On Planning and When Things Turn Out Radically Different Than We Imagined

on-planning-and-when-things-turn-out-radically-different-than-we-imagined

The funny thing about writing is that it’s made up of so many ideas and so few realities. A lot of thinking, a lot of different visions of where to go – and then sitting down at the computer to actually write is often quite torturous.

 

Yes, I know I say I love this whole writing thing, but it’s really hard, alright?

 

There’s a lot of thinking involved. A lot of planning. A lot of daydreaming.

 

And then I sit down to my computer and the words don’t totally know where to go. They don’t know whether to form long sentences or short, to be sophisticated or poetic or blunt, to be precise or to be vague. They don’t know whether to arrange themselves into a concise doctrinal argument, or into a messy, heart-spilling session of vulnerability.

Continue reading “On Planning and When Things Turn Out Radically Different Than We Imagined”

It’s A [Crazy] Wonderful Life

Plans.

Sometimes, I have a bunch of crazy dreams and aspirations.

Let me rephrase that.

Always, every day, I have new and insane plans and aspirations.

I’m a dreamer. I want to see things happen. I’m a little crazy. Or a lotta crazy.

I want to do so much.

When I was young, people would ask me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And I would always answer with a shy shrug, and reply with, “I don’t know. I want to be a mommy and I can’t figure out anything else.”

Now, I’m almost exactly the opposite.

“So, what are you planning on doing with your life?”

“That’s a great question. I’d like to get a degree in English, so that I can write, proofread, and edit, but perhaps I’d like to get a job at a publishing company, or start my own.

“Music has always been a part of me, so there’s always that. And acting and filmmaking has always captured my interest. I’d love to make a movie, and be in one. Or two. Or three. Or more.

“I’d also like to be a wife and momma, adopt some kids if God allows, and homeschool ‘em all.

“I really wanted to go to the Olympics for gymnastics when I was ten, but I didn’t go far enough with it.

“Or perhaps I’d like to be involved in vocational ministry. A youth speaker. And maybe I want to just be an author, write a dozen books, and go that route.

“I’d like to travel the world, learn another language (or get better at Spanish) and go on some short-term missions trips to South America.”

This is making me really upset right now. Right this moment, yes, though I’m talking about in general.

And rightfully so, I think.

Because I don’t have my life figured out. If it were up to me, I’d be married by twenty-two, with a novel-worthy love story, living in a little apartment, with everything painted white. I’d have a job during the day that I was in love with, and I would write books and blog posts in the evenings and early mornings.

Then, at twenty-five, I’d have a few kids. I’d stay home and homeschool them, and work part-time if I could.

But I’m crazy.

For all I know, I could be single until I’m thirty. I could have a job that I don’t like, and have never written any books. I could still have my teeny and messy beach-themed bedroom at my parents’ house until I marry.

I could still have this little corner of the internet called a blog and ramble about my life on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I really don’t know, and that upsets me sometimes.

I don’t have all the answers.

Life is crazy and overwhelming.

I have so much more life to live, and I want to do it all right now.

And I can’t. I’m fifteen. I can’t drive, or marry right now, or get a full-time job, or raise children, or live on my own, or anything like that.

*sighs*

It’s a waiting game.

So I’m trying my best to learn a little lesson here.

God’s ways are not my ways, and His thoughts aren’t my thoughts.

His plans are the best ones for me. Not mine. His.

I don’t know what life will bring, but I do know this. God is in control. He has my life laid out, and knows exactly what will happen.

He knows who I’m going to marry. What I’m going to “be when I grow up”.

He knows my thoughts. He knows me, because He is my Creator.

He loves my soul, and has only the best in mind for me.

He wants me to rely on Him because He knows I can’t do life on my own.

And like I was saying a minute ago, I get really upset by this sometimes. I feel like crying…a lot. But actually, I think that’s a good thing.

It’s so important to see that we can’t accomplish life’s craziness on our own. It’s okay to cry…because life is insane, and stressful, and overwhelming, and difficult. And I’m mortal, and naïve, and stupid sometimes, and inexperienced, and impatient, and messy.

But the God who is immortal, and all-knowing, and possesses all wisdom, and is patient and created life itself knows me.

He knows me.

And He loves me.

Through my weakness, and flaws, and broken humanity, I am treasured, and held in the palm of the hand of the One who is control of it all.

 

I am His child.

I have crazy plans, and a crazy life, and I get overwhelmed easily. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, or how I’m going to handle hardships.

But I’m not in control, and I can’t pretend that I am.

My life belongs to God. I’m never going to be qualified to handle life on my own.

But I’m a daughter of the One who hold my life.

Here and now, I submit my life to the one that treasures it. I relinquish my plans to the Lover of my soul. I surrender my dreams to the One that gave them to me in the first place. I give up my control to the Author of space and time; the One who holds it all.

I rest in the embrace of the One who pens my story.

He has figured out my life for me…and I will never EVER be alone.

Proverbs 16:9

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Isaiah 55:9

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Job 12:10

In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

*aj

The Future: Control, Loosened Feet, and Letting Go  

Waterfall

To be completely honest, I have no idea where I’ll be a few years from now.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing, who I’ll be friends with, where exactly I’ll be at in school, where I’ll be living, nothing. I really don’t know.

To some people, this might seem like a horrible thing. NO CONTROL? WHAT ARE YOU, CRAZY?

(Yeah, I am. But it’s a good kind of crazy. You’ll see why.)

I can be a bit of a control freak at times. Really. I worry way too much about things sometimes. I wouldn’t encourage it, because it focuses on I and me too much. What I want. What’ll help me. (More like what I think that I want and will help me, but really won’t.)

I might make a million plans right now. Now this is hypothetical, and I haven’t thought through the answers to all of this, but I’ll do an example.

I’m going to go to ____ College.

I’m going to major in _______.

I’m going to have a career in _________.

I’m going to date ________ person, we’re going to get engaged and be engaged for ___ months, and our wedding theme and colors will be __________.

I’m going to have _________ many kids.

I’m going to buy a house by the ___________.

And so on and so forth. Maybe we don’t have it all figured out, but we dream (and plan out our ideas in our heads), and hold onto *that thing* as our security.

But *that thing* cannot be guaranteed. Why? Because we are not in control.

Proverbs 16:9 says, The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

 

I’m not saying I haven’t made plans. I sure have. I mean, it’s very smart to plan ahead, but we cannot be so stuck on it that we don’t let God lead us.

James 4:13-15 sums this up pretty much the same way that I’m trying to explain.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

 

We should live with “loosened feet”. Feet that are free to move where God calls us. We can plan, but we must let God direct us. We are not in control; He is. We should live to do what God wills for us. By getting to know Him, He will show us. He will open and close doors for us, and He will guide us.

(Isaiah 30:21, And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”)

Like I said, I have absolutely no idea where I’ll be at in a few years, both physically and spiritually.

But that’s okay with me.

I’m not in control, but I know the One who is. And I trust that He knows what’s best for me.

As a matter of fact, I know that He knows what’s best for me. He knows what’ll bring me closer to Him. He has a purpose in everything, even if I can’t see it.

So I’ve let go.

It’s okay that I’m not in control. Because He is, and that’s all I need to know.

*aj