Hello there, blog-world!
Last time we talked I was about to move out of my house and into a college dorm. I have now been living in that dorm for a few weeks. I’m here! I made it. So much has changed, and so much has stayed the same. I’m still getting in the groove of it all, and trying to navigate through friendships and studying and you know… what I want to do with my life. There’s a lot of pressure to have a plan. And to that I must confess: I’m not really buying it.
I had lunch with a brilliant friend today who spoke some big truths into this season of my life. Here’s the deal: I am 18 years old. As much as our high schools and colleges try to convince us otherwise, I’m not really in the “real world” yet. And I don’t have to have it all figured out. This is a transition phase. And on top of that, I’m only a freshman. I don’t have to know what my life will look like in 4 years, 10 years, 20 years, and so on. What a relief! Because I’m not even sure what it will look like next week. I’m hit from every direction with questions about what I want to do with my life. And that’s fair. That’s typically why someone attends college. I know all that. And, I’m the biggest planner you’ve ever met. I think about every single detail, and I can easily grasp the big picture, too. Planning is my jam. SO. Imagine how hard it is to plan all of my classes, but not my life.
I have a tentative plan I’m traveling down right now, but, ultimately… I really don’t know. I don’t. I used to be afraid to say that, but I’m not anymore.
Can we talk for a moment about the unnecessary pressure placed on people my age to have it all planned out? Wait, scratch that… can we talk about the unnecessary pressure placed on people, no matter their age, to have it all planned out? You can never totally plan for life. It’s full of surprises, wonderful and horrific. It’s messy and beautiful and real.
I can’t really imagine what my life will look like when I have a career. I don’t know. I really don’t. We can only have vision for what we have seen. I don’t have a vision for what my life will look like, because I haven’t seen myself in that role. I have a feeling when I get to that point, I’ll look around and think how I never could have imagined what this would be like. And I think I’ll keep doing that years after, and years after that, and years after that. Things are always changing. And I think that’s a good thing.
There’s a lot of pressure to choose the right thing, to know before you enter into something whether you’ll like it or not. I agree with doing the research, I thrive on that. But, some things are just not google-able. Here’s the deal: you don’t have to know. And if someone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. If you are in Christ, you physically cannot mess up. There is an endless amount of Try Again’s. He makes everything into Plan A. There’s not a Plan B.
That dream-job you started is actually awful, and you want out? Quit. Starting over is your Plan A. You’re a 60 year old grandmother and decide you may like culinary school? Try it. That’s your Plan A. The doctor calls and you have a condition that’s going to change your entire life? There’s Plan A. You’re forced to declare bankruptcy? It’s okay. This is Plan A. You decide your senior year of college that you want to change your major, and it’s going to take you another two years to do it? Do it. This whole thing is Plan A.
It’s not too late. You’re still figuring it out. You won’t mess up. You can’t mess up. You didn’t mess up. He works it all out to produce goodness. Because that’s who He is. He is good. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day. He is good. Whether it’s just a new passion, or a horrible circumstance life throws at you… good can come out of it. Good WILL come out of it if you hand it over to Jesus.
There is truly no Plan B. He makes everything Plan A. Do you realize that Jesus’ lineage is anything but Plan A material? Jesus was born through the line of David, and not the line with all the ducks in a row (Veggie Tales reference. Anyone??). Not through David’s wife, Michal. Jesus was descended from the lineage of David and Bathsheba– a relationship that included adultery, lies, and murder. God took that situation that was really bad, and made it into the best situation any of us could dream of: He gave us Jesus. Do you think that was Plan B? Do you think Jesus was Plan B?? No way. God makes everything into Plan A. All the mistakes. All the hurt. All the lies. All the fear. All the ugly parts. He takes it, and He makes it beautiful. There is no Plan B in Jesus Christ.
It wasn’t God’s will for David to kill Uriah and steal Bathsheba for his wife as if she were a piece of property. Many people were hurt in that process, and that is never God’s will. It is His will, however, to create good from awful situations. He creates a Plan A better than anyone could ever imagine. When I think about my own life, I know it wasn’t God’s will for my mom to die. God’s will is always for life, not death. But, she died. We live in a broken world where darkness looks like it wins sometimes. And it’s still hard and sad and raw. But God took an awful situation, and made it breathtakingly beautiful. He does that every single day for me. I am well surrounded by moms He’s given me. I have an amazing family and support system. I’ve gotten to know the mothering side of the Holy Spirit so well. He took all the pain and said “You know what, Carlee? We are going to make this your new Plan A, and I’ll walk you through every step of it.” That’s what He does. That’s who He is.
Let Him do that for you. Claim it. This is Plan A.
So, I’m living my Plan A right now. You are too. If it doesn’t work out, or if something changes tomorrow, I’ll choose a different Plan A. And then maybe I’ll try another. I’ll do that until the day I die. We have absolute freedom because we live where the Spirit of the Lord is. Freedom is our inheritance. It’s ours for the taking right now. Don’t be afraid of messing up. Don’t be afraid of not knowing.
Just do the Next Right Thing. That’s all I know to do, really. The Next Right Thing. That’ll take us all the way home.