Life Doesn’t Always Go as Planned, and That’s OK

I like to have a plan.

I’m a huge fan of calendars, to-do lists, and figuring details out way in advance. I’m that one person who’s always early to events and needs to know exactly where and when things will be taking place. Needless to say, I don’t like surprises.

Interestingly, 2017 has been full of lots of surprises

And BIG changes of plans.

At this same time last year, I would have told you exactly what I had planned for my life. I knew exactly where I was going to college, how long I would be there, what I would major in, and what my post-college job would be. I knew what my publishing journey would look like. I knew exactly who I would be and what I would accomplish.

All of that changed over the course of a couple months.

I don’t know how everyone else reacts, but when my life does a complete 180, I find adjusting to the shift to be 1000000000% overwhelming. How dare something interfere with the meticulously-detailed life plan I had. It drives me crazy to have to re-figure things out. I start to feel lost without my trusty outline.

I think one of the biggest things God is teaching me this year is to let go of my expectations for myself and give everything to Him.

It’s so hard to do, when I’m holding on so tight to what’s easy and familiar. Or what seems like the best path with the limited knowledge I have. Oftentimes, I think God is saying, “Not that way. I have something better for you over here. Just trust me.”

But giving my dreams and goals to God is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I want instant gratification. I want things to go exactly how I want them to, without any hiccups. I want to feel successful by accomplishing what I planned to. At least, my idea of what successful is.

Instead God called me to other things. I’m going to attend a different college this fall and pursue a different major. My ideas for my post-college jobs has significantly shifted, too. I’m self-publishing instead of landing a contract with a major publishing house. My summer plans haven’t turned out quite as I anticipated. I’m still trying to figure everything out. The details aren’t set in stone. With some of it I have no idea what I’m doing. At all. I’m being introduced to some ridiculously-new concepts that go way over my head.

But the funny thing is, I can already see God’s hand in all of it.

I can see how He’s growing me and how He’s going to use me. My mindset is changing. I’m no longer holding on to my own plans with a clenched fist, not sure what to do when they’re yanked from my grasp by the circumstances of life. I’m slowly letting go, telling Him that He can use what I have to offer however He wants.

Loosening my grip on the thing most important to me–having a crystal-clear vision for what my future will look like–has been a growing process in and of itself.

I’m already seeing the benefits of the things to come. I’m excited for how they might turn out. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, that moment when I look back and say “Wow. God really saved me from something”. I’m already experiencing a bit of that moment. It’s not what I planned, but something tells me it’s going to be really awesome in the end.

I don’t need to cling to my own me-centered plans.

My wonderful Savior has my hand and is leading me on.

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Why We Need Community

Final exams are coming up this week.

It’s pretty crazy to think about—I’m one week away from finishing my first year of Bible college. It seems like just yesterday my parents dropped me off at my dorm, and I was terrified about starting such a new, scary, and exciting chapter of my life. Now I’m making plans for the summer.

I’ve grown a lot—I had my very first job, my very first job, and a whole lot of other “firsts” these past two semesters. I’ve learned a lot, too, about doctrine and theology and apologetics and literature and all kinds of other things. But outside of my studies, I’ve learned a lot of things about life and relationships and my goals. If there’s one thing I’ve learned more than anything else, it’s the importance of relationships.

We were created to have community with each other.

I’m writing this while sitting in a coffee shop with two of my friends (I should technically be memorizing verses for a final *cough cough*). It dawned on me how close I’ve become with several of the girls who go to college with me. Summer is coming up, and I’m going to miss a lot of things.

The movie nights.

The coffee dates.

The sudden decisions to go get lunch off-campus and chat for hours.

The distraction-filled “study times” in the library.

The Bible studies.

This year has taught me just how important community is. Getting through the last year, which was filled with a lot of good things but also some homesickness and heartbreak and frustration and exhaustion, would have been really tough without the friends who were there to encourage me and pray for me.

We were created to have relationships. After God created Adam, He then created Eve because He realized that Adam shouldn’t be alone. God wants us to have deep friendships with people we can laugh with and cry to and share our hopes and dreams with. We shouldn’t go through life alone, trying to figure everything out without help from the people around us. We need people who are going to stand by us no matter what, and I definitely found that at Bible college.

It’s truly a special thing.

Here’s to the friends who have made my life pretty awesome and to the adventures we will have in the future. 🙂

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Highlights of 2016

Well, it’s officially 2017!

I can’t believe 2016 is over. It was a pretty big year for me, and it flew by so fast. Also…I updated my blog’s theme! 

Some Cool Things That Happened in 2016…

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A Year of Firsts

As of yesterday, I completed my very first week at college.

I’m exhausted and a little overwhelmed, but overall, my first week went well. I’ve made some really good friends, and even in just one week’s worth of classes, I’ve learned so much! The other day I was thinking about how many new things have happened this year for me. There’s been several “firsts” for me.

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Blog Updates!

Well, I decided to make some changes to my blog this week. Overall, the site’s purpose, appearance, and function is the same. I just added a few little things to hopefully help make some aspects more convenient for readers.

Here are the things I’ve changed:

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A Father’s Day Post

This Sunday is Father’s Day! I can’t believe we’re already mid-way through June.

I remember when I was six or seven years old my dad read The Chronicles of Narnia–the series that made me fall in love with reading–to me. It’s still one of my favorite memories with my dad.

We live in a world where kids and dads often don’t have good relationships. That’s why I’m so grateful for mine, who shows me every day what a man who seeks after God looks like. He has given me a standard of what to look for in a future husband. He wants to be involved in my life and helps me through some of the big challenges I have coming as I grow older. He’s always been my provider, my protector, and my friend. I’m thankful for the time we spent building with Legos and working in the garage…even for the times he helped me with my math homework.

Thank you, Dad, for being the awesomest father a girl could have!

🙂

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A Mother’s Day Post

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day we set aside each year to say “thank you” to our moms for everything they do for us.

My mom is my best friend. I love hanging out with her, and we do everything together. I have so many things to thank her for, and there are so many things she does that I take for granted.

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Why a Christian College?

Hello, everyone!

I apologize for not doing a post last week, but I was out-of-town at Boise Bible College’s youth conference, Preview. I had a lot of fun. They had a guest speaker come out and teach the chapel sessions and also gave attendees the opportunity to stay in the dorms. I met some awesome people, and I have some other exciting news:

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Happy Easter!

Yesterday was Good Friday–the day Christ died for our sins.

Easter (which is this Sunday) is the most important holiday of the year. Good Friday is also important, because we need to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us. He was mocked, beaten, tortured, and ultimately killed in one of the most excruciating ways. It’s the day we stop and contemplate that we, sinful human beings, deserve eternity in hell, but Jesus, who was perfect, took that punishment for us. He was the only one who could–and He did–make the ultimate sacrifice for us.

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