When you let God's light shine in your life, He will reveal its beauty.
Monday, August 6, 2012
God's Plan: Part 1
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3: 5-6
I looked like Bozo. Seriously...why this hairstyle was ever popular, I will never know. I was only 18 years old in this picture. I was getting ready to graduate from high school, and as the saying goes... "I had my whole life ahead of me." Now, here I am 20 years later, and, just this past weekend, I celebrated my 20 Year Class Reunion. Go MHS Class of 1992!
I know that it is such a cliche to say that life doesn't always turn out the way we plan, but it really does apply. I look at this 18 year old and besides seeing that silly Bozo haircut, I see such purity. I see such hope and possibilities. This girl had no idea what was ahead of her even though she thought she had her whole life planned out. And yes, she had a plan and many lists at that. If she had followed one of her lists she had made when she was in 8th grade, she would have written a popular song about not drinking or doing drugs, she would have traveled all around the world especially Italy and Greece, and she would have been married to her junior high crush and had 2 kids by the time she was 25. Well instead, she drank and used drugs at one point in her life; she still has never traveled to those places and can't even afford to do so, and she didn't marry her junior high crush and wasn't even engaged by the time she turned 25. See...life really doesn't turn out the way we plan it.
Let me say that again...life doesn't turn out the way we plan it. And that's ok, because it's not really our plan anyway, is it? It's God's plan for us! Oh, we can make plans and make lists all we want, but God knows better than we do. I have to laugh because sometimes I feel that the more I plan and make lists, the more God will mess with me and say, "Are you kidding me? No, you're not going to do that, I want you to do this." We may not always listen and follow God's plan and that's when our lives can really be led in the wrong direction. I definitely got off God's path for my life many, many times, and my life felt empty and meaningless and frustrating and confusing. Somehow, He would always find a way to steer me back on it, but I had to choose to let Him take the wheel.
When I made the decision that I was going to follow Jesus and trust His plan for my life, that's when it all started to turn around. When I quit trying to be the one in control, my life completely changed. When I made that choice to trust God and allow Him to lead me where He wanted me to go and live my life in true obedience to His plan, I had a completely different outlook on life. It was only then that my life started to make sense. My life had meaning. My life had purpose. I found true happiness and joy, and I want that for all of you too.
Do you feel like your life hasn't turned out exactly the way you planned it? Do you feel that you are following God's path for you? One of my favorite bible verses is Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." I also find comfort in Psalm 32:8--"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." These are promises to us, and all we have to do is let God do what He wants to do. It's so simple and yet it seems to be so hard for us. All we have to do is trust Him. Stop making lists. Stop making plans. Stop trying to control every situation. Stop comparing our plan to someone else's, and give everything to Jesus. His plans are going to be much better for us anyways, so why do we ever try to control our life in the first place? It really doesn't make any sense.
This week, I pray that you will give your life to Jesus and truly surrender to His plan for you. When you do that, you really will have your whole life ahead of you. Your life will be like my high school yearbook picture---full of purity, hopefulness and full of possibilites...minus the Bozo haircut, I hope.
Dedicated to Mattoon High School Class of 1992---Thank you all for being a part of my life. I have such great memories of all of you from our school years together and even though those years are so small compared to the rest of our lives, they are so meaningful. I thank you for being there through those awkward, exciting, confusing, fun and very memorable years! I know that not all of us feel that our lives are exactly where they should be. Some of us are married...some of us are not married...some of us are divorced...some of us are remarried...some of us have older kids...some of us have younger kids... some of us are continuing to have more kids...some of us have no kids...some of us have a job we love...some of us have a job we hate...some of us have no job...some of us have a college degree...some of us have no degree...some of us are going back to get a degree...No matter where you are, my classmates, I pray that you will all find God's plan, path and purpose for you. I pray that you and yours will find happiness, peace, joy, love, generosity, kindness, gratefulness and lots of laughter. May God bless you all. See you at our 25 year.