A Plan

I recently started a new adventure. I’ve transferred to an university about five hours from home. As much as I’ve always wanted to advance my learning, I haven’t had an easy time adjusting here. Usually the first thing people ask when you tell them you’re at a college is “what’s your major?” Well people. That’s tricky answer.

You see I don’t know. I have a declared major, but I don’t understand why I’m majoring in it. It’s not that I don’t like my major (I really like it), it’s just that there aren’t many jobs available after graduation. And isn’t the whole point of getting a degree to get a job? So I really don’t know why I’m going to college. Also God isn’t really speaking much about what he’s doing with me right now so really I’m just having to trust. Believe me when I say I’m trying to trust…through my confusion, frustration, doubt, and complete meltdowns (sorry mom).

As much as I keep trying to convince myself that I should pack up and go home, God keeps stepping in and saying “trust me a little longer.” So I’ve come up with a plan (because if I can’t make a plan of my life I can make a plan about not having a plan of life, right?).

Step one. Admit that I’m no okay with not knowing. As the old saying goes “before you can fix a problem, you have to admit you have one.” Not only am I admitting this to myself  but I’m telling God. Obviously He already knows this, but somehow talking to God about my problems ends up with us being closer and His voice being clearer. And really God is a fantastic listener.

Step two. Praise Him for this mess. Radical move, I know. Here is the thing: no matter how hard it gets, something fantastic is going to come from this. It sure doesn’t feel like it and I for sure don’t want to thank God for difficulties, but when I give praise for a situation that I don’t understand and don’t like, I am saying that I God knows best despite my doubts.

Step three. Take the next step. There comes a time when I’ve just got to do it. And God has been so good to cut the steps into baby step and the baby steps into shuffles…actually, we are probably at the point where He’s carrying me while I freak out.

Step four. Repeat as often as needed.

So that’s it folks. My plan about not having a plan. Now my plan is to finish my instructors’ plans for homework (which I really think is a secret plan to see how far they can go without exploding my brain).

Life is Busy

Amid all the college work, barn chores, and just general life I haven’t had much time to think let alone write! As much as I disliked doing it, I ended up diminishing the amount of livestock in the barnyard just so that I could keep up everything.

The busyness is a blessing in several ways: I’m learning a lot and I don’t have time to stew over things. Most single people around Valentines Day are in the dumps. I’m way too busy for that! I barely have time to do any hobbies, let alone be in a relationship!

But I have also found that the busier I get, the more I push God to the side. Bible study gets rushed through and prayer is skipped so that I can “get to school on time” or because “I just can’t seem to focus”. As I look at it though, I’m finding that my problem isn’t time management or focus. I can get to places on time and still get all the stuff I WANT to get done, done. My problem isn’t that I can’t focus. I can make myself focus on school when it needs to get done.

The bigger issue is that I have prioritized everything else above quiet time. As life got busier, I started cutting out and diminishing things I felt wasn’t important (like the ton of livestock I had in the barn). Unfortunately, I also cut into God’s time. And it took a while for me to realize it. I’ve missed out on so much wisdom, much more than I can ever learn on my own or through my teachers!

So as life gets busy, make sure to stop every once in a while and double check your priorities. Don’t be dismayed if you have slacked off like me. Even Jim Elliot struggled with “consistent thoughtlessness and careless neglect of prayer and Bible study” (The Journals of Jim Elliot, Feb 9, 1948). He was able to overcome and grow with Christ’s help and so can we! We just have to start with a quiet room and God’s listening ears. Life, in the mist of our busyness, can still be used by God. All we have to do is ask for another chance.