Monday, September 14, 2009

God's Plan

Tonight I've been thinking a lot about God's plan for our lives. Sometimes it is SO DIFFICULT to wait on God's timing, and to understand His plan during hard times. But I know that in the times that I've trusted, even when I didn't understand the situation or why God was putting me through it, everything turned out so much better than I imagined in the end!

Let's take college for example. When I was a senior in hs, I wasn't sure about college. My best friend at the time was planning on attending Ohio State. I was leaning that way, too. A big college so far away from home sounded like so much fun! Until one day my mom made me go to "Discovery Days" at Malone College (now Malone University). Malone is a little Christian college about 45 minutes away from my house. I didn't know anyone from my class that was going there. I wasn't totally opposed to the school, but was definitely leaning more toward somewhere bigger like Ohio State. But the day I visited, I fell in love with Malone. I loved the Christian atmosphere and the fact that everyone knows everyone else there. I loved that it was close enough to home that I could come home on the weekends.
Here's a picture of one of many fun memories from Malone. (I'm the one in the pink;-))
I now know that it was God's plan all along for me to attend there. I can't even imagine my life now if I had gone to Ohio State. I would not be the person I am today, and I probably wouldn't be married to Luke!

Speaking of that, I know that Luke was a total God-thing, too! It was my freshman year of college and I was getting pretty serious with a guy from home. We had been dating about a year, and things were going okay. I certainly wasn't "in love." One day at Malone, my New Testament professor was talking about life in general and said, "Never settle for less than God's best in your life." Right when he said that, my heart started pounding and I knew God was speaking to me. I knew that the guy I was dating was not the man that God had planned for me. It was hard, but we eventually ended the relationship. Can you believe that 5 days later, I started getting a little crush on Luke? A few months after that, we started dating, and the rest is history. God certainly blessed me for not settling!Hmm...if I had been at Ohio State, I probably never would have noticed Luke in that way. And I wouldn't have been sitting in that New Testament class at Malone when I was deeply convicted by the words of my professor.

Now when Luke and I were engaged, we weren't exactly sure where we were going to live. We wanted to buy, but didn't know if that would be possible. We heard about this awesome opportunity from my uncle. He owned a house that contained 3 apartments in our town, and was thinking about selling. We researched it a lot and really thought and prayed about it, but the whole situation didn't seem to be leading anywhere. It was March, the wedding was in July, and we still didn't have any solid plans made about the house. I was on spring break of my senior year, student teaching semester, when God showed us where he wanted us to go. During that spring break week, I heard about two great apartments right in our town that were priced unbelievably well. I called the owner of the first one on a whim, Luke and I went to look at the apartment later that night, and the next afternoon we signed the lease.
This apartment was so perfect for us! 2 bedrooms, newly re-done, HUGE living room, backyard, garage, utility room for a washer and dryer, a cute little porch, a beautiful bathroom with SO much storage, central a/c, plenty of closet space, a dining room, etc. Wow, I miss that place sometimes! The house was a bit of a downgrade in some departments. We lived there for the first 4 months of our marriage (although Luke lived there for about 8 months) and it was such a completely perfect time in our lives. I loved it! I'm so glad we decided to rent at first, simply because of the sweet memories we made in our first home :-)

But God had other plans for us again. A few months after the wedding, we heard that my uncle, who owned the house we had thought about buying before the wedding, was moving with his family to Virginia. He needed to sell the house quickly. There's more to it, though. My grandma had been living with my Aunt and Uncle for the past 11 years in an apartment connected to their house, and obviously didn't want to move all the way to Virginia. There just happened to be a little apartment in the house my uncle was that would be perfect for my grandma. So voila...the offer was too good to pass up, and after four months of marriage, we were on the move again. To our own house this time. The house is a blessing to us because it provides part of our income with the rent from the other two apartments, but it is also a blessing to my grandma, because she didn't have to move far away from home, or into a nursing home. Apparently, we just had to trust God and wait on His timing. Because when we did that, everything worked out perfectly! I don't know why God's plan was to have us wait a few months before buying the house we had wanted in the first place, but I bet it has something to do with the timing with Grandma. Everything just worked out completely perfectly :-)And one final area I would like to write about is my job. This is my third year at the same school district. The first two years, I was working in a classroom with a somewhat crazy woman (I can't think of a nicer way to say it :-P) in a position that I really did not enjoy. If you've been reading my posts for awhile, you know that I wasn't planning on going back to the same school this year until the last minute. I know that was God's plan as well.

The past two years when I was in the miserable position, I had a little girl that I worked a lot with. She had such a sad life. She certainly wasn't a sweet little girl who was real easy to love, but I felt God calling me especially to her. I always tried to make sure I brightened her day and was there for her when she needed it. I know she was not getting the love and support that she needed. I have since learned that her parents were both arrested over the summer for growing marijuana in their basement. The little girl and her 4 siblings were put into foster homes. It's a sad situation, but I know that they're probably better off where they are now.

All this to say, all the years that this little girl was in our school district, I was with her. This year when she is going to a different school district, I am moved into a completely different part of the building in a completely different position. I don't think that's a coincidence. I think God just doesn't need me in that classroom anymore, and he's put me in a different place this year. Have you ever felt that way? Just so called toward one specific person to be a prayer warrior for them or to reach out to them? I really feel that this little girl is the main reason that God had me in that position.

Now that I'm in a different position, God has been blessing me so much! This year I LOVE my job. Mostly because I have my own classroom and am working with teachers that I just "click" with better. So all that to say, God has a reason for putting us where we are. And we will be blessed through the situation in the end!

Okay, that was a REALLY long post. But it's just really been on my mind tonight. In each of these situations, I had to sacrifice something (a college, a boy, a house, an apartment, and a different job) in order to take the paths that I chose and that I felt God leading me on. And in each of those situations, God blessed me so immensely, and I had some of the best times of my life. So if you're in a tough or confusing situation, just step out in faith if you feel God calling you. It will always be worth it, and you will always be blessed (although it might be hard at first!)

I will have to keep this in mind as I face the next few years, deciding exactly what path to take with my life.

"'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 a hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me, and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart." - Jeremiah 29:11-13


  1. Thanks for the great reminder! It's so good that you can see through the haze of past choices to see the clear path God has led you on.

  2. This post is so true!!

    I could go on and on about all of the things that have happened in my life that make me appreciate not being in control of what happens. At the time it seems hard but then looking back I am so glad it wasn't in my hands.

    If it is ok maybe we can discuss this further in an e-mail? I don't want to write you a novel of a comment LOL :)

  3. I feel like this a lot too. It's good to have these reminders when we get frustrated that God has a plan that has a means to an end we are not aware of yet. Saves us every time. He is good!

  4. Great post, Jessica - God certainly leads us even through the little things - I see so many things He did for me, or led me through, when I look back on my life now! And I know He must be leading me now in ways I won't see until later (or may never see). Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Great post! Things always happen for a reason...even if they don't make sense at the time. Thanks for the reminder that He has a plan for all of us. I'm happy you are enjoying teaching again!


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