I got a planner this year and it might be the best thing to happen to me. I take it everywhere and I feel a little lost when I don’t have it. I used to be the girl who scheduled all her hangouts on my Google Calendar (hehe to anyone who knew me four years ago and got a Google invite from me). I am the girl with the plan, the backup plan, and the second back up plan, in case everything goes to hell. I am not good with risk and I am 100% not good at unanticipated change. I like to lay every card on the table and know every detail before I make a decision. As much as I would like to be the fun, cool, carefree girl who makes spontaneous decisions on a whim, I am actually quite the opposite. I like a plan, stability, consistency – all the facts.
I am not that fun, and I’m not very cool.
When I was in high school, I thought I was going to work in foreign service. I spent a couple days in Israel with my mother’s friend who works for World Vision and was overwhelmed by the conflict and division. That trip inspired me to want to learn Arabic and study Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I was fascinated by the American perception of Islam, especially on its women, so much so that I read and wrote about it during my last two years of high school. My final senior thesis was on Islamic feminism. I applied to all the big foreign policy schools on the east coast and my eyes were set on D.C.
And as any normal high school senior would do, I yearned for my freshmen year of college. I was ready to get the hell out of Seattle. I was ready to start my new life on the East Coast.
The reality is that I got into two of the ten schools I applied to. When the college decisions were being made, my best friends were choosing between great schools up and down the coasts. Meanwhile, I begrudgingly accepted my fate and went to the state university in Seattle, and decided to major in international relations and marketing.
In 2014, I graduated with a degree in marketing and finance because I honestly didn’t have enough stamina to complete both majors. The primary cause of that was not being willing to go to class five days a week to learn Spanish. Today, I work in education marketing strategy. I am nowhere near where I thought I would be six years ago.
Six years ago, I felt pretty cheated. I was also very mad. I was looking for anything to help me manage my anger at God, my family, the money we didn’t have for me to leave home, and just the general angst that comes from being in your late teens. It didn’t make sense to me that though I had worked hard, that I went to church, that I was very active in music and youth ministry, I wasn’t getting the chance to pursue a dream.
Truth be told, I was too much of an imbecile to leave Seattle quite yet. I was very naive, very prone to peer pressure, and I also had a really hard time saying no. I barely knew who I was and I definitely had no idea who I was in Christ. My parents knew that a lot better than I did. They would tell you that if you asked them. My mother actually loves to rub it in my face quite frequently.
Last week, my NYC pastor mentioned that it is okay to write your dreams in pencil. That sometimes, God allows us to draw our dreams and then erases the elements that we don’t need. That, by erasing, we give him the ability to write our dreams in the perfection of His will.
It is very easy to lose God in the ideas of where we think we want to be.
I am learning that patiently allowing God to draw your dreams with his permanent, perfect ink is a life’s work. It means erasing, a lot. It means knowing that when it’s erased, there is abundance beyond those lines.
I think the thing about God is that he sees the entirety of our lives and knows exactly what you need. And what I am learning about God, is that he literally orchestrates your steps to fulfill your need, more than he ever fulfills your wants. He places desires in your heart and we suddenly think that we are the masters of our destinies, that we are onto something, that we are now in control. I am learning that God plants those desires in our hearts, allowing us to dream big, because He is a father who can do the impossible. These desires propel us into the abundance that He is. It is okay to ask God for abundance – your Father who has access to everything, who has given air into your lungs and the life around you. I think it’s okay to be real with God and ask Him about his incredible plans for you.