I had a plan for where my life would be at this stage of the game. I had ministry goals, relationship goals, financial goals, health goals, even recreational goals. So, I guess you could say I’m the kind of person who has always preferred having goals, and more importantly, preferred achieving goals. As a 6 year old, I made my own self-imposed chore list that I posted on our kitchen fridge, and would put gold stars next to every completed task. So yeah, goals have always sort of been my thing. (Insert smiley face emoticon.)
If you would have told my 25 year old self that this is where I would be today, I would have laughed and pointed to my master plan. Well, this isn’t in my 10-year plan, so you, future reality, must be mistaken.
And yet here I am, with plans that no longer make a whole lot of sense and a future that is obnoxiously elusive at the moment.
It’s not that there’s bad blood between my plans and me. Some plans have pleasantly come to pass, even if they mostly required lots of prayer and hustle. And even the plans that didn’t go as planned have led me to new discoveries about myself, about life, and most importantly about God. My plans have been great allies of mine, both dependable and resourceful over the years.
But I have oddly found myself reluctantly recognizing that I’ve outgrown my current plans, much like a preschooler begins to outgrow their favorite blankey. This is exciting, terrifying, and to be quite frank, rather awkward.
Take for example, myself the other night being asked simple questions from a new friend about my hopes for the future… where I see God leading me, opportunities to explore, things I am passionate about, etc. These are not very complicated questions to answer, unless you are me, having a moment of complete panic because your blankey of plans has been taken away by a certain Parental Figure upstairs who has reassured you that you no longer need it to feel safe. Then you start to squirm, avoid eye contact, try to change the subject, hope you don’t break out in a full sweat and pretty much turn an otherwise normal situation into an unnecessarily awkward one.
Arrgh, spiritually adulting is hard!
Heroes of the faith like Abraham, Moses, and Elijah make is look so easy. Okay, maybe not easy, but certainly predictable. Predictable because we can read a few chapters ahead and know how their story ends. We don’t get the luxury of skipping forward a few chapters in our own lives to see how things will turn out. It doesn’t take much faith to recognize God was at work in someone else’s complete story, BUT it takes a whole lot of trust to believe Jesus is writing you a killer ending while still quite a few chapters away from completion.
And yet trusting Jesus in the in-between is what faith is all about. Ultimately, it is faith that pleases God. Faith. Not my plans. Not my expertise. Not my ability to look and act like I have it all figured out. Faith. My faith pleases God. Simple trust in Jesus is what God asks of each of us.
So here I am without my old plans, just God-dreams pounding in my heart. The dreams excite me. Meanwhile, the absence of my old blankey leaves me feeling exposed. I’m excited and I’m exposed, which, yes, is a strange new ensemble I am still trying to fashionably rock. If I’m going to wear it well, than I need something more than these feelings. I need Jesus.
In the in between, I need to be reminded that my future is secure not because of what I do have or don’t have but because of Who I have. Jesus is leading my life and that brings me more comfort than the most brilliant of plans and more hope than the most exciting of dreams. As long as I’m looking to Jesus, even though I don’t hold the roadmap I can move forward in confidence. As long as Jesus is leading my life and ordering my steps I know I am headed in a good direction, no, a phenomenal direction!
If you are anything like me, finding yourself in the middle of your book unsure of where the Author is going with the plot, let me remind you that the Author is good. He is faithful. He is trustworthy. In fact, He is perfect. His will is perfect, and He has your best interest in mind. As long as Jesus is doing the writing, you can be confident the story of your life is and will be a great one.
Maybe it’s time you let go of your own safety blanket. And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to wildly and freely embrace the vibrant life God has set aside personally for YOU.
Goodbye to a plan that is now outdated and has run its course. Goodbye to living comfortable. Goodbye to playing it safe. Goodbye to worrying about what people will think. Goodbye to needing to have all the answers. Goodbye to stressing out over stuff that doesn’t even matter. Goodbye to heavy burdens I was never meant to carry. Goodbye to living in the past. Goodbye to overworking and under-thinking. Goodbye to being a slave to the ordinary. Goodbye to just going through the motions. Goodbye to giving up and giving in. Goodbye to needing everything to be perfect. Goodbye to trying so hard to fit in. Goodbye to playing it cool. Goodbye to second guessing myself. Goodbye to having to make sense of it all. Goodbye to having all my ducks in a row. Goodbye to choosing the path of least resistance. Goodbye to being bored by life. Goodbye to letting fear call the shots. Goodbye to living a life that is less than the one I am capable of living.
Hello to stepping into the unknown. Hello to trying new things. Hello to failing forward. Hello to discovering unexpected possibilities. Hello to doing it afraid. Hello to not having it all figured out. Hello to being okay with not having it all figured out. Hello to pioneering progress. Hello to paving the way. Hello to no regrets. Hello to being at peace. Hello to taking chances. Hello to standing out. Hello to fully loving the people around me. Hello to laughing at the days to come. Hello to being grateful for the here and now. Hello to creating for the fun of it. Hello to being constantly in a state of inspiration. Hello to finding beauty everywhere I look. Hello to imagining the impossible. Hello to being a source of encouragement. Hello to doing what I love. Hello to witnessing miracles. Hello to giving it all I’ve got. Hello to daring greatly. Hello to living fully.
Goodbye to the past. Hello to the future. And above all, Jesus, lead the way.