Back in high school I was in a leadership class. Each year the high school students in this class would sit down and write a letter to their future self ten years down the road. For some reason that letter has always been stuck in the back of my mind. I laugh to myself at times when I think back to the plans I had for my life. My immature self thought that I would be a doctor now, married to my high school sweetheart, and who knows what else. I micromanaged every aspect of my life. I had written goals for my life and a timeline with which I would accomplish these things. I endlessly pursued perfection in everything and followed everyone's advice on how to reach my goals. I knew exactly how to go about controlling my life. It was drilled into my brain the moment I stepped into high school. All I had to do was have a near perfect GPA, select a difficult major that would result in me getting a successful job, and not screw it up. That would gain me the perfect life.
After I graduated with a great GPA and a full scholarship to college, I put all of those plans into action. I had no idea I would stand over my brother lying in a hospital bed after a terrible motorcycle wreck and know there was absolutely no way I could bring myself to watch people hurt. I had no idea I would change my premed major the very next week. I had no idea that the high school sweetheart would turn out to be anything but sweet. At the time you'd never convince me I'd ever want to have a kid.
I know without a doubt that whatever happens is all part of God's plan. I don't always have to like it or agree with it, but I do have to trust in Him. This year has been tough for my family and I know that everything we go through is bringing us closer to Him. I've had so many times over the past several months to learn to trust God and know that He will provide each and every time. I've discovered that I'm not always as strong and tough as I thought I was. The times that I've just fallen apart, He's been there picking me right back up.
This year has been a time for learning. Never in my life have I faced as many difficult situations as I have these last months. Until this year, I thought my strength was all within myself. When a tornado literally turns your life upside down, when family members get sick, when times are just plain tough....there are times you wonder how in the world you got through it. Looking back now, I know the answer to that. I learned how to lean on God for all of the things I need instead of depending on myself. There's peace in knowing that I actually cannot control my life. Considering how much of a control freak I am, I never thought I'd be able to experience that. I worry and stress out all of the time...I'm a complete mess....He's teaching me to just hand it all over.
I wish I could tell you how I completely, one hundred percent give all of my worries to Him. But that would be a total lie. I'm just barely cracking the surface to understanding this whole concept. I admire the amazing Christian people I know who have helped me learn this. I want to be the person who can set aside my constant worrying and stress and know that everything is being handled. In the back of my mind, I know that He's got everything under control. The cycle of trying to run my own life is a difficult thing to break.
If you've stopped by today and can relate to anything I've said here, just know that He always has a plan. It's not formed from what we want most in life, but it is so much bigger than that. I thank God often for all of the unanswered prayers. He has given me so much more in my life than I ever imagined. If I had written my own story, it would have been horrible compared to this. God already knew that. When I've been immature and not taken the time to think things through, He's been there. When I pursued things I thought I needed in my life, He's been there reminding me that there's something so much better. Looking back over the years, had I run life my own way I wouldn't have Ryan and Caleb now. Those two guys have brought me unbelievable joy in my life. Praise God for all of the unanswered prayers.
Since I've decided that He has given me a better life than I ever thought possible for myself, how could I not trust Him to get me through the rest of it? When you break it down to that simple fact, it just makes more sense. Why do I want to control my own life when His plan is so much better? I know I'm going to hurt, life isn't always going to be fair, I'm going to screw up, and I'm definitely going to struggle at times....but He blesses me so much more when I do. He teaches me through the mess and I praise Him every single day for that.