In the last few years of my life, I have seen the Lord take the plans and dreams that I once held dear, and do the things I never expected or wanted. Before I started college, I was sure on where I was going to go. When I was not accepted, I couldn’t understand what had happened. I remember thinking, “What didn’t I do?” I know there was so much that I actually hadn’t done, but I couldn’t see that then, or rather, I wasn’t supposed to see it then. From that point on, the next 5 years of my life would be all Him. I cannot express enough how crazy it is to look back on my college years and just see His hand in ALL of it.
I have kept a journal through this time and I can see the changes that took place. Oh, how the plans I had were completely turned upside down. I ended up going to community college and then transferring to a 4-year state school. If you knew me in high school, you would know that I was dead set against going to a secular school. I am laughing as I write this because I didn’t just attend a secular school, but the 4-year school was 2 hours from home so I lived on campus. WHAT??
My grand plans of attending a private, Christian school 8 hours from home and study to eventually become an attorney were so greatly tossed in the wind.
I do remember many times praying and talking with God about how I couldn’t understand how I had gotten to these points in my life. I kept thinking about my goals and dreams. My hopes and plans. Everything I thought I wanted – I thought I needed. But here I am. A college graduate with degrees in business, journalism and a half degree (transferred before finishing) in communications and broadcast media. Such a far cry from the plans for me to become a lawyer.
So, let me break it down like this: instead of my plans and goals being fulfilled, what did I get?
My relationship with the Lord grew and grew. My knowledge of love, both for the Lord and for those around me, changed in such a way that I truly am in disbelief sometimes when I think about how I used to view love before.
I met some amazing people along the way that have encouraged me, inspired me, challenged me, prayed for me and showed me many aspects of life. I also met people who were not so great toward me, yet even then, God used them in my life to bring me closer to Him and to His plan for me. He has been developing eyes to see people as He would want me to see them.
My comfort zone was (and is) tested ALL THE TIME! I came to see how limited I was by that zone I had put myself in.
Fear (yup, good old fear again) came up a lot. Quite a lot. Despite how crazy fear had gotten in my life, God has been changing my heart in the way I see fear and the ways I have let it control me. I have done a lot of things that I wouldn’t have done before, thank you Lord for your grace!
The first few years of college, I commuted back and forth to home and work from school. I was busy all the time and I learned how crazy stressful life could get when I was trying to balance a lot of things at once. In that time, I found little sources of comfort in things/people that helped me get through the stressful moments. I definitely went through a rough time that made me really question a lot of thoughts I had. An issue I later realized was that I was putting too much of my time into going to humans before I went to the Lord with my pain and hurt and problems. I learned that I was doing this when my first semester of college living away from came and I felt so alone. I knew that God was with me, but I was away from home, my family, the town I grew up in, the people I was used to seeing all the time that I knew by name and my friends. My best friend and closest friends were hours away. Life had a funny way of tossing me around until I saw what God had wanted me to see. My focus wasn’t on Him like it should have been. My goodness, when I look back, I can say with great assurance that was when God started turning the fire up a little more and I felt the heat rising.
A new perspective. I no longer have plans for my goals and dreams. I came to a point, last summer during a very hard family situation that I did not know what God has planned for me or for this world. I have no control over this life. To put that into a perspective: my Grandmother went home to be with the Lord this week and as I watched her take her last breath, I had no idea that would be her last. I do not know the exact moment that she passed away, but I do know that I couldn’t have stopped her death or even kept her here on this earth any longer. God’s love, His timing, and His plans are the only assurance that we have.
This new perspective that I have is one that turns me back to Jesus for everything. It is not easy because I always think I know better, yet He has shown me just how wonderful and beautiful being broken can be. When I am most hurt, I feel close to Him. Letting down the walls and the facades that I had used to protect me, has opened me up to new life in Christ that has me in awe of all that He does all the time. My goals and dreams are to serve the Lord in all that I do. In order to know what He wants from me, I must keep a close relationship with my Savior. It’s basically a win-win situation. I am close with the One who loves me so much He died for me and I also am serving Him as He shows me. My heart is His. Even though I still struggle with complete obedience, going where He would want me and doing what He has planned for me gives me so much happiness in my heart. He is my true and only joy. I want to show this world His love so much! I want to be able to serve the Lord in such a way that it reaches the masses (even if that mass is 1 person). Right now, I see that He wants me to serve Him by seeking Him.
There was a time that I had planned on being married before I was 21 and possibly having at least 2 kids by 25. Being married was a big deal to me. I want to share a life with someone one day. I love children and would love to be able to raise, love and teach my own children one day. Now, I look back at all that God has done and I am so glad that none of this happened because I had so much to learn and so much to see! God is so good! It is always quite a joy to look back and see how far He has brought me. I am 23 years old, not married and I have no kids. With that said, I have come to say, “Lord, lead me where you want.” To look back and think that I could be ready for marriage when in reality I would have struggled with so many past issues that would have made me act a different way. Now, I see how selfless the Lord calls me (or people in general) to be in a marriage. I see it now as a way to show the Lord’s love every day to someone in a way that only can be shown through marriage.
There is a lot more and this nutshell is truly a lot crammed into one post. I hope that whoever reads this post will see the beauty in waiting on the Lord. It’s so hard to let go of the tendencies and the human wants but it’s what He has saved us from. I do not want to live in such a way that I am being pulled back in by my old self.