Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When I Grow Up

Awhile back, when I was helping with a middle small group, there was one particular conversation that I remember well. I was talking with a group of eighth grade girls who were about to start high school. We were just chatting as we waited for their parents to come pick them up. The girls were all talking about starting high school and the things they were excited about and the things that made them nervous (such as being stuffed in a trash can- true story). As I listened to them, I immediately was transported back to my eighth grade mind. I remember what it was like to start high school. There were so many things ahead! I had a very clear picture of what my life was going to look like by the time I graduated from high school AND college!

As I stood there thinking about that vision, I realized I was way off!

Why are we such stubborn creatures? We all have visions of what our lives will look like in the future. It usually involves a fantastic body, someone gorgeous standing next to you, two kids, a dog (that makes 2.5 kids total), a great house, and no money problems!

I don't know one person who has that life. Sure, maybe you have 2.5 kids and a great house, but somehow the vision of our lives always falls short.

So why do we hold on to it so hard?

I have found that we are so quick to tell God that we surrender our lives to him, but when it comes to our future, we hide that away like Gollum does with the one ring. (That's a little nerd metaphor there in honor of the release of The Hobbit)

Nothing about my life resembles what I had planned. Am I okay with that? Do I trust God's plan enough to let go of my vision for my life?

I certainly think we would agree he is qualified to prepare a plan for us (being the creator of the universe and all).

So what does he have to say?

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
-Isaiah 55:8-9
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
-Psalm 139:1-3
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
-Romans 9:20-21

God knows a little bit about what's going on in our lives. He has his own vision for our lives.

Someone very wise told me that when our dream dies, God is able to birth his dream in us.

When we stubbornly hold on to some idea about how are lives should look, we end up saying things like, "What am I doing with my life?" "There has to be something else." "Why can't I just get my life together."

It takes daily surrender, but when we fully allow God to direct our lives and replace our vision with his, we find peace. We can fearlessly face the future.

There are times when this can be extremely difficult for me. There are things about my life that I get insecure about because I thought it would work out one way and it didn't. I jump right in to "What did I do?" and "Is there something about me?"

The truth is that I only have to know that God is good, faithful, and sovereign to face the future. I have never looked back at my life and thought my plan would have been better. God has never let me down. I am his daughter. He is a perfect father. He loves me. I want his plan for my life.

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