Tuesday, May 7, 2013

My Plans

Today as I was considering attending my friend’s college graduation in the upcoming weekend, my mind began to wander to the past and to my past desires. My friend goes to a private liberal arts college --the college I wanted to go to more than anything when I was a senior in high school. I applied to the school and was accepted, but was not awarded nearly enough money to cover the grand tuition it required. I crunched the numbers every way I could with the generous private and state-funded scholarships I had received combined with the college’s academic scholarship offer. It just wasn’t going to work.

I wanted to go to this school more than anything because I thought I was liberal. I thought I was artistic. I thought I was eclectic and different and bold. I thought I wanted to party on the weekends and study hard on the weekdays in order to keep this scholarship.

Maybe I was different. Maybe I was bold in certain circles. I was actually artistic. I had no idea what liberal really meant.

I thought I was going to be an author, and I was going to major in creative writing to make this happen. I wanted to move far away from Arkansas. I understood I might not ever be JK Rowling or anything, but I wanted to make a living from my art. I was, in reality, an intelligent, rebellious, disrespectful, hopeful, determined, desperate, curious, girl who still lacked some of the most substantial part of my being.

After I suffered the crushing blow that I would not, in fact, attend my dream college, I conceded to go to the University of Central Arkansas. This is a public university in the same town as my formerly intended college which offered me a full ride scholarship with stipend left over every semester. I imagined I would still go to the same parties and make the same friends and work towards the same major as before, just on a different campus. I could still hang out at Hendrix. I could still have that life.

So I went to UCA in the Fall of 2011 and my life was rocked. It was shattered. It was absolutely torn to shreds because I met my Father. I met God in the midst of my rebellion and my anxiety and my grief. I met the Spirit for the first time in 18 years and my life just fell to pieces and I let God pick it all up and put it back together His way, with His additions. I let Him throw away a lot of the old pieces and make new ones.

He threw away my anxiety and replaced it with His love. I was able to wean myself off of powerful anxiety pills which I had been prescribed and addicted to for a long time. God took all of my symptoms away and He filled me with the ability to be consoled by His love.

He threw away my addiction to bad relationships. Gone were the days when I fell for guys who needed me to fix them. I wasn’t falling for guys from broken homes, with Mommy issues, who had no love-web, who looked to substance for fulfillment. I wasn’t falling for someone who would leech off of my strengths and gifts. God gave me a real man. Not a boy. He gave me someone who led me to the cross, who encouraged me, who built me up. He led me to Dillon.

God rebuked my hatred for other girls by giving me friends who exemplified His example of a Godly woman. He taught me how to trust. He taught me what transparency was by giving me examples of how to show it. He taught me how to cry for and care for and love a friend. He gave me Regina and Kayla and countless others.

What God did not give me was a free ride to Hendrix. He did not give me my plan. He made His own plan. I sit here and look back on my life at something I really wanted at the time and just thank God for not giving it to me because I see now what He had planned.

This revelation, if you will, has taught me one of the most vital lessons in true discipleship.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not in your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. --Proverbs 3:5-6

Man, God, you rock. I could never have made a plan as good as the one You prepared me for today. And I never, ever will. I’m a married mother of the most beautiful boy. I’m on my way to achieving a degree in teaching, of all things. I’m prayerfully considering homeschooling. Most importantly, I’m living the real dream. I’m living every day with my God.

As many of you graduate, or simply move ahead in your lives, remember that God’s plan is what you should ultimately follow. Pray to Him about your life and your intentions. Let him take your thoughts captive. Listen to Him for His answer. He will rock your world and give you what you need.

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