By: Janna Adams
Today I walked into work with pigtail braids drinking a juice box. I’m 22 years old, and I still feel like the baby at my new big girl career job. So why not embrace that? It’s crazy that I’m even here right now, doing what I love to do for a living, and loving every second of it. You’d think that would be enough to give me some trust in what’s going on in my life.
Yet, I still struggle with anxiety over timing. That is, not trusting that the timing in my life is going to work out the way it’s supposed to work out. And by that I mean the way I think it’s supposed to work out. I’m a big planner–I want to have this done by the time I graduate, be here when I’ve saved up this amount of money, and have this, that, and this other part of my life all figured out by 25. This is my plan, and it’s a good freaking plan, okay? It makes sense, it’s do-able, and I will be super satisfied with my life if when it works out this way.
That’s how I think, that I know how to build the best possible life for myself.
Well, God is giving me a bit of a wake up call, like He so often enjoys doing when we try to plan everything out in what we think is our favor. He’s like having a parent in that way: they know what’s best for you, and that usually means blowing up what you thought you were going to do Friday night and telling you that you’re babysitting your siblings instead.
In this instance, it’s what I wanted to do with the next few years of my life; so I’m a little more caught off guard than someone who has to end up ditching their weekend plans.
But with growing up comes understanding, learned maturity, and seeing the way God changes your plans differently than how a headstrong teenager sees their parent interfering with their plans. It comes in waves–
First, you let it sink in. This is what’s happening, and this is not what I planned. It’s different, I’m not prepared for it, and yet, it’s happening anyway.
Then, you get angry. And you get sad. Why weren’t my plans good enough? I thought it through, I took necessary precautions, I prayed about it, for the love of You, God! I don’t get it, and it doesn’t make sense. Why would you put me through the pain of having to go into something not knowing the outcome, when you know entirely well how scary that is for me?
It breaks your heart in a lot of ways, but it’s important to realize that it’s okay to feel this way. God expects it. He understands it, and He gets it.
Next comes the part that determines the rest of your dealing with the situation: how you choose to go about reacting to this change. The rebellious teenager in me wants to hate it. She wants to think this is stupid and useless, and she wants to be angry and bitter, put her foot down, and prove to God that His plan isn’t what’s best, and that it’s going to be terrible.
And it will be terrible, at least for a while, if that’s the way I go about reacting. But fortunately for me (and unfortunately for the teenager in me) it’s actually really difficult for me to feel that way. Because my relationship with God and my relationship with myself have taught me that if this is what’s happening, it’s not just a meaningless circumstance. I’m not being punished, this isn’t a bad luck thing–this is a loving parent thing. This is a loving Father thing. If God isn’t laying out my best laid plans for myself, then they aren’t the best for me. And the exciting part about that is, that it means God has something better for me.
This is the place in the teenager-parent exchange where you’ve been home babysitting all night, having an all right time playing board games but making sure you look visibly miserable when your parents come home, and later on you get a call from your friend that the party you were going to go to got busted, and all of the kids there got in a bunch of trouble for underage drinking. And you wouldn’t dare tell your parents, and you’re still mad you didn’t get to go, but there’s a small part of you that’s, fine, a little okay with the fact that you were babysitting instead. And later, maybe even years down the road, you think about that time and realize that maybe your parents knew what they were doing at that moment, because in reality, your siblings were old enough to have stayed home by themselves at that point, and there must have been some other reason why they “needed” you to babysit so last minute.
And that’s the exciting part about God. He knows what He’s doing, regardless of how you feel about His changes in what you think is your totally stellar planned out journey. So no matter how much you hate it, no matter how irritated you are that now you have to change paths, or start over, or give up something you loved more than anything you could possibly imagine, you can’t deny that if He’s making it happen, it means He’s got something better for you.
And all you’ve got to do is wait for it.
Janna is such a great writer when it comes to being authentic with life's processes. We hope you found encouragement in this post, to trust God's timing for things in your life. Photos by Laynee and Jordan.