Not only do I hold tight to my planner in order to know the next few weeks of my life, but I also hold tight to plans for the future with a grip that the Lord is slowly loosening and releasing. I can remember a time in high school when I told a friend that I would be perfectly content to be a "soccer mom" for the rest of my life- minivan and all. I just knew that my life would involve public relations, children, and a husband. And a minivan, of course.
After spending a week in Guatemala and having my heart tugged in a thousand different directions by God through the faces of sweet little kids, I found my "soccer mom" plans to be tremendously shaken and questioned. I began to wonder just what the Lord had in store for me, and realized that I had been holding on to my future plans with a frightening grip that relented any tender whisper from God to give them up. I considered going on a summer-long trip that would take me away from many close loved ones, and I almost talked myself out of it. In fact, many people tried to talk me out of it. But I found a short and profound quote by Corrie ten Boom in the front of my Bible, and I immediately applied to go to Asia:
"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God."
It seems like a simple concept, but when you're in college and literally feel like the entire world is at your feet, it can be overwhelming to peacefully submit an entire life and future to the Lord. Since going to Asia, I have learned that people have many plans, but the Lord determines every single one of their steps (Prov. 16:9). Since then, I've made so many plans and had so many expectations, and it just seems to me that all of those plans never seem to work out the way I intend for them to. Therefore, when I tell you my plans, I will most definitely put the disclaimer of "Lord willing" in front of it- and it is incredible what peace has washed over me as a result of laying all of my plans in His hands! I wish I could go on for a few more days about the incredible lessons I have learned from the Lord about resting on the promise that He sees and knows everything that will happen to me, and He is in control of every bit of it.
So yes, I have those fun ideas about where I'd like to be in 10 years- I'd love to be married to David Carl and have had a few precious little children by then, and I would love to have a couple years of experience under my belt of teaching ESL and special needs kids, and I would LOVE to be in another country where the name of Jesus is rarely spoken, and I would love to have learned how to cook like my momma and sew precious little dresses for precious little girls, and it would be great if we were all healthy and happy and little world travelers. But I know that God does not promise for everything to turn out the way I plan, so I'm resting on the promise that He allows every good, pleasing, and perfect purpose of His own to come to completion (Romans 12:2).
Of course, I would decide to give the long answer to a seemingly easy question.