I’m the type of girl who has fun figuring out her schedule semesters in advance. I’m the type of girl who, despite only being a junior in college, has already started looking into master degree programs. I’m the type of girl who sets her alarm for the same time because I hate breaking routines.
I’m a planner. I have to know everything ahead of time or I can’t function.
Naturally, I had everything figured out in high school. I was going to go away to college and major in English to later become a teacher. I knew what I wanted to do and where I was going to go to university. I had a plan. A great plan. The best plan.
But God had other ideas. Sometime towards the end of my junior year, he started to lay the desire in my heart to go into Christian Studies. The more I thought about becoming an English teacher, the more my heart longed for Christian Studies. Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE English. I love to read and to write, and I could have been comfortable, but I knew that it wasn’t where He wanted me. After much prayer and many long talks with my parents, I decided senior year that the Lord was calling me to Christian Studies.
It was like He took my perfect plan and ripped it to shreds. My perfect plan.
The truth is: sometimes our plans are not God’s plans. He doesn’t run on our planners. God has a way of coming up behind us and tearing our planners apart. It was in those moments, and even now in my junior year as I begin to wonder about what to do after college, that I have realized that it’s okay to not have everything figured out.
Nobody in the Bible, trust me, had it all figured out either, especially not Mary, the mother of Jesus. I’ve always loved the story of Mary from Luke 1:26-38, and I can just imagine how frightened she felt when Gabriel told her that she was going to have the Savior of the world. Bearing the Son of God wasn’t in Mary’s plan, or Joseph’s for that matter. She probably couldn’t sleep at night with all the questions that swirled around in her head.
How am I going to raise the Messiah?
What if I can’t do it?
Who am I to do this task?
The best part about the story of Mary is her response. After Gabriel tells her that the Holy Spirit will come upon her and she will conceive Jesus, she acts in simple obedience.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary, “May it be done to me according to your word.” –Luke 1:38a
She didn’t tell the angel, “No, I can’t do this because I’m not capable enough,” or “God, can’t you just wait until next year when I have this, this, and this figured out?” Instead, she listened and acted in obedience to what God was telling her.
Today, we want to have everything figured out. We want God to run on our planners. But it is often in those moments when God ruins my plans that I can be used better for the glory of Him. It is when He comes up behind me and tears up my perfect plan that I learn to rely on His perfect plan.