I’ve had a pretty limited view of what life should be like. When I graduated from high school I had a life plan:
- Finish University.
- Get a job teaching in my home town.
- Get married by age 23.
- Settle down in a house that we’d live in for 50 years. No moving.
- Have my first child by age 25.
- Have two or three (twins please) more children by the time I was 30.
- Stay home with the kids until the youngest is in school.
- Volunteer at church in children’s ministry.
- Go back to teaching.
- Teach until retirement.
- Retire and travel the world.
Did any of that happen? Sure, some of it. But the timing of what I thought was a good plan was totally different from the timing God had in mind, and there were a few little (or perhaps huge) hiccups in the plan I had. I am so thankful those hiccups were there. Really, I am. No, I wouldn’t want anyone to go through a battle with cancer, or depression, or workplace bullying, or Post Partum Depression, or the death of their child, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Those were/are incredibly difficult challenges to journey through, but I can now see why these challenges were/are allowed in my life. God is using these challenges to work in me to fulfill His purpose. Life isn’t about me and my plans, although He places thoughts and desires within us that reflect the plan He has for us (Psalm 37:4). It’s about Him and Kingdom building.
My original plan was incredibly ‘me centered’, revolving around the expected life cycle set out by society for us…the career, the marriage, the house, the kids, the retirement. Those are all fantastic and probably in God’s plan, but there is so much more to life. It’s not about getting your 30 years of teaching in so that you have a comfortable retirement. Yes, you have to be wise in planning out the future, but that’s not what it is all about. We are here for a much, much greater purpose.
My outlook on life has changed a lot since graduation day 23 years ago.
Not my good purpose. His good purpose. He is working in each of us and this in itself is amazing.