I’ve had a quote from good old John Lennon rolling around in my head lately. You’ve probably heard it… it goes, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” And after a good and much-needed conversation on Wednesday night with an incredible young woman of God who I really, really admire, I realized something:
I don’t have it all figured out.
Not that I thought I did before… but I pretended. Because you know, when I have a conversation with someone and they have this intricate, fascinating plan for their career about world peace and clean drinking water for everyone in Africa, I hate following it up with, “Well… I might major in English but I don’t think I want to teach in a classroom like most people assume all English majors do and actually, I have no idea what I want to do with my life.” The look on their faces is usually a mixture of pity and disappointment, and I can tell they’re thinking, Laaaaame.
A few times in my life, I’ve made some pretty detailed plans about my future and mapped it all out. I like to have two or three options about everything I do, then make a detailed pro/con list. I like to think this helps me visualize what I’m sacrificing and decide what I can’t leave behind. Then, I present Plans A, B, and C to God and He chooses Plan Q.
And then, of course, like the mature young adult I am, I totally throw a fit at God. I pout that He didn’t do it my way, because obviously, my way was the best way available. Then, God totally proves me wrong… and I look back and realize that His ideas were absolutely, definitely the best way, but I would never have seen it coming.
For example, after I graduated high school, I planned to go straight to Liberty University. Don’t pass Go, don’t collect $200. I was just going to throw myself into the college scene as an English major with little purpose or passion and graduate. It was all worked out; I was accepted at the school and infested with senioritis. All I needed was the acceptance letter from the Honors Program, which offered me the scholarships I needed to be able to afford the school. When a waitlist letter came with no hopeful prospects for being accepted into the program, I was forced to abandon that option because of money. I was mad at God and at life for throwing this curveball at me, since obviously He was thwarting my perfectly laid plan, especially when the very day after I officially turned down Liberty, my Honors Program acceptance letter came. I interpreted this at the time as a big, fat mistake. As if, maybe somehow the Devil had thwarted my plans and I was truly meant to go to Liberty after all.
Then, my dad presented the worst idea in history: Stay in San Diego another year and go to… *shudder* community college. I protested with all that was in me because I was so ready to get out of California. I had severed relationship ties with minimal heartache and released any emotional attachment I had to this place, and now he wanted me to stay another year?
Well, there was God, putting into motion his beautiful plans while I did everything I could to slam on the brakes. At the end of the summer when I moved in with my best friend’s family, I learned about an opportunity to volunteer at my church’s middle school ministry. Now, almost six months later, I have a small group of incredible 7th grade girls whom I adore, incredible new friends on the leadership staff of the youth group, and I realized something that I probably would have never found out otherwise: I love youth ministry! Who would have thought?
It’s so exciting to realize that I have no idea what my future holds, but God has this wonderful plan in mind, if only I will follow His will and trust that He will put it into action.
So, whether I end up in San Diego or on the East Coast for the summer, and whether I go to college in Utah or in Virginia or in Latin America, God knows what he is doing sooo much better than I do, and it makes me so thankful to Him. 🙂