What's Next?

As a recent college graduate, this is the question that I’ve pretty much been bombarded with over the past couple months, even before I walked across the stage in my cap and gown. We have gotten to the point in society that when we care about a person, we question their future, thinking if we know the future of a person, we can get some sort of security that they will turn out alright. If a person has a plan and things set in stone for their future, they will then be safer and more prepared for life and what the future holds. We think a plan and a sense of security is equal to happiness.

I learned so much over the past four years in college, but the most significant life lesson that I have been learning since I first began my college journey was that plans never come through. Not to be a pessimist, but anytime I made a plan for my future and tried to give myself some sort of blueprint on how to succeed in my life, it was utterly obliterated by what God had planned for me otherwise. In high school I had a grandiose plan of attending school in New York, studying musical theatre and working in the industry. Four years later and I smile thinking about how my life has actually turned out. I ended up at a University that initially, I never even wanted to visit, and yet I know it was the best choice for me and my growth into an adult. I’m going into Directing and Writing, two fields I never even dreamed of getting into, and I’m 21, living in Orange County, hundreds of miles away from my Mom and Dad. If you told me that this is where I would have ended up a couple years ago, I would have probably gotten angry and told you that I am in control of my own future and how dare you suggest that I’m not. But that’s the thing, none of us are. My mom wasn’t, when she vowed to never move to Japan, then months later ended up in a suburb of Tokyo with the whole family for three years; and I wasn’t when I crafted my plans for the future. Hell, I wasn’t even in control of my situation when I tried to plan my future roommate situation a few months ago.

And thats the point, that we cannot trust our own understanding of life and how it will work out. That’s what following Jesus is all about right? You drop your fishing nets and follow him when he calls us to do so. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.” He doesn’t say trust me with just your problems, or your worries, or the things that are easy to bring to him because we cannot understand. In all your ways submit to him. It doesn’t matter if in your head, that plan seems to make sense and works out, if it’s not reliant on God, it will not work. If you are not trusting God fully, whatever you do will be for naught. A Christian life is not about forming your own plans, and giving God the second read thru, it’s about constantly trusting that he will provide, even if it’s scary, even if its not what this world deems as secure, or if its past your own understanding.

Right now I have no idea what my life will look like in a year, or even in six months. I have ideas and possibilities, but to be honest I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing. I know I just need to keep going. I need to write. I need to keep my eyes on God. So to be completely honest I don’t know whats next, but I do know this: the birds of the air are fed, and my heavenly father makes sure of this, I have nothing to fear because I am certainly more precious then they are. God has a plan, past my own understanding and I trust that he will take care of me. My happiness will not be reliant on my own plans, or worldly securities, but on the promise that God will lead me down the path that he has planned before me. 

That being said I have been blessed with housing and job possibilities and opportunities, rest assured I am actually doing something. Gods plans are not one of sloth. Because that’s the reward of trusting in God, you are no longer alone, it’s not your job to plan out everything and you place your burdens and stresses on God. He will take care of you. A week before graduation and I still didn’t know where I was living, but was given an place to stay for just the time I needed. My own plans fell through, but were met with even better opportunities once I trusted in Him and let go of my own need for control.

God has created too amazing of a world, too short of a lifetime for it to be spent living a secure life. He is our ultimate security and when we trust in him, he takes us down a path we could never imagine. He is our own personal life advisor, let him do the work for you, you just have to submit all of you to him, he can’t do anything with

PS. Here are the verses that inspired this post!
Proverbs 3:5-6, Matt 6:26, Matt 16:24, Mark 1:17-18,

Originally posted May 8th, 2014

Lauren Winnenberg