Got My Ducks In A Row –

I’m the kind of person that has their whole future completely planned out. Well, a lot of it anyway. For example: while lots of high school students get to college without a clue of what they really want to study, I’ve known what I want to major in since I was about seven. In fact, I even have my college picked out already. You see, when it comes to planning, I like to think that I’ve got all my ducks in a row.

And I do, really. I mean, it’s a good thing to know what you want to do with your life, isn’t it? Don’t parents get worried and frustrated over children who don’t desire to do anything with their future?

Even so, the Lord has been teaching me a lot about this planning that I do. He knows well that I have a tendency to get my heart set on something, only to set myself up for disappointment in the end. He also knows that I’m not a big fan of “plan B.” (But then again… who is?)

I suppose He really began this lesson when my family and I moved three hours away from the place I had grown up in, to pastor a church in another state. But the lesson didn’t stop there.Β  Lately, the Lord has been speaking to my heart a lot about my plans for the future. While I know that it’s a good thing plan ahead, I also know that I can easily get frustrated when things don’t go the way that I had hoped.

And in the end, I really need to learn to be more flexible. Because all of this comes down to the question of, “How much do I trust God?” Do I really trust Him? If I do, I’ll be at peace with whatever comes to pass, knowing that He has planned my life with my good and His glory in mind.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11

So why do I fight so hard to write my life? I always blame the writer in me for this urge to pen my own tale, but it probably has more to do with the stubborn in me than anything. And the truth is, He’s already written this story anyway.

“And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” -Psalms 139:16

And you know what? I really wouldn’t want any other Author to hold the pen.

8 comments

  1. Allison says:

    I love this! I am also a planner. I like things planned to the minute – in fact, as a child I would plan my birthday parties to the minute. OCD anyone? I have learned that MY plans and GOD’s plans are usually not the same – and His are always better than mine.
    Thanks for visiting my site today! God bless!

    • Amen! His plans always are better… but that doesn’t seem to stop us from trying to have our own way. Thankfully, He is patient with us as we learn to follow Him.
      Thank you for reading and commenting, Allison! πŸ™‚
      I enjoyed reading your blog!
      Blessings,
      RachelAllison

  2. Joy S. says:

    Haha, this one is just perfect for me. I’m an organizational maniac. =P Learning to hold life loosely and let God be the Author is something I’ve had to learn and am still learning too. “Trust me,” He says, “and see what I won’t do with your life.” Full abandon requires this full giving of our whole life to Him, and it’s so hard, but so worth it.

  3. ~anon~ says:

    Hi Rachel. πŸ™‚ I’m the girl from the LYWB blog that you replied to this morning. Thanks for that, first of all. I liked what you said about how a better way to put it is “lay out” our dreams to Him, not “die” to them. I liked this blog post of yours, btw. You’re a good writer.

    I’ve been struggling today with thoughts of “Well that sounds mean, God gives us dreams then wants us to give them up for Him, but then He’ll [sometimes] give them back… that seems like pointless suffering!” But I know it’s not pointless, everything we go through has a reason, and it really is best we go through it whether we would like to admit it or not. And of course God isn’t mean; He loves us, knows best, and does all things for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory (that excerpt from the Bible is one I just love; it really does give me hope :)).

    Even so, there is a guy I have been in love with for over four months now. He has a girlfriend that he’s been with for almost three months, and back in December he told me to please move on because he knew I liked him & he didn’t like me back. I’m okay with him not liking me for a girlfriend, but the thing is for a long time I didn’t know if we were friends or not because we had been but then I did some stupid things… long story short, God gave me an example of the truth of the statement “God works all things for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory” last week because the guy & I texted and he said we can be friends, then he was being nice to me the next day through text (I wasn’t in school).

    Well, this week he hasn’t been mean to me or anything but we haven’t talked and I don’t want to seem annoying by talking to him first, plus I’m not totally sure how it would go over. But it’s making me sad/doubtful/distressed or whatever that we haven’t talked this week. I mean, I know that he has other friends that he may not talk to for a few weeks but is still friends with, so it’s not that I’m worried about if we’re really friends or not, it’s just that as I am in love with him, it’s bothering me that we havn’t talked. I love talking to him when he is nice to me. I’ve been praying for a couple days for him to talk to me but God hasn’t answered this yet and I guess I’m worried He isn’t going to, at least not this week.

    Sorry this is so long, I just wanted to explain what it is that is making me have such an issue with trusting God with everything… what if He would decide I’m not supposed to be friends with this guy? Honestly, I am really afraid of that. So while my question was about being an author, what I ended up thinking about later on in the day was how the LYWB blog post related to my situation with this guy. I don’t want to “die” to my dream of being good friends with him! And I want to have a good relationship with God, I just am afraid of what He would do with me & this guy. That is a good way to summarize my situation.

