When Your Plans Fail

I was on a road trip to Texas. I had been driving awhile and was horrified with the rest stops’ poor sanitary conditions, never finding one I felt comfortable stopping in. I got back on the road seemingly with the caravan of people I had started the road trip with. Out of nowhere this car zooms in front of me. As I wonder what its doing and where it came from, 2 beams of light/power surges shoot from the back of the car and hit my vehicle. The car in front of me zooms far ahead and out of sight. Meanwhile, I had completely lost control of my vehicle – no power and no control. I wasn’t slowing down though. I could not fathom why my car was still going its normal speed as if I was pressing the gas petal – my car appeared to not be on. I was thankful for the long stretch of road ahead of me since my breaks were not working. Then it started getting dark – I had no headlights or breaks. Concern hit me as I realized I couldn’t see where I was going.

I had that dream on December 14th, 2015 – about a week and a half after I moved to a new state, new job and new community.

I’m a dreamer – always have been. I usually dream vividly at night and remember most details. The past few years I realized dreams are big way God likes to use to speak to me. The above road trip dream was one of the first of several dreams I had the first few weeks I moved. I really had no idea what it meant.

When I asked God what the dream meant, he gave me a verse – John 3:27, “To this John replied, ‘A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.'”

That’s it, no big booming voice, “MY CHILD..HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO ALL YOUR QUESTIONS.” Pretty characteristic of my experience with God – his timing, not yours – which means you don’t always get the full answer right then. I had a feeling it probably held some deeper meaning, and trusted he would reveal it to me eventually. Life went on, and I forgot about the dream.

Then my stress levels gradually started rising. I mean, that’s normal for a new job – no surprise there. I thought I was “adulting” pretty well – moved into my apartment, got my new state licence and car registration, and finally had my first real job actually helping people in the Psychology realm – one that I had wanted for SO long. I was so excited, so sure that I finally “arrived” at my calling, where I was supposed to be.

I soon realized however after an incredibly long and painful meltdown of epic proportions, that I was in fact not where I was supposed to be. I learned in a very powerful way about how I am made – and it did not fit with this job. To put it plainly, I got crushed. I literally couldn’t handle it. Oh, I did a great job – I only wasn’t meant to do it.

Wow, what a blow. Not to mention the worst meltdown in history. All time low is putting it mildly.

Me? Not able to do anything I set my mind to? I thought I “could do all things through Christ” who strengthen’s me?

What do you do when the plans for your life are suddenly gone? What do you do with yourself? I thought I had been pursuing “my calling” in life – then it came tumbling down around me.

I found myself realizing that my plans for my life were in fact not God’s plans for my life.

I recalled my senior year of college when I was signing up for the GRE to get my Master’s in Social Work only to have God burst in on those plans with, “I don’t want you to get your Master’s in Social Work. I don’t want you to have any plans at all.”

Say what?

I am so glad I listened to God. That job I just had was indeed in Social Work. I would have died.

“Okay Lord, thanks for showing me that, but that still doesn’t help my question of what now?”

A lot of prayer and counsel seeking led to a 2 weeks notice given and the now jobless mid-twenties college graduate you see now.

In the midst of it all though, God kept telling me, “It’s going to be all right. I will provide for you.” Which he did, by the way, financially I mean – he didn’t even give me time to worry about that one.

Through all the questioning I’m realizing that I’m so thankful he led me through all this. I’m happy I moved here. I’ve grown and learned about myself in powerful ways. God shut the door really firmly in a direction that I apparently am not supposed to pursue.

And nothing was wasted.

I know that every single little thing I have went through and learned is ultimately preparing me for the greater purpose God has for me.

The one thing I keep coming back to is Jesus. He has me and isn’t letting go. He is faithful through it all. When I literally had zero strength and it was all I could do to push through the pain, he took over and helped me.

A powerful heart nugget I got from this was that it is God that accomplishes his purposes for our lives – not us. Even when I think I am accomplishing a certain goal, ultimately, God has the final say and works everything for his good purpose – whether I think I know what those purposes are or not. He is so good. He loves us so much.

Even if I do nothing of importance or accomplish nothing else in my lifetime, it doesn’t matter. My worth isn’t in what I do or accomplish – or what titles I hold next to my name.

What matters is that I walk closely with the one that completes my soul – I matter and have worth because I am a child of God.

As I sat on my bed tonight crying, asking God, “What am I supposed to do now?” He answered me with a question,

“Did I bring you this far just to bring you to a dead end?”

No, no you didn’t Lord.

I’m reminded of the dream I had in early December. The one where I lost control of my car and was forced to continue driving into the unforeseen future – not knowing where I was going and simultaneously being forced to continue.

“A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.”

He truly gives us everything. If I can’t see where I’m going, it means I’m not supposed to see where I’m going and I get to rely on his guidance. I get to rely on God’s strength, not my own – because after all, I really don’t have any strength anyway.

Just when I thought I would be the most hopeless, I am filled with a weird sense of peace, security and hope. Something I wouldn’t trade for the world – and something you can only get from Jesus.

Its also strangely comforting that God was in a way warning me of the steep climb ahead, knowing I would be asking him that question, “Where now Lord?” months later – I can only imagine the smile on his face as he says, “I was with you all along darling, I never left your side. You are right where you are supposed to be.”

I’m so thankful he has everything all figured out, because I certainly have no clue. But that’s nice for a change – I’ve been so consumed with trying to control every detail I guess I wasn’t truly living. So, in a way, I guess you can say in losing my life, I have found it. This is God’s stage after all, it never was mine.

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