By my junior year of high school, I had my life planned. By age 25, I would be a nurse. I would have 2-3 children, homeschool them, and be an amazing pastor’s wife.
Years have passed. I’m now neck-deep in graduate school, striving to be an English teacher, and in a serious relationship with a businessman.
Said businessman has a job transition on the horizon. It could make the difference between us being in the same area or long distance for the next Jesus-knows-how-many years. It will impact the trajectory of his life, the trajectory of mine, and the trajectory of ours.
This isn’t something I have to jot down in my prayer journal to remember; it is one of the first five things on my mind when I wake up. This morning, the majority of my devotional time was spent talking to Jesus about this unknown and this future. Not only about the businessman, but where I should work after I’m done with my Master’s. Jesus is well-acquainted with my feelings about all these situations, and He certainly knows my preferences.
But what if Jesus says no to what I want? What if it’s better for businessman to work a sixteen hour plane ride away? What if I don’t ever work at my dream school as a teacher? What if businessman and I aren’t the best match? What if my cherished plans are refused?
Jesus asked me these questions this morning. It’s easy to give a recited Christian answer, “Anything, Jesus!” But really, anything? All of my handwork, planning, and heartache wasted. All the studying, acquisition, and saving. What if Jesus says no to everything I’ve worked so hard for?
I’ve learned the answers over the past few weeks, teaching. My colleague and I, H, often laugh at how much our students fight us on their assignments. They’re exceptionally oppositional, but literally every activity we give them is for their personalized and collective learning goals. At the end of a (more than) difficult day, I turned to H and said, “Why do they act like we are giving them assignments just because? Don’t they know by now that we care about them and their goals? We spend so much time just trying to help them!”
The Holy Spirit brought the conclusion to my own life. I can be exceptionally oppositional to the hands of One that only does good. He has overruled my 16-year-old plans to give me a far better life than I would known to ask for. Jesus works it all together for good. Can that include a far away boyfriend? Yes. A lack of dream job? Yes. An anxiety disorder? Yes. Not all things are good, but Jesus works them all together for good. He’s done it with harder things before.
I am grateful my high school plans didn’t work out. Teaching is my calling, and I’m convinced businessman is better for me than any pastor. I love this life, not because it is perfect, but because it is clearly crafted by God’s hands. Providence leads to far deeper peace than planning.
Whether businessman gets a job one hour or eight thousand miles away from me, I will trust. For Jesus has made it clear that He cherishes me enough to leave the planning to Him.