When you look at this picture, what do you see? I like to think I look like a mini justice who’s tough on crime! Or a very smart law student… I know this picture gives off the impression of self-confidence, assurance, and pride. As if this person knows what they’re doing and where they’re heading! But that couldn’t be farther from the truth!
The Truth About Life
The truth is…I don’t know what I’m doing with my life! I have no idea where I’m heading! You can read more about my journey with unemployment here. I always considered myself a very goal-oriented person but if you ask me where I’ll be next month, I couldn’t answer you! Frankly, I think that’s how most people operate! When you’re younger, you have all these hopes, dreams, and self-confidence! Personally, I think your 20’s are filled with idealistic dreams and constant frustration about how you haven’t achieved those dreams! In your 30’s…things aren’t necessarily any more clear! You don’t necessarily have any more direction or progress, but you finally kind of get a grip on the rhythm of life and just accept that you have no control!
Starting a Ph.D. Program
People ask me all the time, “What are you getting your Ph.D. in?” “Leadership,” I reply. They follow up with, “Oh! What do you do now?” “I work at a department store.” Then they ask, “So….what do you plan to do with your Ph.D.?” Sometimes, I want to pull my hair out and scream, “I don’t know, okay?! Is that alright with you?!” If you’re not sure what’s going on with the curveball life threw at you, then I’m sure you can understand what I mean! It’s hard not to know all the answers. We all want to know the answer!! The only thing I’m sure of is that God called me to go back to school and study leadership, so I did! It’s called walking in obedience!
What Does It Mean to Walk In Obedience?
It means to walk by faith, not by sight! (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Obedience is walking in faith. And faith is not something you can see with your eyes. It requires putting one foot in front of the other, walking step by step, even when you don’t know where you’re going. So, it makes perfect sense that I don’t know what the end goal is. This journey requires faith!
“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 hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11, NIV
This verse is a reminder that I don’t have to know where I’m going. I don’t need to know the final destination or end goal because God knows. He knows what the plan is and in the verse, there is a promise that his plan is to prosper me, not to harm me. I love how God includes that in the verse. It’s like he’s saying, “Just in case you think the plan isn’t good, trust me, it won’t harm you!” Mind you, I think the plan can definitely include some pain and suffering that will hurt, but ultimately, it will always be for my good and His glory! He has plans that give me hope and a future!
What to Do When You Get Frustrated or Lost Along the Way?
I will be the first to confess that there are many days when I’m tired of this journey. I’m tired of waiting, and I just want to know where I’m heading! But God reminds me that obedience requires TRUST.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV
There are a few key truths to take away from this verse:
- Trust the Lord with ALL YOUR HEART! ALL of it. Not some of it, but ALL of it! TRUST HIM!
- Do NOT rely on your own insight, wisdom, brain, or logic! Yes, you probably think, “But Lord, doesn’t it make sense to do it this way….” Just shut that thought process off because your ways are not his ways and your thoughts are not his thoughts, and His are way better (Isaiah 55:8-9)!
- Acknowledge God. In the midst of your struggle and trial, look away from your problem and turn to God. Look to him and acknowledge him. He is in control!
- He will make your paths straight. The road may look really curvy with lots of twists and turns…and you can’t see the end…but when you trust God and acknowledge him, he will make it straight! He CAN and WILL make it straight!
Because He knows the plan, He knows exactly what it takes to get me there. AND, he knows how long it will take! Even if I don’t know where I’m heading, I know that he knows! And that gives me the confidence I need to move forward, one step at a time! I just have to remember to trust God, and this can be so hard when all I really want to do is rely on my own strength, skills, and wisdom! But NO, I have to trust Him and cling to him with all I’ve got!! That is the only way I’m going to be able to continue to walk in obedience when I don’t know where I’m going or where He’s leading. BUT, I know that it’s somewhere good. Somewhere to prosper me, not to harm me, but to give me a hope and a future.
I hope that you know God has a plan for you too! If you don’t, you know it now. God’s got a plan for you, and it’s a good one! He knows how to get you there, just trust Him and don’t take your eyes off of him! He will make your path straight!
Leave a comment and let me know what journey you are on.
I got this shirt from Zara a few months ago, and the skirt is an old one from Banana Republic. Here are a few similar options: