I plan everything, all the time. From the time I plan on waking up to when I water the plants in my apartment…spontaneity isn’t one of my strong points.
So it probably comes as no surprise that being told last week that us teacher trainees should start applying for jobs over Christmas jump started that part of my brain that needs to plan everything. And the moment I came home on Wednesday, I sat down and read through everything I could possibly need to know about applying. The control freak is having a party in my head, guys.
And as I went to bed on Wednesday, I felt pretty utterly despaired. I always knew that getting a job as a teacher would be rough, as openings are controlled by the state and not the schools themselves, which means I could potentially get a job far, far from home. But I have been able to push those fears away as being “future problems” for quite a while. Turns out the future has become present, and here I am.
I went to bed and was just falling asleep when I thought of something.
One of the bible verses I had to memorize for school when I was younger was:
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)
If there has ever been a moment in my life where a bible verse has rung true, this is it. How strange for it to come to me in a moment like this.
I have plans. So, so many of them. And they all involve avoiding harm, they all involve getting the best outcome for my life, for my future, for my relationship, for my career. Of course I want to be happy and in control.
How calming is it to realize God has the same plans?
I know not everyone is religious and most people can’t really find truth or hope in the Bible. I understand that. But whether or not you believe in God, I think we can all agree that all the anxiety I feel (constantly) won’t make the outcome of my life any different.
With the year coming to an end, everyone is making plans for the New Year. We all want to start the year “fresh”, we make plans to better ourselves, to be more productive, to be more aware, to be more active. I have written a post about New Years Resolutions before, so I won’t get into that too much, but my point is: We all make plans.
Plans to give you hope and a future.
I firmly believe that. I don’t believe in predetermination, but I believe that He sees our future and that He doesn’t want to harm us. And if there is a future for me out there that isn’t random, then the plans I’m making shouldn’t involve obnoxious worrying. Because, really, worrying and planning all stems from the need to avoid harm and preparing yourself for all possible outcomes.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
I know what’s important to me. It might feel like my whole life is made up of only school, preparing lessons and more school, but, while that is extremely important to me, I am so over feeling like it’s the ONLY thing that’s important. I’m trying to allow that to free me.
I know what’s important to me. I have known for a long time and sometimes it just feels like it’s too cheesy or too simple. I feel like it’s often frowned upon when women who put a lot of work into their “career” choose anything over work. As if the choosing to be with the one you love over your potential job somehow makes you weak or stupid.
Of course, I love my job and I really, really want to teach next year. But, when it comes down to it, I don’t know if it will make me happy if I choose my career over everything else. My (very wise) mom asked me the other day what good a great job would do me if I am stuck far away for the next ten years.
So often we all get caught up in the little things that seem so big. The plans we make feel so important and then we spend hours and nights worrying they won’t work out. I feel like I am so focussed on the future that I forget what is most important to me and what is good for me.
For I know the plans I have for you.
If someone is already planning for me, why should I worry so much? If someone already knows my future and that someone loves me, why do I force myself to think through everything that could possibly end up going horribly wrong? It doesn’t help me. It doesn’t make me stronger, or better, or happier. It makes me small and fearful.
I choose to believe that my life will turn out well. I choose to trust that the plans made for my life aren’t harmful or destructive. The plans I have for myself might not work out, yes. The coming years are so uncontrollable, though, that there is no way I can fix anything by going over it in my head every day.
The plans I have for you.
I have prospered so much over the past one and a half year. I have grown, grown up, grown into a person I like so much more. I feel older, wiser, more mature. And, at the same time, I feel more raw and myself than I did all throughout my studies.
I know what I want. And I know I might not get all of it.
But, if I am lucky enough to get it all, then all the worry my brain is infested with will have been for nothing. And, if I have to choose between leaving to work away from home and staying, the planning will have been in vain.
Why not just be thankful there are so many things I can make plans for? Why not feel thankful, knowing that there are bombs crashing into homes elsewhere and I am fretting over what my future will look like, not whether I will have one. Why not reflect how lucky I am to even engage the possibilty of having to choose between career and love.
For I know.
I know what’s most important to me. I know what I want.
The plans I have.