" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you ... plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Those who know me know that I’m an obsessive planner who likes to have every little detail perfectly organized. I hate not knowing what lies ahead. Without a plan, I feel lost and unsure of myself … my plans are what keep me grounded and steady. They give me something to strive for and something to keep me focused. Ask me what I’ll be doing a year from now and I’ll probably be able to give you a pretty accurate itinerary.
When I was seventeen, I decided I was going to move to New York City someday. It started off as a little daydream … “gee, it would be nice to live in New York City” … but eventually grew into a deep and genuine desire. I love NYC and I love my family there, and I always feel at home when I travel to the Big Apple. Moving there after my university graduation made sense to me, and once I had my heart set on the idea there was no looking back. I began to research theological schools and seminaries in the city where I could pursue my master’s. I looked up different institutions and places of work where I could begin a career once I graduated. Slowly but surely, my NYC game plan began to come together and by January 2008, I had a school chosen, a room mate selected and a bank account I had nicknamed my NYC fund. The countdown was on.
It never really occurred to me that God might have other things in store for me, and that His plans might differ from mine. After all, my plan was so well thought-out and I was being so responsible about the whole thing … how could God possibly object?!
In November of 2007, I joined a small group at church. We meet every Friday and have fellowship; we pray together and study God’s Word. Small group has been a huge blessing in my life and the closer I grew to God, the more I began to question my plan. More than anything else, I wanted (and still want!) to bring glory to God and live out His purpose for my life. As I grew in my relationship with Him, I wasn’t quite sure moving to NYC was the right thing.
My small group prayed for me several times, and for weeks I prayed: “Lord, I surrender everything to You and I’m ready to live the life You have planned for me.” About three weeks ago, I woke up and my desire to move to NYC was gone. Completely gone. It feels like I never had the desire in the first place. Part of me was heartbroken at the loss of my plan … a plan that had basically dictated my life for the past four years. But the other part of me was excited to see what GOD … the Creator of the Universe, my Maker, My Savior … had planned for me. Every day now I wake up and I feel so blessed to have found the courage to surrender to God. I feel like He reached down and took this huge burden off my shoulders. “Stop trying to plan out your life and leave that to Me …”
Our God is an awesome God. (And a much better planner than I am!)