While you’re busy making other plans…

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. 🙂

6 thoughts on “While you’re busy making other plans…

  1. Okay, so after reading that I feel slightly bad about the fact that my profile picture was taken while I was learning to drill low cost water wells for people in developing nations; hence the mud on my face. Don’t take it personally.
    The plan will make sense eventually, trust me.
    College won’t help a person like you much. What does it have to teach you that you don’t already know? But having the piece of paper might make you feel good.
    Liberty U is 2nd largest in the nation in online education. Living the “college experience” is overrated and highly expensive. Why not go to school online, find a missions program in [insert overseas location], make sure there is high speed internet so you can submit work, and live and work abroad?
    God has a way of bringing in the strangest things into your life. He specializes in the ridiculous…you might just find yourself studying English while promoting world peace by solving water problems.


  2. Stranger, yes – random, no. God doesn’t work that way. He has obviously given you a lot of talent, and He probably expects you to use it.
    I am currently covering winning scholarships and planning on my blog.
    $0.02 cents more – total $0.04


  3. How: wordpress blog search on “scholarships.” Then sorted based on most recent. Based on the time you posted it came up. That’s the story.
    I am working on teaching students to travel. I went to community college too – I understand the mind numbing feeling – but it can be great because it is cheap.
    Scholarships are looking for certain things, and if you can figure that out then you can greatly increase your chances. I will be blogging about it everyday. If you want you can subscribe for a week, and if you don’t learn what you are looking for then unsubscribe. A lot of people invested in me, and this is how I am giving back.


  4. First of all- Carissa, I love you! When I grow up, I want to be more like you.

    Second of all- Your future is easily. You + Me = rock this world!

    Thirdly- how about a serious note? I’m proud of you. Sure, maybe you don’t have a super clear vision on how you are going to single handedly save the world. However, you DO have a super clear vision on WHO is going to save this world. Your passion for God and apologetics (although I’m certain your dad played a large part in sparking the flame) is a passion all your own. Mix that with your empathy for others and all around witty humor and I think you’re a deadly combination! Keep serving the way you are serving and seeking God the way you are and I don’t see you going wrong.

    I will, however, admit that you and I are much alike in the planning aspect. There are many times where I get frustrated with how long school is taking me (or will in the future) and how and when I should get started. I just want to get out there and start doing big things for God! Yet, He keeps reminding me- I am doing big things for him NOW, at the CREW. And so are you girl. No one had poured into those particular girls in the past the way you are now; I can tell you that for certain.

    Soooooo, let’s just keep going our paths and promise to punch each other in the face should we continue to let our own futile plans (which are just an out pouring of our insecurities with the unknown…ha more on this subject later!) get in the way of God’s awesomeness, kay?


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