I walked into her office, spoke with her for no more than two minutes, then walked out.
It was a simple transaction, that spring 2011 day, but it had great implications. I walked into the building as a soon-to-be graduate less than three months away from starting graduate school. I walked out as a soon-to-be graduate with not a clue of what was next. Ever so politely, I had withdrawn myself from Physical Therapy school.
I should have known it was coming. That fall I had nearly changed my major as a senior, feeling stretched and pulled in so many directions and not being sure which way was up. Not that anything is wrong with Athletic Training or Physical Therapy, but Christ was grabbing more of my affections and stirring plans for my life that I would have never given for myself. I was learning and growing and changing. I was not the same person I was when I stepped foot on the campus. Thus, trying to conform to the original plan was just not working.
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” [Proverbs 16:9]
Now, two years later, I look out my window at the acacia trees and the sandy, rocky soil and the mountains in the distance. I breathe in the fresh air and feel the warmth and enjoy the wind. I draw my attention inside and notice the tall pile of compositions I still need to grade and think about each one of the lives that are represented by the grammatically-struggling words on those pages. Those lives that have worked their way ever so easily into my heart.
This is my life. I live in Kenya.
|With a few of my students on a recent trip|
This was not my plan. My plan never gave a second thought to the vast land known as Africa. My plans preferred to stay in America, where I would find a nice job, a nice husband, and settle down into a nice house. But my plans centered around ME. What I wanted, what I desired. Sure, I wanted to honor God in all of that, but I had it a bit backwards. I would pick my path, and then God could bless me in what I had chosen. He was coming second.
I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I have learned firsthand that when I seek God first, He gives me new desires--His desires. And His desires don’t center around catering to my wants, but rather around bringing Him glory and seeing his life-changing Name declared throughout the whole of this world. Hence, my life here in the middle of the African desert.
And isn’t that the way it should be? The God who made the universe and allows our lungs to breathe in the air He provides shouldn’t be an after-thought in our lives.
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” [Jonah 2:8]
This weekend, many will honor the sacrifice that God the Father made in sending His Son to die for us, and the sacrifice that God the Son made in actually enduring that death, His Father’s judgment for all of mankind’s sins. But, can we really stop for a minute and actually think about that? God loves us with such a crazy, scandalous love that He allowed His Son to be separated from Himself and murdered. Jesus paid the punishment that our sins deserve. God loves you personally, intimately. He desires for all to know Him and experience this lavish grace and love. To experience abundant life as he directs and as He plans, for surely His plans are better than ours. Do you know Him in this way?
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? [Romans 8:32]
So, this weekend, I am also celebrating how two years ago, God loved me enough to flip my plans upside down and start me on this new journey. I have hardly ever known what is coming next, but the knowledge that He is leading is plenty for me. I pray that this weekend also finds you rejoicing in Him, and in His plans for your life. Happy Easter, dear friends.
|My math class, working on an exam|