Not for a boy (though at times I was).
Not for the right college to attend.
Not for the right friends.
For the will of God.
Which in my mind would arrive most likely after a "spiritual high" with God, you know like church camp or a discipleship retreat or even a really great night at youth group. Once that "arrived" things would really fall into place for me. I knew it.
It would fall into my life like a package from the post office, neatly bundled together with a clear sender (God) and a clear recipient (me) to leave no room for any doubt or question. Inside the package would be a clear and detailed plan for my life.
Go to ________ college.
Study ________ degree.
Date _________ boy.
Marry _______ boy.
Work for ________ company.
Live in _______ town.
Simple. Point blank. Answers. I knew I would probably still make mistakes and sin after I knew God's will for me, because I knew I would still be human. I would probably go through times where I'd wander off and do my own thing. But I would always go back to the day I received "the plan" and would always return to it. Because you know...God gave me that plan.
But He didn't.
And I never planned for that.
I ended up staying home for college and attending our local university because my family needed me. I jumped around to about 4/5 different degrees because my heart longed for a field of creativity and design, but my head told my heart that was silly and I needed to focus on something "logical" like business. So basically my head and my heart fought and my semesters reflected that, bouncing back and forth more times than I'd care to admit. I found myself in a toxic and abusive relationship that was the biggest mess you've ever seen. And for reasons I still can't figure out to this day, I stayed in it, it was like an addiction, a stronghold. Each night after he would take me on a date he would keep me in his car in my parents driveway and scream about how dumb I was. One night we ran into a group of his buddies, and he blew up at me right in front of everyone in the middle of a crowded Wal-Mart because one of his friends was "looking at me too long" and somehow it was my fault because I should've promptly walked away as soon as they approached us. So I was given rules from that day forward to go stand in the parking lot by the car or in a bathroom if that situation ever presented itself to us again. Each night after he dropped me off I would go to my bedroom and shut the door and fall to the ground burying my face in the carpet and weeping until I couldn't breathe-begging God for some way out of this mess. I was stuck. He asked me to marry him, I said I couldn't...I didn't know why....but I just couldn't. And that was my first brave step in a long hard walk out of that pit. After a week of completely cutting ties with him, my best friend from childhood was diagnosed with cancer. She quit school and moved home, I quit school and took care of her. It was a dark season for me. Many nights I stayed awake with her trying to convince her she would survive-but truth be told...I wasn't positive that I would.
So what if all that would have arrived in "the plan"? What if that was the answer I got when I begged God to reveal to me His will for my life?
I don't know if I would have even gotten out of bed the day after high school graduation.
Beyond the heart palpitations I surely would've had, I believe there is deep significance to the way that we don't get a plan as we often might think we want. Where would our dependance on Him be? If I knew His will for my life then wouldn't I just take it from there? Instead He revealed it step by step, day by day, joy by joy and yes-sorrow by sorrow. If I wasn't walking closely with Him I would've missed it. It demanded an intimacy with Him in my life, in a time in my life that I probably was more interested in my independence.
God will never reveal His will to us when we aren't willing to follow it. We will never, ever reach a right destination on a wrong road. It's the moments we are completely and totally surrendered to Him, recognizing that without Him taking over entirely I'm just going to mess this up. Because He takes full responsibility for a life that is completely surrendered to Him.