I am a planner.
I’m all about lists, calendars, and 10-year plans. I have great ideas for my future and desires for what I want my future life to hold. As I go through my life, I have checklists that bring me closer to achieving this perfect life that I dream about. My end goal? To be successful and happy.
My plan is not going accordingly.
To paint a picture, I always thought that by the time that I was 25, I would have a husband and my own family. I would have a steady career in journalism and host family dinners at my home.
I can say with absolute certainty that I haven’t achieved any of those things.
Instead of a steady career, I’m just finishing my undergraduate career. Instead of getting married, I’ve found myself in broken relationships. Instead of hosting dinner parties at my own place, I’m still living with my parents and wonder if I’ll ever be able to afford a home. On paper, you could say I’ve achieved nothing.
So many times I have asked God where He’s been through it all. I ask Him when my dreams will come true and if I will ever be enough. I wonder if I’m holding myself back with my own shortcomings, or if God just chooses to ignore my dreams and desires.
But the more I kept looking to God, asking questions, I eventually started looking at the cross where Jesus died.
When I see Jesus being crucified on the cross, I am quick to question God. I am quick to draw the conclusion that this was not the original plan. Jesus was a miracle worker with incredible wisdom. How could Jesus—lauded as King of the Jews—die in such a cruel and demeaning way?
The reality of Jesus’ death and reaction reveals an even deeper truth: God’s ways are not our ways. His plans have so much more intricacy and depth to them than we can even begin to understand.
When feelings of defeat wash over me, I look to the cross and hear His invitation: “Rachel, are you willing to trust I have a great plan just for you?”
Because at the heart of it, God has an intricate, unique plan just for me. The plan won’t come about through colour-coded calendars and one-on-one meetings. In fact, I might not even gain access or insight into what God has in store but in seasons where I feel like I’m waiting for the next door to open, I take heart in this: We see our plans as great because we want to fulfil our desires. We want to achieve things that will bring us happiness and peace. But God knows our deepest desires. He is the one who gives us dreams and desire for meaning and purpose in our life. He wants happiness and peace for us, more than we even want it for ourselves. He just has a bigger idea or maybe a different way of getting there.
And because I know how much He cares for me individually, I trust His plans will be far more life-giving and adventurous than the one I could ever plan.
In my pain and confusion, God is never silent. In fact, it is in this confusion and anxiety that I’ve heard God speak the loudest.
In those moments I feel let down, He invites me to remember His goodness and He proves time and time again that He never fails.