When Our Plan is Not God’s

What is my purpose? What is God’s plan for my life?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked those questions. I’m the type of person who likes to know what to expect. When I go somewhere new, I want to have detailed directions to get there. I want to know what I pass along the way, what the building looks like, and exactly where I should park. I don’t like surprises. I like a plan because it gives me comfort and security.

When I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was in 4th grade when I decided I would go to Millersville University to pursue that education. Come high school, that was the only place I sent my application. I knew for sure what I wanted to do, and I knew what I needed to do in order for that to become reality.

And it did become reality.

I became a teacher, but you know what? It didn’t make me happy like I imagined. I felt unsettled.

My plans were not God’s plans. He started stirring in my heart, but I pushed those nudges to the side.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. (Psalm 37:5 ESV)

I stayed in teaching because it was comfortable, secure, and what was expected of me. After all, I just spent three and a half years in college preparing for that future. It seemed silly to throw it all away, but there was a constant whisper in my heart that there was something else out there for me. The teaching chapter needed to end in order for another to begin.

I couldn’t comprehend a plan outside of teaching, so I didn’t act in faith that God was going to direct my steps. I didn’t trust that God would provide another avenue. How foolish! When had he ever let me down before?

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9:10 ESV)

Too many times we want the whole plan laid out for us. We want to know what is going to become of our lives, but I’m finding there’s so much joy in the unknown. You reading this is proof that God’s plans are bigger than my own. If you would have asked me five years ago what I would be doing, I probably would have said teaching. If you asked me one year ago what I’d be doing, blogging wouldn’t have been on my radar.

So what is one year from now going to look like? I don’t know, but I’m excited to find out. I’m excited to allow God to take my life and shape it. He is directing my steps, and I’m excited to follow.

I don’t want to miss out on following Him in each season of life, because it’s a journey filled with adventure and blessings.

Is it easy? Absolutely not.

You should have seen the struggle I experienced walking away from teaching as my maternity leave ended. I felt like I was giving up my identity. If I wasn’t a teacher, who was I? Would I find value in the next part of life? Would I be happy? Was I really doing what God wanted, or was I getting away from the politics that had consumed education?

My value does not lie in what I do; it lies in Whose I am. I’m God’s child, and He has an incredible plan for my life that He reveals little by little. I’m thankful we don’t see the whole picture, because it would be overwhelming, and it would eliminate our need to trust God’s goodness.

Life is fuller than I ever thought possible. It’s hectic, exhausting, and crazy most days, but it sure beats my original plan.

I needed to put aside my pride and focus my attention on God.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10 ESV)

Our purpose in life is to follow God. It’s to show Jesus to those who don’t know Him. It’s to walk alongside those who struggle. It’s to be a light in this dark world. At this moment in time, my light is not shining in a classroom, and I trust that God has plans for me that are bigger than I could ever imagine.

Let me tell you, I’m going to be a light to my sweet girls. I’m going to be a light to the other moms I encounter. That light is going to shine brightly, and I’m blessed to have been called into this new role.

So, what’s the plan for my life? Follow God!

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