    Again, sorry this is so long but you seem smart & sweet (I’ve read other comments of yours on LYWB before) so idk maybe I’m thinking you can console me?

    Thanks again for replying. πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad you stopped by, Anon. Your comment is very close to my heart. I have prayed for you today, my friend, and want you to know that, though I have not been in your exact situation, I have struggled with similar things and hope I can offer some help.
      Do you mind if I give you a little suggested reading? The post below is a lesson I’ve learned from my own struggles in the area of trusting God with a guy (and ultimately my future)… I don’t mention the situation specifically in this, but it’s a big part of what I have to say. I’d really like you to read it:
      Cleaning Out My Closet

      Second, I’d like you to read this series on following God; it has to do with similar things and I wrote it once again with my “guy situation” in mind. You see, the problem with guys is that they can be a huge distraction, even when we commit to “just being friends.” Actually, trying to be “just friends” can be an even bigger distraction than anything else, because the fact that we have to decide to only be friends is a sure sign that we’ll more than likely struggle to keep it that way. Does that make sense? And the truth is, our hearts are aiming for more, but we’re settling for friendship because anything is better than silence. Yet in the end this sets us up for even more daydreaming of what could be and ultimately a huge distraction from our walk with Christ. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I’m hoping you can relate even just a little to what I’m saying. Anyway, here are the posts. Let me know once you’ve read them and any questions that they spur and then we can talk further after that. πŸ™‚
      Wake Up!
      A Call To Abandonment – Part 1
      A Call To Abandonment – Part 2

      You can trust God, my friend. He is worthy of our whole hearts and though it is okay for us to share our hearts with others, we must be ever careful to keep Him first and foremost, even if it means walking away from something which distracts our hearts from Him. I am not telling you to give up on guys and live your life as an old maid, but perhaps you need to take some time to focus completely on building your relationship with Christ. God is not blind to your desires, but He also sees so much more in all of this than you can even imagine and He knows what is the very best thing for you – now and forever.

      Praying for you! <3
      Blessings,
      Rachel Allison

      • ~anon~ says:

        Hey Rachel!

        So I read the posts you suggested and honestly, Friday night I got mad with God I guess. I was telling him Saturday morning what had me so frustrated and went on doing sinful things that day, knowing I was not in a good place.

        Well today in church my preacher was talking about faith and faithfullness, like trusting God. And he was saying about when he was younger feeling God call him to preach, and if he had known then what he knew now he probably would have said “no way” because there have been some hardships. But he said that the road has been most joyful.

        I told him when I was leaving that I needed that (the message he shared) & said there was a situation with a boy that was killing me. When I went to my car before my mom and sister got there, I was thanking God for what had happened and saying sorry for how I had been messing up lately, and I said, “God, what do you want me to do about ____ (the guy’s name)?” and I felt tears forming in my eyes and it was just so cool, I’d handed it over to God, finally, and I felt GOOD! Now I feel so unblind, like, “Really? This guy who made you feel horrible and made you cry countless times is what you were trying to hold on to and risk closeness with God for? Why?!” Honestly, I feel like if I woke up tomorrow moring feeling God telling me to tell the guy we aren’t friends, that would be A-okay; I’d do it.

        I made a list of things earlier that was basically me saying to God, “Okay, these are up for discussion if need be; whatever You want, let me know.” And I found this song, Surrender by Joy Williams, it is so beautiful and it fits my situation perfectly!

        I am soo happy now. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for praying for me, and please pray for me now to keep the mindset I have now, that God has control over everything in my life, all belongs to Him, nothing is hidden away in my heart away from Him. And please pray He would not let me fall back to that guy. I never want to be in love with him or make him an idol ever again! Please pray for the Lord to continue healing me from all the pain and other bad things I have felt because of that guy.

        Thanks so much once again! <3

        • Dear Anon,
          I’m so glad to hear the way that the Lord has been working in your heart. It’s always encouraging to see God answer a prayer… especially one for a friend.
          You have the right mindset here! Is there really any guy that is worth distracting yourself from God? no. And in the end, whatever guy you do end up falling for should encourage you to grow closer to God, rather than pull you further away.
          Anyway, I wanted to let you know that if you ever have any more questions, you’re welcome to contact mere here or email me at:
          aheartformyshepherd{at}1in1000{dot}org

          Blessings to you, my friend, as you focus your heart on God! πŸ™‚
          -RachelAllison

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