As I am getting older, I am beginning to realize that the plans that I have always had for myself may not necessarily go as I had hoped. Growing up many of us make huge plans to be Doctors, Lawyers, or whatever career brings in tons of money. We are told that the sky is the limit and that anything we put our minds to we can achieve. Our vision of a good life is having a rich husband, beautiful babies, and the biggest house on the block. So we grow up and we believe that those things will magically just fall in our lap. We believe that those are things that are guaranteed to happen to us. However, as we get older we begin to realize all the hard work and dedication it takes to have all of those things. Our plans begin to fall through the cracks and we cry out, wondering why life has been so cruel to us. We want God to make things happen our way, on our time. From our 20's and forward there is a constant game of Tug of War that takes place between our plans and the plans God has for us. Little do we know, if we go His way, we'll have more than we ever imagined.
Ephesians 3:20 says, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably MORE THAN ALL WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE, according to his power that is at work within us."
Acceptance: There came the day that I finally decided to dump all of my plans and follow the plans God had for me. During my childhood many people told me that I would be a Lawyer. I believed them and began college majoring in Political Science. If anyone asked me what my plans were after college I would always tell them, "Oh, I'm going to be an Attorney, one of the best Prosecuting Attorney's in the Nation." I was so proud of myself because I actually had a plan after college, when most students do not have a clue what they are doing once they graduate. Then, one day as I sat in one of my night classes I became very sad listening to the lecture. It hit me that I really did not want to do law. During our class break, I ran outside and I called my mom crying telling her I did not want to do this. I did not want to be a Political Science major. At the time I was also taking a Marriage and Family course for an elective. I loved the class and I found myself getting lost in all of the readings, I could read the material for hours at a time. I realized that I wanted to counsel families and give them hope for a better future. Then fear took over because I had already spent two years fulfilling the requirements for my Political Science degree and I did not want to start all the way over. I compromised and said well I'll just do Family Law, that way it will be a little of what I want to do and a little of what my family wants me to do. So, I graduated with my Bachelor's in Political Science and my entire family was proud. I had applied to a few law schools and was accepted into a summer program at a law school that would transition me into the Fall class as a First Year Law student. Sounds perfect right? Wrong! Something in my spirit just did not feel right and I declined the offer. I wanted to be a Marriage and Family Counselor, I knew it was my purpose and I could not continue to run from it. A few of my family members were upset, but I had to do what I knew God was calling me to do. I finally accepted His plan for my life and I knew I now had to act on it.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the GOOD of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
Action: The first step I took was applying for graduate schools, which was challenging since most schools deadline had already passed. I prayed and asked God, where should I attend graduate school. I knew that previously going to school in Texas worked for me. It was not too far from home, but far enough that I could focus, and be out of my comfort zone. Plus, I always liked the atmosphere near Dallas, so I searched for Universities near Dallas. I came upon a University that had the exact program I was looking for and even better, they would accept my Political Science degree for their Master's Program if I took a few extra courses. So my degree was not a waste and amazingly their deadline had not passed yet. I prayed about it and the next day I applied. I began to look at apartments that were near the University and as I started filling out the application something told me to call the apartment complex and just see if they were hiring, because I previously worked for an apartment complex in undergraduate school and had some experience. Well, just so happen they were hiring and actually were looking to hire someone to start by July. I was accepted for a phone interview and a day later I was notified that I got the job. I was so excited, then fear kicked in and said how are you going to take this job when you have not even been accepted into the University yet. I decided to put my Faith before my fear and I took the job anyway. I did not understand what God was doing, but I trusted His plan more than I trusted mine. So before you knew it, I was on a plane to Texas moving into my place.
John 13:7 "Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
Achieve: I moved into my new place and began working for the apartment complex. I was a little sad the first few weeks because I did not know anyone and I felt alone for awhile. It made me think I made the wrong decision. On top of that, my boss started to ask for our Fall class schedule so that she could make our work schedule. The University was taking a very long time to get back with me regarding my admissions so I began to worry. I called my mom and we prayed together, trusting that God did not bring me this far just to let me down. I told my boss that I would have my schedule to her as soon as I could. Not even a week later, God showed up and showed out. I was accepted in the University, I did not have to pay a dime out of my pocket for my first year, and even better my job's wage policy changed so we now received free rent and any additional hours we worked over our required amount we would be paid hourly for. I moved here not knowing how everything would unfold, but I had Faith that God's plan had to be better than mine. Here I am, a year later and God has not stopped blessing me yet. I got a new job working for the University, a pay raise, was able to move into an even better apartment, and on top of that I bought my first new car. It was all achieved not by my doing, but my obedience to God. Yielding to His plan and letting go of mine.
Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
We may not always understand what God is doing and we may not see how He can make a way for us. That is where Faith comes in, and we have to learn to wholeheartedly trust in Him. So when it looks like there is no way possible something can happen remember that God is the author of all things and He does not work on anyone's time, but His. There are countless stories of when all hope was lost, time ran out, and there was no one to call on, then God stepped in. End the constant battle of Tug of War and let God win. Because when God wins, we win, and His rewards are greater than anything we can think or imagine.
Confession Prayer: "God, I pray that your will be done in my life. You know what I need better than I do, for you knew me before I was born. I pray that your plan for my career, future/current marriage, family, health, and finances will take place at the right time. I stand in Faith that even when I do not know what is going on, I will trust and obey you. I love you Father and I want the life you promised me. In Jesus name, Amen."
Confession Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11 "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."
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Have a great week and as always I will be praying for each and every one of you! - Love, Rissa
Clarissa C. Burton, M.S.W
Devoted to guiding others toward living a life they don't need a vacation from.