“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
I took a Psychology class in high school and one of the big projects in the class was to create a “life book” of sorts. A book where there were certain sections required and others you could choose, but it essentially was an “All About Me” book that contained a lot of introspection and thoughts enabling us to reflect and dig deep into our lives thus far and the future to come. One of the sections that I chose to move forward with in my book was the section titled ‘My Hopes and Dreams’, where I proceeded to fill in exactly how my life would look in the coming years. I wrote about marriage, kids, career and I even wrote about the car I would drive and the house I would live in. At 16, I guess I thought I had it all figured out. The ever present “planner” in me was comforted by the fact that I could write this all out, work toward this and it would all just fall into place.
Are you a planner? Have you ever thought out or even written out a life plan for yourself?
I had good intentions, but I also had a lack of trust in a God that would take care of me and my life beyond what I myself could plan.
Life moved forward and my “plans” slowly came apart as the boyfriend I met in college, that I thought for sure was the one, ended up breaking my heart one random April weekend after 4 years of dating. I went on to move back to my hometown and in with my parents; trying to find full-time work to afford an apartment and also adjust to living the single life I was unaccustomed to, while dealing with the loss and devastation of a failed relationship and unaccepted life change.
This was not in my plans; this pain and unknowing of the future scared me and was beyond what I could handle some days. I had the support of my family, but I felt there was something lacking I could not put my finger on at the time.
What unaccepted life changes have you faced? How did you move forward?
I did move on to find a full time teaching job, an apartment and had resigned myself to my new found “plan” of being single, teaching and having fun with friends. Two years and a few other dating debacles later, I told myself I might not get married. I was already a few years past the age of 24 (the age I was to get married in my “plan”) and I had started to accept the idea that maybe I can’t plan it all.
When in your life did you realize that you can’t control or plan it all?
This is when I met my now husband Seth. I could tell he was different from the others, but he was moving to Denver in just a few months. So I didn’t ‘plan’ our eventual wedding in my head, but proceeded to get to know a fun guy that liked to smile….a lot.
I didn’t ‘plan’ on loving him….I didn’t ‘plan’ on getting engaged after 4 short, but amazing, months of dating….I didn’t ‘plan’ on being married almost exactly a year after we met and then moving to Denver to start our married life together, but that is what happened.
And I could not have planned it better…. because I didn’t. You see if my plan had carried out like I thought it would when I was 16, I would not be in the future I am in now. That plan was not to be and I can see that now, but the process was hard….but it was also worth it. And I give complete credit to a God that held true to His promise of giving me a future.
What in your life can you give credit to God for today?
Seth was the unexpected answer to my prayers of a life partner and an example of letting go of past expectations to reveal exactly what I needed in my life. This isn’t to say Seth wasn’t up to my expectations, but that he exceeded my expectations. And he still does…everyday. I thank God for him everyday, because I know He knew what I needed in my life.
What past expectations can you let go of in order to embrace God’s plan for you?
My life is not perfect by any means. I still struggle and I fall, but the trust I have gained through the past suffering and eventual gain of my current life helps me carry on. To know I have a God that I can trust and put faith in is everything to me. He can do this for you too….
God has a plan for each of us, but sometimes we are blind to it. Our world today says we must plan and control and live a certain life, but it never takes into account a God that already does that for us. It is ok to make plans and to have goals, but know it might turn out different than expected. Move forward with your life, but listen to the God that loves you unconditionally. He will tell you the path to take and trusting in Him is key. There may be pain and there may be sorrow, but sometimes we go through the roughest storms before we experience the brightest of joys. God will not forsake you and He will not “give up” on you. Let Him lead you to a life that is so much better than you could have planned for yourself; and know that, just as the key verse today says, you will prosper, you will have hope and you will have a future.
Thank you so much for all you have provided for us in this life thus far. We know you love us unconditionally and will not forsake us. Some of us feel pain and loss over unexpected life changes and over unmet plans and desires. Lord, help us to see that our desire is in You and You know what is best for us. Help us in our pain and low times so that we can see the hope and joy on the other side of this mountain we are climbing. Guide us on the path to the plans You have for us and lead us to the life that only You can provide for us. Help us tailor our goals and daily undertakings to work toward the outcome that you see fit for us and help us trust in You and know that you work for our good and for our future.
In Jesus’ name,