I’ve spent a lot of this year making plans. As I said in a previous post, junior year seems to set you up in a way that forces you to figure out where you’re going… and to do it quickly before you miss the boat. Ever since last summer, I’ve been making lists and researching companies and e-mailing people in high positions… I had a plan, because plans make us feel comfortable; they make us feel like we can control our future.
But all of a sudden, in a week that brought great disappointment, my plans were shattered. The life that I had seen for myself and the summer I just knew was going to play out the way I had it in my head — none of that was there anymore. Everything changed. It took one night– one night filled with tears and heartache and disappointment– to decide that I’m done making plans.
It was that same night that I received an e-mail informing me that I had been accepted to go on Summer Project, because God’s timing never fails to be absolutely perfect. I still had other summer options on the table, and I was expecting to hear back from a promising internship within the next week or so, but none of that mattered anymore… because God had just shown me a few hours before that my own plans don’t hold a candle to the authority of His will.
So I’m dropping everything. All of my original plans for this summer — all of the times I pictured myself running around for a New York magazine editor or working for a major public relations firm in Washington, D.C. — I’m dropping it all, and deciding to follow God to where I believe He is calling me: to live in New York and spread the gospel.
I’m going because I have fallen in love with New York City and the people who live there. I’m going because from the moment I submitted my application, Summer Project has stayed in the back of my mind. I’m going because there have been too many times in which I’ve felt called to go on a mission trip and I’ve let fear drive me away from it. But most of all, I’m going because with a Lord as powerful as mine, I’m convinced that I never really had another option.
I think in the midst of learning how absolutely loving the Lord is, we forget how mighty and powerful He is as well. This is the same God who moved powerful nations like chess pieces to fall in accordance with His will all throughout the Bible– who am I to think that He won’t outright crush my plans if they are not part of His will for my life? Especially when I have prayed countless times for Him to show me where He wants me this summer?
Let’s be honest, the words “drop everything” are possibly some of the scariest any of us have ever heard. Drop everything? Seriously? I think throughout the entirety of my junior year — and honestly, long before that — I’ve been standing before God with my plans clenched tightly in my hands, truly believing that if I held on tight enough, my will would become His. But I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t work; He is stronger and more powerful than even the tightest of grasps, and before you know it, your plans are no good anymore. One way or another, you find that all of the power you felt from the perception that you were in control is all an illusion (and when I say “you,” I mean me… because it just happened to me. And it hit me hard.)
But here’s the good news: no matter how disappointing or devastating it feels to have your plans crushed, the awesome thing about God is that it is never in vain– because He makes ALL things work together for our good. He put His very own son on a cross to be mocked and beaten and crucified… but then He rose again. There is always goodness in the Lord’s plan, even when it feels like He’s taken everything from us. Always.
Because He is good, because He is loving, because He has called me — because of all of these things, I’m dropping everything and hopping on a plane to New York City. I’m really scared, and sometimes there are moments when I think to myself, did I really just commit to this in the blink of an eye? But it’s things like disappointment and discomfort and the unknown that draw us closer to God — so I guess if it takes crushed plans and a broken heart to get me there, then so be it.
Praise Him for saving us time and time (and time) again.
“We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
-1 Thessalonians 2:4
If you are interested in learning more about how you can support me either through prayer or finances this summer, I would love to talk with you more. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to tell you more about it!