how many times have you thought this?
‘this wasn’t the plan, God?’
it’s amazing to me that still – even after at least 4-5 years of being ‘sold out for Christ‘ as you would call it – that I still struggle with asking this question.
But isn’t it crazy? Our whole life we’re taught to have a plan – to know what we want to do, where we want to go, who we want to be – all the while not realizing until mid to latter twenties that what if we don’t really know what, where, or who just yet?
The white picket fence doesn’t come after college. The best friendship doesn’t last for a lifetime. Your knight and shining man shows up in flip-flops to the first date. The job doesn’t pay what you thought it would. The house doesn’t look like the Pinterest board you pinned. The wedding doesn’t look the way you dreamed. Marriage is met with more marital obstacles than bliss. The children don’t come when you want. The places you thought you would travel don’t happen because the budget isn’t what you thought you would have. Student loans and bills become a driver of reality rather than the dreams you’ve stored away.
So many things that we all have planned, well – they just don’t happen. And when one of them doesn’t happen, we start to question the point of any of them.
The fact is, our society is drenched with expectations. These expectations, usually if not always, drive what we envision our life to look like – ‘the plan‘ if you will. The expectation to have a plan leads to the disappointment when that plan inevitably (
most times) becomes an unmet expectation.
All of this coming from a girl whose main objective every October is to find THE perfect planner for the upcoming year. Yes, three months early I begin looking and planning for the upcoming year. But you know what I’ve learned?
Having a plan isn’t bad. It’s the expectation of that plan being perfectly timed and polished that is bad.
That’s why so many say don’t watch romantic movies because then, somewhere a seed of expectation is planted that after every fight we will come home to our husband with a suit and tie on, roses in hand, and John Mayer casually playing in the background. You laugh, but you would be so surprised to how many of us place ‘a suit & tie, roses, and John Mayer’ kind of expectation onto God.
We think we know better than God, therefore – we try to play God and plan our life according to what, when, who, and why we think __________ is best. Or worse, we look at what God is doing in someone else’s life, and think ‘why not me?’ Why is ‘their plan’ happening, and I’m still over here pinning and dreaming with no sign of things shifting?
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT
“We plan the way we want to live, but only GOD makes us able to live it.” Proverbs 16:9 MSG
I don’t know what that _______ is for you. The fact is, I think I spent so much time chasing and pursuing things that were never His steps for me – all the while becoming exhausted, frustrated, and confused wondering why I didn’t feel fulfilled.
An unmet expectation to us might be just the motivation we need to allow God to create a course correction for us.
I believe that age 23-29 is some of the hardest years of a humans lifetime. These are the years you get to choose how you want to live – whether you want to plan your life for you, or allow God to move on your behalf. As corny as the song is, Carrie had it right – Jesus needs to take the wheel for most of us.
And that wheel will most likely lead to a look at our calendar and judge whether or not we’re pursuing His plan for our life, or our own. Whether or not we need to put away Pinterest (even the secret boards) and pick up the Word and instead of pinning a plan for ourself, ask God what His plan is for us.
I truly believe this is the generation to be real and authentic, but we’re also faced with more access to live a life behind a mask than ever before. So I implore you, my friends, take a honest, long, hard look (which means step away from social media and take a social night off) at where you are and what you’re currently pursuing.
Deleting social media isn’t the answer. Finding a man isn’t the answer. Checking something off of your infamous bucket list isn’t the answer. Finding a new planner and starting over isn’t the answer. Neither is joining a gym, finding a new squad, or going Vegan. Yes, all of these may provide temporary lifts of distraction – but the only answer to finding out God’s plan for your life is spending time with Him.
So, hey – this may not have been your plan for a Sunday night – but what about stepping back and doing just that? Get alone with God and allow Him to speak to you and get in the dad gum passenger seat (how I believe God is talking to me right about now) and watch Him drive you straight into “immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine.”
love you all, here’s to three more years of crazy twenties livin’
P.s. Don’t get stuck getting frustrated in the unknown, He’ll make it plain when it’s time.
P.s. Don’t take this blog too far and not set goals and/or deadlines for yourself – be responsible, but responsibility doesn’t equal control. So allow God to tell you what to be responsible for and what your capacity is – it will allow you the grace and strength to steward well what He has for you in this season.