Lurlynn: “It’s funny how things don’t turn out.”
Melanie: “It’s funny how they do.”
That’s one of my favorite quotes from the movie Sweet Home Alabama, mainly because it’s true. I think most of us can look back on our lives and realize that there are many times when our ‘plans’ didn’t work out, but it’s really for the better that they didn’t. Proverbs 16:9 in the NLT says “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” I know at least in my life, and especially lately, that I have seen this proven to be true time and time again. Sometimes when my ‘plans’ didn’t work out I was angry. I thought mine were better than His. Or I was hurt. I thought I was in His plan for me. Why did it get taken away? The thing is, even when I have been angry or hurt, I have always seen that His ways are better than mine in the long run. I’ve come to realize that when God gives me a course correction, it’s always for the better. Also, God has a sense of humor. He likes to surprise us. Here is an example of how crazy different my plan was for myself, and God’s plan for me. When I was a senior in high school, this was my plan: I would graduate, go to a Christian school, get my degree (in exactly 4 years), get married by the time I was 21, and have my first baby when I was 24, and stay in the same general area for the rest of my life. I honestly have to laugh now when I type that all out and realize how different God’s plan was for me, and also how naive I was to think that that was all going to work like that. Here is what really happened: I graduated, moved to FL, didn’t go to college right away, decided I didn’t want to go at all, ended up living in China for 3 months, came back and realized I did want to go to college, started at the community college, got married at 23, moved to PA to finally go to a Christian school, I’m 25 and still working on my degree, and I don’t even know when or if I’ll have kids. My original plan was so neat and organized. How my life turned out? Not so much. But I think of all the things I wouldn’t have been able to do and see, and all the people I wouldn’t have met if things had worked out ‘my way.’ Sometimes I didn’t always understand what God was doing (and I’ll be honest, sometimes I wondered if He knew what He was doing at all). But I am so thankful that things DIDN’T work out the way I wanted them to. If they had, I would be miserable now. This is where I am supposed to be. It may have taken me awhile to get there, and I’m sure God’s plan was probably easier than I made it, but I can see what He’s doing. And it just keeps getting better.
I had the privilege of being able to volunteer at the Beautiful One conference last week at Global. It was exhausting but so incredibly amazing. The last night we stayed there super late to help clean up and everything. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. And I just sat there in awe realizing how different my life is, just in a matter of a month. And I love it! If you had told me a few months ago that this is what I would be doing, I would’ve laughed in your face. But God knows what He’s doing. And I am so confident that being here is what He has for us right now. That feeling is so amazing. My life has changed so radically from being in St Pete. I honestly cannot even describe everything that I have been feeling. At first I just kept thinking “God, I don’t deserve this, but thank you. Thank you for allowing me to have this life.” And then I realized-He does think I deserve this. He created this for me. He had this planned. This isn’t something I just accidentally fell into. It was planned for me before I was even born, before I was even thought about! To know that He’s given me this gift is overwhelming.
So the moral of the story? Throw away your plans! Haha, okay, maybe not that dramatic. But don’t get so focused on YOUR plans that you don’t see HIS. Because I can guarantee His are better. Even if you don’t see the good in them right away, you will. And He knows the desires of your heart. He won’t make you do something you hate. But sometimes your desires change as He reveals His plans to you, and that’s ok. He is just setting you up to live the life He has for you, the one that you will love and rejoice in.