For I Know the Plans I Have for You...

It’s the end of the school year, which means many students are graduating and preparing to start new chapters in their lives. It also means they are making plans for the school they will attend, or what career path they will embark upon. However, the plans we often make for our future aren’t always as straightforward as they seem.

When I was in 8th grade, I had my entire life planned out. I knew which high school I would attend, which university I would go to, what career I would pursue, how many kids I would have. I had everything mapped out and eagerly anticipated the not-so-distant future. Yet God made different plans for me as I slowly drifted away from Him.

Church in my hometown was nothing but boring and I dreaded every second of it. Our town was full of “Catholics,” most of who had never even gone to mass before. My life as a Catholic was dry and uneventful—an obligation I fulfilled mostly because my parents were committed as well. I went through the motions because it was what I was supposed to do, not because I wanted to do it. Therefore, one of my plans was to take a break from going to church during college; I figured I would be more willing to attend mass after I started going again (unlikely). Consequently, God intervened, showing me that He was the one who was really in charge. In January of my last year of middle school, my parents told us that we might be moving. With that one sentence, my entire life and all the plans I made for it were abruptly thrown off course.

The worst part about all of this wasn’t even the fact that we were moving—it was that we might be. My parents weren’t even sure if we were definitely going to move or not! It felt like the sure, clear picture I had painted myself had transformed into a hazy mess of gray. My beautiful future was shrouded in fog—the complete opposite of what I wanted. However, while I was angry with Him and “why?” slowly became the new mantra for my life, instead of staying bitter, I turned to Him. I knew I couldn’t do it alone and I knew that it would all overwhelm me without His help, so I prayed more. I grew closer to Him. I depended on Him. By putting my faith in God, everything worked itself out. It was a hard transition and other problems arose after the moving problem dissipated, but I’m glad I moved.

Looking back, I now understand that getting out of the tiny town I grew up in was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me. Now when I face struggles, I’m confident that no matter what the future holds, as long as I put my trust in God, it will all be okay. Even if bad things happen, good can still come out of it when I put everything in God’s hands.

Image via Debbie Herbeck