Monday, November 17, 2014

The Perfect Plan by @emilylaney

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

I’m turning 30 in a couple months. To me this birthday is such a huge milestone. I’ve been living this year intentionally, checking off items on my “30 by 30” bucket list. It’s been fun to focus on things I want to accomplish this year. I like goals, and I like having a plan. It brings me comfort to know I’ve got a handle on things.

But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last almost 30 years, it’s that God’s plans are so much bigger than mine. I make my plans, but then I have to lay them at the Lord’s feet. And sometimes he has to pry them out of my clenched fist! But in the end, God’s plan prevails, and it’s so much bigger than I could imagine. 

For example, I had a plan in my mind that three years post graduate school, I would pursue teaching part time in the University level. I was going to pay my dues in the ‘real world’, and apply to teach at my Alma Mater. Well, God decided to shake up my plans. Six months after I had my Master’s degree, and a mere month after I passed my social work licensure test, I was approached to teach a class in the department I had spent six years in as a student. That was nearly three years ago. I never would have imagined that would happen. God’s plan was so much bigger than my plan. Teaching hasn’t been easy and there have been times I wondered if God really knew what he was doing, but as I look back on the last three years, that one opportunity has led me to where I am now vocationally. I’ve grown as a person in ways that I wouldn’t have without this experience. And I know that God was in that opportunity. There’s no other way to explain it.

There have been other instances where God’s plan didn’t come in the form of a happy vocational opportunity. I spent many years of my twenties single, and really felt the pangs of loneliness often. I didn’t feel beautiful or desirable. I so desperately wanted a boyfriend, I so desperately wanted to go on dates.  But God knew. God’s plan was for me to meet my husband, and even though I felt like everyone around me was dating and getting married, God knew I wasn’t ready yet. His timing, and his plan was perfect. And the adventures and experiences I had during that season would not have happened if I had gotten married young. 

Friends, God’s plan is so much bigger than our own. Every painful experience, every moment where we feel the uncertainty of the unknown- God is in those moments. Every triumph and victory was orchestrated by God. Sometimes it takes time to see the full picture of God’s plan for our lives, and some areas will remain a mystery this side of eternity, but His purpose is perfect, and His plans are perfect. 

Emily Laney is a social worker, educator, and justice seeker.  She has worked with vulnerable populations in the United States and abroad and loves to help startup nonprofits reach their goals.  She is a Passion City Church door holder and leads a team of abolitionists at Not for Sale Georgia.   She loves her husband Brent and their rescue pup Biscuit. Sunsets and Sushi make her happy.

You can connect with Emily on twitter @emilylaney or on her blog

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