My mom knows I love planners, so she bought me one for my birthday. Its front cover says, “Plan out your future and make your dreams reality.” Whenever I read these words my mind goes to these two verses:
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalms 37:23-24(NLT)
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalms 37:4 (NLT).
For many years I didn’t know what it meant to find my identity in Christ or understand how he could lead my life. I thought “how does someone I can’t even see direct me?” I went about this time trying to figure it out on my own. I wasn’t sure who I was or who I was supposed to be, but I was determined to figure that out. My first 2 years of college I changed my major from education, to nursing, to broadcast journalism and then back to education. I picked nursing because I thought some people would see me in a more prestigious light. But guess what? I hated it! I didn’t even want to give my classmates a fake physical. After realizing this was not for me I panicked. Too many people in my life kept speaking negatively to me about becoming a teacher. So what did I do next? I tried to find a new career path that would be a little more impressive. My husband and I lived in Gainesville FL at the time, so we would attend a lot of the UF games. There were many times I’d see this sports reporter named Tracy Wolfson. I thought, “I want to be just like Tracy! She’s so cool and her job looks awesome!” Next thing you knew I marched into my guidance counselor office to change my major to broadcast journalism. Now in no way am I saying you should never change your major or be inspired by others. What I did was make these choices all for the wrong reasons. I did it to hear things like: “that’s an excellent choice Chelsea,” “it’s so much better than going into teaching,” or “wow! That is really awesome!” All that mattered was finding ways to never have people question me.
After about a year went by my husband and I moved to Orlando. This was the time in my life I really started drawing closer to God. I kept hearing this voice saying, “Chelsea, you are not going to major in broadcast journalism.” I knew it was God speaking to me. I felt annoyed because I didn’t want to have to go in and change my major once again. I felt like God kept showing me I was just trying to be like “Tracy” and that I needed to figure out who he made Chelsea to be. That was scary stuff. I literally thought I was the most untalented and unintelligent person created who had nothing to offer. I had a thought that went something like this: “I can work be like Tracy who I look up to.” Yeah, sounds kind of absurd right?
In the beginning of discovering who I was supposed to be felt uncomfortable. I had a friend ask me about my passions, talents and if I knew what my calling was. I had no answer! My desires were buried deep down, but I felt embarrassed to even speak about them. I literally thought people thought of me as I thought of myself; