To the girl who’s life hasn’t gone as planned:
I know you. In fact, I’ve been you. I’m still you sometimes. You have this master plan for your life. You want it to go perfectly. Anything outside of that plan is just wrong. If you don’t do what you originally thought, or what everyone expects, you feel like you’ve failed. You feel like you’ve wasted your time. I know exactly how you feel.
I’m a planner by nature. I love lists and detailed plans and deviation from them makes me anxious. So naturally, I had this perfect plan for my life after high school. I was going to go away to college and live in the dorms for the first four years. I was going to join clubs, form lifelong friendships, and have the perfect college experience before moving on in my education and becoming a trauma surgeon. I had dreamed of this perfect plan from the time I started junior high school. When my plans were flipped upside down, I had no idea how I was going to fix it all.
In order to avoid student loans, I decided to attend community college for my first two years. This wrecked my “perfect college experience.” Instead of making friends and having fun, I was taking online classes and finding any reason to avoid sitting in classes. I felt let down and robbed of the “college experience.” To be honest, I was angry. I was still in pursuit of a medical degree and got far ahead in my classes, but I was so ready to be done with school that I changed my major to nursing. I got a job at a hospital, thinking I was doing the right thing and that it would better prepare me for nursing school. I felt like I finally had control of my life and that everything would go as I planned from that point. Boy was I WRONG.
I quickly discovered that I was not meant to be a nurse. All of a sudden, I felt like I lost control again. I had to declare a new major and spend extra time taking classes to “catch up” in that major. I felt so behind. I felt like I wasted so much time and money on unnecessary classes. I was told that I would have to go to school an extra semester to finish my degree. I was so angry at myself and with God. I felt like nothing was going the way I planned. Nothing was the way I wanted it to be. I was too busy feeling sorry for myself to realize that I should be focused on His plans, not mine. I was focused on doing what was normal (finishing college in four years) instead of on the plan He has for me.
It took a long time to realize that I thought I needed to do certain things because they are a cultural norm. I wanted to feel like a success instead of a failure. Sometimes our path is different. This does not mean that you make bad choices for a reason and that God wanted you to do that. This means that sometimes you are being protected and God’s plan for your life is not exactly what you thought it would be. Queen Esther did not imagine that her life would play out the way it did, but she was just where she needed to be for God to use her.
If your life isn’t exactly how you planned, believe that it is so that you can be moved into something greater than you imagined. You don’t have to do certain things in a certain order just because that is what everyone else is doing. My life is dramatically different than I first imagined. You could be lead in a different direction, follow the direction that God gives to you. Pray and trust God that he is doing something special with your life. You were created for such a time as this.