Sometimes I find myself wondering…is this all there really is? I plan, I schedule, I attempt to do-do-do and go-go-go, and then I find myself feeling defeated, disappointed, even angry when my plans and schedules don’t work out exactly as I had planned them.
When it comes to planning, many Christians (myself most definitely included) behave like atheists. We realize and KNOW that Jesus saved us, but we don’t always (or ever, in this case) act as if we really, truly trust Him. I know that I find myself trapped over and over again in the belief that I can plan my life away – anyway I want too. But the reality is that God created each and every one of us. He made us all for a unique and divine purpose. He has a specific plan and destiny for each one of our lives. But yet, we still plan and schedule our lives away.
I know for me personally, planning and scheduling is a coping mechanism, of sorts. If I have every single second of every single day planned out (at LEAST) a week in advance, it somehow provides a false sense of control. While planning, I feel empowered to make my own choices and “do what I feel.” I feel independent and self-sufficient.
There is no power or reward to be found in self-sufficiency. While I admit, a little bit of planning is necessary in order to not overbook or over extend ourselves, I think the root of the issue is our intention and thought process behind our plans.
Plans do not equal goals. We can have goals and dreams in life and we can even have a road map as to how we think we can achieve them. But we must also realize and be at peace with the fact that God’s road map for our lives might look different than the one we create ourselves. This is something I am still coming to terms with myself and struggle with on a daily basis. As my 22nd birthday approaches, I am once again reminded of all the pain in my life and all the struggle. Some people romanticize pain as beauty. I believe that beauty can arise from pain, but that pain in and of itself is beautiful? No thank you.
My plans and my own personal road map were so very different from the one God created when he planned out my life. While I do NOT believe that God planned for me to struggle with anorexia, I do believe that He will use it to create good – even (maybe especially) on the days that it hurts the most right now.
God gives us free will to make our own choices and decisions with the hopes that we will follow His will for our lives. But sometimes we don’t always choose correctly. However, like in my own personal case, He will ALWAYS provide us with a new and different road in order to help us out of our own messes or the messes others have forces upon us. Nothing is too great for our God. So, why then, do we insist upon writing our own story?
I don’t have an answer for that one. I’m still trying to figure it out myself. I am human, I am stubborn, strong willed, and determined. For better or for worse. I am constantly asking myself, “So what’s with all the pain? What’s with not being able to sleep at night? What and where the heck is “home”? Is it possible to be healthy? To be patient? Why do I feel things so deeply?” (If You Feel Too Much, p. 91)
I do think, although no one holds all the answers, that we should never stop asking questions – of ourselves, of those around us, of God. I think it’s crucial to remember that our lives are stories, the best of which always involve someone fighting a battle or some kind or another.
But we do not ever fight alone. There is a God who knows our paths because he wrote them before we were ever conceived. God made us. He created us and designed us. We belong to Him. God’s destiny for our lives is better than ANYTHING we could ever imagine or come up with on our own. Let’s cut the self-sufficient garbage and start trusting someone with our lives…who better to trust than the One who made us and designed us with a specific purpose in mind.
Find your calling. Set goals. Dream. But don’t ever let Satan convince you that you can do it alone and still do it well.
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity