My life is not at all what I imagined it would be 6 weeks before my college graduation. If I had stuck to my original plan, I would’ve graduated last year from Messiah with a teaching degree. If I had followed my second plan, I would be graduating from Akron University with a degree in who-knows-what. If my plan 2 years ago at this time had come to fruition, I would be packing up to move to a state where it does not snow. Last year’s plan would have me starting grad school here in central PA and last summer’s plan would have me preparing to move to Honduras in a few months. If yesterday’s plan had panned out I would have dropped out of school. (It was a long day). And who knows where tomorrows plan will take me. My point is, you would be hard pressed to find a plan of my own heart that actually panned out. Somehow, in hindsight everything that has worked out has come to be not by careful planning of my own but by the clear, divine hand of God. Although my closet friendships, most formative memories and biggest growing moments have been guided by God, they are not at all what I had in mind. Yet, I am infinitely grateful that nothing I wanted worked.
The places I have seen God the most are in the places I never planned to be. I had a short stint with couch surfing this summer, with everything I owned packed into my car. Not planned at all but that turned up to provide deep friendships, dependence on God and the knowledge that a KIA spoartage can fit an impressive amount of stuff. I did not plan to go to Honduras in the summer of 2014 but an e-mail sparked the possibility and I am preparing for trip number three. That trip opened up a passion for missions that I never knew I had. This opportunity led to another which led to another which eventually ended me at my job for Feed My Starving Children. A job I happened upon as I was searching to prove that I was doomed because my field wasn’t hiring. Everything about my life is a small string of events which at the time seemed small but the end results were massive.
I am working a job I never knew existed, seriously dating a guy I swore was just a friend and living in a town I was intent on leaving. I am deeply involved in a church I deemed to be my “school church” and no longer attend my home church. I am no longer surprised by the twists and turns of God’s path and am absolutely sure he is not done surprising me. All of this reflection has me wondering if my mindset on God’s plan was faulty all of these years.
The place I am in today was completely and fully written by God, I cannot find one trace of my life I had planned out except for maybe the whole breathing and living thing. All of the worrying and decision making, I am beginning to realize, was useless. Not that we can sit idly by and let life happen but that God pulls us places regardless of our plans. God takes us to places we don’t want to go and often they end up being places we don’t want to leave.
My point is, what would my life look like if I sought God instead of God’s plan? Just God. If I trusted him enough to trust his plan. What if Jeremiah 29:11 was more than a quote on a canvas in my room but rather Holy Scripture engraved in my heart? What if we soaked in the Word, lived in prayer and truly sought God in every moment? What would our decision making, planning and worrying look like if we sought God instead of just God’s plan?
His vision for us is not the master’s degree, or the perfect job or the perfect house. His end goal is not happiness for us. His vision is sanctification, holiness, redemption and relationship. He wants us to be complete. Pure. Holy. His. He wants us to be His. As I embark on graduation, my prayer is no longer that I would know God’s will but that I would know God. If I know him, I do not need to know where I am going. If I am with him, I am where I need to be. My goal, focus and heart cry is that my life’s focus is on a relationship with the Creator. I want to know His will but I above all I want to be His.
If you resonate with this at all, my prayer is that you cling to God in your everyday life. That you seek opportunities to talk to Him, read His word and grow closer to Him. I pray for an open heart and for opportunities to see His divine presence. I pray for peace as you inevitably face situations of the unknown. I pray that you truly believe His presence and relationship is enough to sustain you and you live in a manner which shows that. Seek Him and He will direct your path.