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Jul 21, 2013

Girl Talk // I Thought I'd Be Married By Now


Before you get excited, thinking this is going to be boy talk, I'm sorry.  It's not.  But I promise it'll still be good. :)

Let me set the scene:  I didn't date through high school, I went to a Christian college, and if no one has ever let you in on this little secret....well, good Christian girls are supposed to meet their good, Christian husbands at their good, Christian college and then get married the summer after graduation and live happily ever.

It's a really great deal...you get an education AND a husband!

But guess what?  I'm out of college.  And grad school.  And I'm not married.  So that little plan of mine didn't really work out.  God is kind of funny that way.

I entered college ready to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a pediatrician.  About halfway through, I realized I didn't like biology, or chemistry, or physics all that much.  So I prayed.  And cried.  And switched my major.

I'm a planner, and my plan was to go to school, do well (which, by my standards, I didn't do that first semester), and graduate a few years later with an offer for med school and a marriage proposal.  Instead, I graduated with a degree in Psychology, a rejection from a teaching fellowship program I thought for sure was my next step, and not even a boyfriend.

Beyond just that degree, I also graduated with amazing life-long friendships, support from an alma mater that I'll always cherish, a ton of awesome memories, and the realization that even though I usually have no idea where it's taking me, God's plan is always so much better.

Trusting God is hard work.  And unfortunately for us humans, we're doomed to struggle with it.  Thanks Adam & Eve.  Ultimately, whether we want to admit it or not, we don't trust God because we're stubborn and we don't really believe that His way is better.  Just like Eve didn't really trust that God wasn't holding out on her and ate the apple anyway, we don't fully trust that we won't miss something great by letting God lead.

It's a lesson I'm still learning.  It's one I learn over and over, day in and day out.  It's one I'm currently learning as I'm waiting to hear from any of the dozen school districts I applied to teach in come fall.  Learning to lean in and fully trust God comes with heartbreak, pain, a fight against human nature, and eventually, release and rest.

I'm going to be totally cliche and just tell you...following the plan that God sets out for your life is so much more rewarding than anything you could ever dream up on your own.  You've heard it before, I know.  But it's so true.  And the closer you are to Him, the closer you are to His heart, the easier it is to follow.

Sometimes, I get the opportunity in youth ministry to sit down with a student who is starting to look at or about to head to college.  They're at this pivotal time in their lives when it feels like the weight of the world is bearing down and they have to have everything figured out.  And my favorite thing to say is "Stop!  Stop trying to have it all figured out and just be.  Let God lead and enjoy the moment.  Invest in relationships, learn about things that interest you, and don't be afraid of change.  Especially if that change comes in the form of transferring or switching your major!"

I thought that when I graduated from college, the constant state of transition would stop.  I was wrong.  But I've learned to see the beauty in the transitional.  It's made me more flexible.  It's made me appreciate the little things more.  And it's made me lean into God more.

So no matter where you are in life, whether you're on the precipice of a big change or you're pretty settled into a life you like, hold it all loosely and listen for God's voice in it.  Because you never know what He's going to ask you to do next.

As always, you know where to find me if you need me.

10 comments:

  1. What a great post! You always have the most inspirational things to share with your readers. I'm a control freak and planner too, but the things I *haven't* planned in my life, have always brought me more happiness and joy than the things I have planned. God truly knows who and what is right for us :)

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    1. Thanks Michaela! Its true...God always has something that's SO good that we could never plan for ourselves!
      Thanks for stopping by and for contributing to the conversation! That's what these posts are all about. :)

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  2. I'm such a control freak. I'm that girl who has had a 10 year plan since age 10. I love mapping things out, setting goals, and crossing things off of my to-do list. But this post is totally right, you don't have to have every detail of your life figured out by 25. I feel that I have been using my trust in God's plan as more of a "just in case" than a default mind frame. Trusting is hard when you're trying to be in control, which is why we should just trust from the start.

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    1. Hey Amber! YES! Me too! Haha...I'm a crazy planner. I need to know what is coming up...and that's just not the way life works! I can't tell you how many times I think "I wish I could just fast forward and take a peek at my life in x number of years!".
      It's such a lesson to be learned to view God's will as the end-all be-all of our lives rather than just a back-up plan.

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  3. A good verse for planners like me and you:
    Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

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    1. That's such a good one! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. I went to a christian college too and I survived without the "ring by spring". in fact i didn't even start dating my husband until after I graduated and then one year later BAM we were married. I never expected I would be married already but the Lord does have plans. and you are so right about the lifelong friendships from college! I love those girls.

    and yes. In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines His steps. Proverbs 16:9

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  5. Wow I love this post!! I work in a church as a Youth Worker and found this all super inspirational. I love what you said... "Stop! Stop trying to have it all figured out and just be. Let God lead and enjoy the moment. Invest in relationships, learn about things that interest you, and don't be afraid of change."
    ..I might quote you on that. It's so true. I had no idea God was leading me to this position either (And sidenote- I'm also with your story on the no boyfriend front. I get it.) but it's far better than anything I could have planned for myself! Trusting God with your life is hard-- but it's kind of the point! Thanks for posting!

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    1. Thanks for your kind words!! I worked for our church's youth department while I completed grad school and still serve each week as a 7th grade girls small group leader. Even with a masters in education, I'm still working at my church, now in the creative arts department, and it's crazy how intricately and perfectly God weaves together our lives, no matter how much we try to plan ourselves!

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  6. This is extremely true. And yeah, maybe we've all heard it before and learned it through experiences in our own lives...but this seems to be a lesson that requires learning again and again. God's plan IS the best one, even when it's not one we would have ever imagined.

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