4 Steps To Take When It Feels Like Your Life Plans Have Fallen Apart
I did it all right. I got decent grades in school and started attending a private Christian university upon graduating. I had a plan, I followed it and now I had another plan. I was going to go to college and become a successful journalist.
From the outside, from the world’s point of view my plan seemed perfect. I was doing all of the right things and following the world’s plan to “success”. Then all of a sudden, my world was flipped upside down. Halfway through my first semester in college I had to drop out due to some unforeseen circumstances. My entire life plan was shattered into a million little pieces. I never felt more lost or broken.
Situations like these are so difficult for us to imagine and comprehend, especially at that moment. How could this plan not work? What am I going to do now? This plus a ton of other questions consumed my thoughts. I was the girl who always planned, who always had things figured out. I knew how my entire life was supposed to go. What do you do when your entire life plan is swept out form beneath you?
I did the only thing I knew to do, and I want to share those things with you today if you find yourself in a similar situation:
1. I surrendered to God
Something I quickly realized was that my identity was wrapped up in who I was going to become on this earth. That’s why I felt so broken when my life plan was shattered. If I wasn’t going to be the next Barbara Walters, then who was I going to be? Would I even matter or have value if I couldn’t pursue my dreams? If you find yourself in a similar situation, I want to encourage you to surrender to God. Don’t let your identity be wrapped up in who you think you will be in this world, instead let it be defined by who God says you are to Him in heaven.
2. I let go of my life plan
One of the most important and life-changing decisions I have ever made was to let go of my life plan. It was the most challenging thing to do for someone who wanted to be in control. But that exactly is the problem, needing to control. We can’t control things and the moment we accept that we will start to fully live in the freedom God has for us.
3. I surrender to God's plan
Letting go of your life plan does not mean giving up. It’s not a place where we should get stuck. We let go of our plan and then we learn what it’s like to surrender to God’s plan. He HAS a plan for our life, the Bible tells us so:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." [Jeremiah 29.11, NKJV]
And if God has a plan for our life, then we don’t need to create one.
4. I followed God into the unknown
Our life with God was made to be an adventure. I’m not just saying that because it sounds cool, I am saying it because it’s true. I learned to live my life by faith. I learned to stop planning and instead to start listening, doing, and trusting every step of the way.
The beginning of this story is just the beginning. If my life plan hadn’t been shattered into a million pieces then I wouldn’t be living the life that I am today—one that is way bigger, better andmore beautiful than anything I could have hoped, dreamed or imagined. Instead of being a journalist I became an editor of a magazine I created to help women, I ended up going to a Bible college where I met my amazing husband, and I get to do what I love each and every single day.
Ever since I had that experience I stopped planning my life. Why? Because I realized that anything I could come up with would be no match to what God has planned for me. So now, I just live an adventure, with no life plan but to follow God daily as He leads me into the plan HE has for me.
Are you living your God-adventure? If you aren’t, it’s never too late to start.