I don’t own a planner.
I’m not one for having sticky notes all around my room full of reminders for the day, month and year. My phone alarms only go off in the morning or right after a nap, and my calendar is only full of birthdays rather than due dates and expectations.
But what I do have, however, is a mind racing with goals, thoughts and visions. I am always thinking about where I am going next, what I need to do to get there and how efficient I need to work in order to make it happen. My favorite thing to say about myself is that I am always thinking through walls and around corners, and my mind is always three months ahead. I’m rarely thinking about what I’m doing in the moment, because I was thinking about the present in the past. Some call it unhealthy; I was deeming it as necessary.
So as I approached the summer before my senior year, I knew that I would have to carefully calculate this moment. Starting in September 2016, I began prepping and preparing myself for everything that I wanted to do. I began filling out applications. I started preparing proposals and presentations for all of the dream positions that I wanted. My Google searches included job hunts in places far further than anywhere that I had ever been in my entire life. I had a vision, and I turned my vision into an all-or-nothing, “impossible to fail” plan that I knew would have me with a huge announcement and a major move by the time June hit.
I cannot tell you exactly what God’s voice sounds like. I’m not sure how deep it is or if it comes as a whisper. But I do indeed believe that in the midst of me making all these preparations and decisions without even thinking to ask God what HE thought about it, He laughed. Loudly. From the bottom of His soul.
It was not until the 37th “We are sorry to inform you…” email (And no. I am not exaggerating) that I began to think that maybe my plan was never in THE plan. Yes, I had dreams, goals and thinks that I felt were for me. But maybe they were things that I wasn’t ready for yet. Did I really have everything in order to be across the country for months on end? Is it really my time to have every single thing that I have always wanted? Is that time now, or am I just focusing so hard on making what I want work that I’m ignoring the fact that what I have right in front of me could be the very thing that I’m looking for every and anywhere else?
At my lowest point, I had never felt more incompetent, unqualified or unwanted. I was convinced that I just didn’t have enough creativity or talent to make it where I wanted to. For the first time in a year, I cried. I felt defeated and left behind while it looked as if everyone else was living their very best life. I couldn’t think of new ideas, because I felt as if no one wanted them anymore. I couldn’t even write, which is the one thing that I love to do, because I couldn’t find the joy in it anymore. I can count on one hand how many times I felt that low, and that place was very painful for me to be in.
But now, to finally find myself crossing onto the brighter side of things and working on being appreciative of what I actually do have, I’m starting to think that my “plans” may have fallen through for a reason. If I’m so busy trying to work on my own agenda, what is to happen of the things I already have? If I try to rush experiences out of fear that I’m not doing enough, will I ever really learn to work with what I have? Most importantly, if I can’t learn to appreciate moments in the present while I have them, how much of my life will I continue to let pass me by?
I cannot tell you why everything I had planned on somehow did not work out. I can’t pinpoint exactly where things went left, or how something I thought was so bulletproof didn’t turn into results. What I can say is that whatever it is God has for me, which is HIS plan, must end up being 10 times greater than anything I could have drawn up. Perhaps I am exactly where I am supposed to be, even if it isn’t where I expected to be three months ago. Where I am going will turn out to be greater than where I have been, and it probably will be the best “plan” or vision that I never would’ve thought of.