Surefire Plans

My time here is short.

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This summer did not turn out the way that I had planned. More like, I was on my intended road heading westward towards the ocean. Then comes the rain, the lightning and the thunder. Trees fall all along the path I am going, blocking north, west and south. The only way to go is in the opposite direction. Still, all is well, I already had a plan B if east had to be the way to go. Next, I head east away from the ocean inland towards the valley. However, right as I reach the valley, I realize that the way I had gone has only led to a dead end. I take another route and I keep reaching dead end after dead end. By this time, I find myself back on the path westward towards the ocean, however the path is still altered.

I was bold enough near the end of this past semester to say to God in the face of a decision to “Make clear the way to go” even by completely closing one of the ways. Plan A was to stay in Washington, keep two jobs that were already lined up, get a taste of independence while paying my own rent and buying groceries and such, and hang out with my friends and church family. Suddenly, I found out that my Father was having cardiac bypass surgery. It was then that I was on my way in the opposite direction. To my comfort, I had prepared for the possibility of going back to California for the summer.

I would get a job, get involved in a music ministry, and be able to help around the house during my Dad’s recovery from surgery. This plan was shattered to bits when I tried many times over to get a job. Also, the churches that had proposed me to serve in the ministry never kept up contact with me, even though I had. I also had two other jobs that were believed to be secured but ended up falling through. I almost did not write this blog post awhile ago because I thought I was about to start a full-time job in a few days. Then that fell through unexpectedly.

Awhile ago, while a friend was praying for me, she perceptively prayed that I would take this time that I have with my family as preparation for the future. It was then that I realized fully that I may never have the opportunity to spend this much time with my parents again. My life was going forward, I was growing older, becoming more and more independent of my parents and of my life at home in the town I was born and raised. I was trying to rush to the future, to take extra measures to become independent even quicker. However, God was communicating to me that I did not need to live so much in the future. Instead, in this time, I needed my family and my family needed me. I needed to live in the moment and experience everything life threw my way. I also have learned that I did not lose anything from taking those opportunities to get jobs and serve for they only pointed me in the right direction despite their failures. I should take every opportunity as it comes and let failure be a lesson, success be an indication, and the Holy Spirit be my guide.

Instead, my summer has looked like a lot of time at home with my family. It has been space in my mind to be able to deal with personal issues that always seem to come up after a long hard semester where they are overlooked. It has been heart ache and it has been moments of pure joy. I am writing again, after I had been onĀ  a bumpy hiatus for a couple of years. Even songs are finding their way into my notebook. Weaknesses are being realized as well as strengths. Old friends have been a soothing balm, and new friends an iron chisel. God has given me this summer as a gift, despite its difficulties.

I am not writing this post to complain. I actually am content in all of these plans foiling because it has been God very carefully directing my path just in the way that I had asked. It was not at all in the way that I had planned, for a lot of my plans were with the future in mind. I thought that my plans were good. However, God’s plans are always better. The path that God set out will always be the most challenging, yet the most peaceful. God’s plan will always shape your character the most, yet in that you will secure your identity. God’s plans may humble you the most, but God will be all the more glorified.

Laus Deo Semper,

-Bethany

Here is a song I thoroughly enjoy by a band that will always be a love of mine:

and this one from the same band: