Last week, eating lunch in my quiet classroom, I stared at the paper in front of me, blank except for the heading “Summer 2015”. I had already made a couple lists for summer but I was mulling over some bigger, more long term things. Things that were uncertain… hopes and questions and possibilities… and I was trying to somehow wrestle them onto the page so they made more sense.
Finally I just leaned back and sighed. You can’t plan your whole life, I told myself. I put the paper away and tried to follow my own advice.
Unfortunately, that’s really hard for me. I love to plan. I love to have something on the horizon that I’m looking forward to. I like to consider different scenarios, play them out in my mind, and try to prepare for what might be coming.
I don’t think planning is a bad thing. But sometimes it becomes too much of a focus for me and I start grasping for a hold over things I can’t control. It’s in those times that I need to remind myself that God is in control. Sometimes I need to simply wait, trust, and pray for patience.
Have you ever felt like everything was falling into place perfectly, only to have it change in the end? That happened to me, in a huge and incredibly difficult way, when Faith died. It happened again, in a significantly smaller way, yesterday.
There was a job opportunity that I was really excited about and, to be totally honest, was also pretty confident would work out. It seemed to make sense in so many ways. It seemed like everything was lined up just right.
But it didn’t happen.
I’m disappointed. I’m frustrated and unsure of what’s next. Truthfully I can just keep going as I have been for the past few years, nothing really has to change. From the outside that probably makes sense.
But on the inside I feel like this could be the start of something else.
One of my initial reactions, after hearing the news, was to start considering different plans, to start setting up those imaginary scenarios in my head. That always seems to be my natural response!
But the truth is I don’t know what my plans should look like and I don’t want to try to make them on my own. I want to trust God. I want to be open to His leading. I want to be patient and take it one step at a time.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
I sang Rich Mullins’ wonderful song – Sometimes by Step (live version here) – to Natalie while I pushed her in the swing this morning. This is my prayer as I seek God’s plan and purpose for me, “step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days.”
I have already seen His hand work mightily in the biggest of challenges, I know He is here working in the smaller ones as well. “I may falter in my steps, but never beyond Your reach”.
What’s next? I will wait, and pray, and see.