. I sold everything I had and boarded a plane for England with just two suitcases in hand. I led an amazing team of young people in the creative industry. We designed media for ministries all over Europe and traveled extensively throughout the EU. 

Now that you’re back in Chicago, what would you love to be doing, and how is God clarifying your calling?
Podcasting. I have had a passion for radio since I was a little girl and my interest in it has only grown with the development of podcasting. Since being back in Chicago I’ve been really excited about getting back into this field. I love how God has reminded me of the natural and genuine passion He has given me for audio.

Can you share a little bit about what you’re learning during this waiting period?
It’s been hard. I was devastated when my visa for the UK was denied. I had the promise of an incredible job in London only to have it fall apart last minute. I’m starting at square one in Chicago, and it’s humbling. I’m learning not to care what others think and am reminded every day that I can honor God even in my temp jobs.

So many of us are amidst transitions: in living spaces, in our careers, in relationships… how have you taken heart while you dream and plan and trust God’s providence over your life?
Well, I haven’t—at least not on my own. Because I’m in the trenches of it, I have a really hard time gaining perspective. But, that's why I’m so grateful for my friends and community. When I can’t see outside of my very limited perspective, they’re right there pointing me to Jesus and to hope when I feel hopeless. 

Is there any scripture that has especially resonated with you lately?
There sure is. It’s Psalm 73:25-26.

“Whom have I in heaven but you. There is nothing on earth I desire besides you. My heart & my flesh may fail me but you are the strength of my heart & my portion forever.” 

Would you share with us why the Garfield Park Conservatory is a special place for you? Why is the Desert House your favorite of all of their show rooms?
It’s so peaceful. I walk in there and I am surrounded by nature. It has a calming effect on me, especially the desert room. It soothes all my senses—it’s often quite, it feels crisp, it smells of greener, and everything is so intricately beautiful to look at. 

What are some things you’ve been inspired by lately?
Friends, biking, and hammocking. God has surrounded me with friends who love life and are intentional about learning. We all bike around the city, hammock in parks, and discuss topics that challenge our way of thinking. This is incredibly inspirational. I’m reminded to put one foot in front of the other and to keep on moving.

Do you have any advice for those reading who may also be going through a transitioning period? For those who are waiting on or wondering what’s next or for them.
“Success” is a relative term. The world defines it in a general sense—wealth, power, status. But, you will always feel like you're missing the mark if you don't define success by your own standards. Before God, seriously consider what success means to you and why. Organize your priorities to be life-giving not life-defeating. 

To see & hear more from Darbi, you can follow her on instagram.