No really, they tend not to work out exactly like I plan them. Like, say for example, my laundry plans. (Yes, dear Mom, I have laundry plans). I have great plans for doing my laundry. As in washing and drying and putting them all away. But, they don't normally go according to plan. You can see that by observing exhibit A. (Sorry Mom!)
[caption id="attachment_461" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Exhibit A: Please don't refer me to Hoarders. I promise this was taken MONTHS ago."][/caption]
Okay, so maybe I don't really plan out my laundry (though sometimes it does appear on my To-Do list). But, I am a planning personality. I like to have all the minor details of my life planned out according the way I want them. I mean, HELLO, I have already planned out the rest of my college years, my wedding (and how that engagements supposed to go down), how many kids (and the names), how the house shall be decorated, how my future classroom will be decorated, what we will do on our first family Disney vacation, etc, etc, etc. You get the picture (And if you don't I have a handy dandy Excel document we can pull up). Basically, there was a point in time I thought I had it all figured out (Silly me!).
Like take for example the whole graduation from College thing. I have it all spelled out in a color coded Excel document. And I know exactly how many hours I have to take a semester to graduate in FOUR years. Well, until you throw the whole God and Chicago thing into the picture. That kind of screwed up that plan. I'm now looking to graduate in May 2013 instead of May 2012. To some people- not big deal. To some other people (like ME!)- a HUGE deal. Um, hello- I'm taking a year off of school. Um, yes, I know that's crazy insane. Sorry you need to talk to the big guy upstairs and not me.
Tonight in Bible group, the subject of God's plans was tossed around a bit. And so, I started thinking about God's plans and what that meant to me.
Over these past few months, God has taught me a lot about how little I really am. And how little my plans are. And how ginormously huge His plans are. I think it all started last February. I really didn't want to take Summer classes. I mean, it's SUMMER. So, I started thinking maybe I could do something mission-y this summer. You see, back in February, I started thinking that there might be something more to living than graduating in 4 years, getting married, and having 2.5 kids. So, I decided to apply for a summer program where I would work in a daycamp working with low-income kids in a rural part of Alabama. I mean, it sounded great. I could serve God in my comfort zone (and more importantly I would still most likely graduate on time). So, I went and applied. And interviewed. And I didn't get the job. I kind of wanted to give up right then and there. I mean, that meant I would be taking summer classes (Who doesn't want to take 10 hours in the summer?!). But, as a book entitled Plan B and a best friend would tell me...maybe God had other plans. And boy--he DID.
So, I started my summer classes in May. And they were pretty cool. I mean, for class during the summer. And then, I read a crazy book called Radical. And it kind of turned me right side up. And I started thinking about maybe taking the Fall off. Or maybe the Spring off. Or maybe the next Summer off. I mean, maybe I should spend a few weeks doing some Missions work somewhere. And then, I came across Mission Year. I'm pretty sure it was a God thing. I mean, I was Googling and I found it in the search results (Um, yeah, that was God). So, I prayed about it (something I hadn't really done with the other thing). And I talked to my parents about it. And some other special people. And then, like 2 days later, I applied. Um, crazy. You see, my plans didn't really have room for me to take a year off (though, it does add a year to "THE THREE YEAR PLAN"). But, I really felt God telling me this was what I needed to do. And then, I interviewed. And then, I got accepted. And then, I found out that I was going to CHICAGO. Um, that is WAY out of my comfort zone. I mean, I like helping people and all, but I'm going to be living in the inner city. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not a little nervous about the whole thing. You see, God had something way bigger in store, something that I could never have imagined. He didn't just change my circumstances; he changed my heart and my way of thinking of things. It was definitely a God thing and not a Lauren thing.
We like to throw the verse Jeremiah 29:11 around a lot. For those of you that don't have it memorized, it reads:
"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."
I mean, standard graduation present fare. It's a familiar verse. We like to throw it around and twist if our own way. I mean, according to this verse, everything is going to be sunshiney unicorns and everyone's going to be happy....right? Well...not exactly. What he's saying (to me at least) is that he knows what's going to happen. He's got it all figured out. His plans are going to work out for the good. We have a future and a hope by believing and trusting in him. Does he say it's going to be easy? No. He doesn't define the plans for us. This verse is just there to help encourage us during our moments of weakness, when the going gets a little too tough. It's a little "Hey, I'm still here!" reminder just when we need it. It lets us know that he has all of our plans worked out. I don't need to worry about creating those Excel spreadsheets and color-coding them. I don't need to plan for the silly little things that I think are important when I serve a God that is completely in control.
Should I still do my laundry? Probably so.
Should I still do my personal best to complete daily tasks? Sure.
Should I worry about what tomorrow holds? Not. A. Chance. If he knows the number of hairs on my head and the number of stars in the sky, and the path that I should take...I think I should leave it up to him.
After all. He knows best. ;)