I’ll admit it.
I like to know what is going on—you know like the details of what to expect in a given situation or circumstance or relational dynamic, or life.
I prefer practical preparedness, and emotional—if possible. Albeit its simply not the way life happens—not even in Christ, not quite.
Firstly, I do not mean that in Christ we cannot go boldly before the throne of grace or stroll through the garden of our heart with Jesus and not receive answers to our questions in the conversations we have with Abba.
We most definitely can.
Hope, the hope we have in Jesus, is an expectation—and it’s an expectation of good. We are our Father’s children in Christ and we can expect good gifts from Him.
We can talk to Him, about anything and everything, and really hear from Him too.
Remember? A still small voice.
That being said, it doesn’t mean He tells us every single detail of every step He’s directed for us.
It’s not because He is maliciously withholding those details either. He draws us near to Him and leads us into deeper relationship with Him—into greater depths of His trustworthiness, if we let Him.
He wants us to remember and trust that even without all those little details we can expect that His steps for us are good because He is good and He is good towards us.
Practical preparedness, and emotional too, has everything to do with us trusting God (which makes preparation very possible, because He is totally trustworthy)—and if there are areas in which we struggle to trust Him, then its also about receiving His help to overcome the struggle.
Its already in the bag for that matter because we are over-comers in Christ.
I know this all to be true, but it is a crop still being cultivated by the Word in the garden of my heart.
There were many years of my life in which I tried to control my immediate surroundings as much as possible so that I would know what to expect. I started to plan.
I planned by keeping planners.
While many folks would read this and think, “What’s the big deal? They’re just planners.” There was something fear-based about my reasons for keeping planners.
I didn’t even realize until I started experiencing a very intimate relationship with the Lord about six years ago.
It was the beginning of 2010 (a new year) and it was time to get a new planner, but in prayer I heard the Lord tell me not to use a planner for a time.
“Like how long is a time,” I asked Him.
I literally felt panic.
I laugh at myself now, but I wasn’t laughing then.
Most people in my life then wouldn’t have associated me as a planner, especially not back when I started in my early 20’s. I was thought of as free-spirited and spontaneous—irrational even, on account of having been so temperamental.
However, growing up in a volatile home caused me to experience fearfulness and insecurity, so feeling in control of my life (or what happens in a given day) eased the sense of fearfulness and insecurity.
That string theory was bunched up with a whole slew of knots.
What I am learning in Christ (more and more) about plans and planning has everything to do with trusting Jesus—and He completely trusts Abba Father.
I’ve so many experiences that testify of His trustworthiness and then I find myself forgetting.
Praise God for the Holy Spirit who reminds me.
In Staying Encouraged, I wrote about hearing back from a job I thought I really wanted–and one I believed Abba was blessing me to receive.
The industry was familiar, the pay was great, and the challenge exciting. But, it would mean holding off on other plans I was passionate about.
I asked Abba for advice.
The most encouraging and important thing He spoke into my heart was that I am blessed in Christ and so my blessing goes with me. The other plans would only be held off for a time, if I really wanted to take the job.
Sometimes my mind gets stuck in this rut of thinking–you know, come decision time–that I will somehow mess up His plans for me.
And. I start to worry.
Worry is exactly what I did too.
We kept talking and those desires in my heart stirred up.
Then He asked me, “What do you really want to do, beloved?”
“I want Your best plans for me, Abba,” I said, excitedly.
In that moment, I knew that I didn’t want to take the job.
I didn’t want to keep holding off on the other plans I believe are desires from the Lord.
I wanted to be in the city I knew He put in my heart—even if I wasn’t sure about all the little details. Even if family and friends thought I was crazy to pass on a cushy job.
I wanted to fight the good fight of faith for the direction and plans I believe the Lord was leading me to go.
A few days later, I received an email from a Montessori school I had contacted about a position nearly a year earlier. I met the office manager and got the job—right in the city of my heart’s desire!
Children are a huge part of my life in Christ and working with them again is amazing.
Psalm 37:4 (NASB) says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Abba knows my heart. He knows He is the desire of my heart.
Even when I stumble or flail about because of worry, He always leads me to His next step–joyfully and peacefully.
The Lord is my Shepherd, and I can trust Him.