- Stacey Darling
The Plans Of Man Are Many
The Lord often asks us to do things that we may not understand and that others may not understand. This can be confusing, scary and can also be isolating. I can think of two major times this has occurred in my own life. Both times that I had my children, I felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to stay home and raise them during their first years of life. This was not something I had expected, especially with my first child. I was a special education teacher, working for the same school for over 10 years and I was making a great income, worked with friends, felt comfortable, knew what to expect and felt respected. With my second child, the Lord spoke to me in the same way. This put my career on halt again.
I do love my boys. They mean everything to me. Knowing that they are safe at home with me every day is comforting and gives me a sense of peace that I didn’t have when Elijah attended daycare for a short time. I know there are benefits to having the boys home with me but that doesn’t change the fact that I still ask the Lord why? When? Or what’s next?
There are some days when I feel fidgety and frustrated. I feel stagnant and wonder what my purpose is. Yes, my purpose is to be a mother and a wife, but it doesn’t change the fact that I often have these feelings of wanting to do more, to be more.
At one point, I allowed those feelings to consume my thoughts and decided to test the waters and applied for a few different career opportunities. I even had a couple of interviews and second interviews. Ultimately though, the Lord closed those doors and did not allow others to open. At the time, I didn’t see it as Him working in my life and I experienced a great sense of rejection. That spirit of rejection began to wear on my confidence and my self-worth.
The enemy was waiting and salivating, ready to pounce. Using his deceptive ways, He tried to make me believe that I was rejected because I wasn’t smart enough or wasn’t skilled enough. I started to experience anxiety over past decisions that I had made. I started believing the lies that the enemy was telling me.
“Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
It wasn’t long before the Lord found a way to speak to me through His word. He reminded me that He had plans for me and that it wasn’t up to me to figure out my next steps. The truth is, I knew that the opportunities I was applying for I didn’t really feel passionate about and there was one that I didn’t want at all but still felt hurt when they didn’t choose me. I had applied for those jobs based on how I was feeling about myself not because I really wanted them or felt that the opportunity would benefit my family. More importantly, I had applied for those jobs without consulting Him and without asking Him for direction first.
The Lord had protected me. He was guiding me and directing my steps. When He changed the lenses I was looking through, I could clearly see that He was at work in my life.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
The Lord has definitely been directing my steps as of late. I’m on a completely unexpected and new path. He is using me as a vessel to spread His message and His love. There is no greater purpose for His children.
I never felt worthy of God’s love or of being a true servant of God but the fact that He has entrusted me to do His work, there are no words to express how loved and valued I feel by my Father above. His plans and purpose for my life are so much greater than the plans I have for myself. This is true for all of His children.
“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13