When I was sixteen and a senior in high school, I had my whole life planned out. I KNEW that I would graduate high school 2 days after my 17th birthday. I KNEW I would graduate college just before my 21st birthday. I KNEW I would go on to become a child psychologist, though I could barely stomach the idea of going to school for another four years after undergrad. And I KNEW I would be married by 27 to a loving husband and have 4 kids...3 boys and a girl. I KNEW all this because I had my whole life planned out.
Okay, maybe I'd be married by 28, what's a year here or there? I laugh now at my presumptuous and strict timeline. Who was driving my life anyway? Well, if you had asked me, of course I would have said God was, but in reality, I was. I was making my own seemingly good choices and asking God to bless them...after the fact. Boy, did that get me into trouble.
Not only did I not graduate college at 20, but I gave up my aspirations to become a child psychologist after my first semester. I just couldn't do 8 years of school! I got married at 18 with a 6 week old baby to boot. I worked for a large national insurance company for a while before eventually finding fulfillment at a small non-profit. Three additional kids later (yes, I did actually have 3 boys and a girl!), I find myself pursuing my true love...writing.
Writing was something I always dreamt I would do...later. Perhaps after I had worked as a psychologist for a few years, I thought maybe I'd write a textbook or something. Or, maybe after I had raised my children, I would write a novel.
But God had another plan. Romans 8:28 reminds, "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes."
Sometimes our setbacks can be blessings in disguise, setups even. You see, after recommitting my life to Christ in my early twenties and giving God full control, I began to see Him working his plan in my life in the most unexpected ways. God has truly blown my mind with the way he works things out for my good. I have been given vocational opportunities that I was way unqualified for, strategic connections I could have never made on my own and a fulfilling life's purpose.
I couldn't have planned my life better if I had tried! So, maybe instead of beating yourself up at your setbacks, LOOK UP! God just might be setting you up to experience your life's greatest mission.
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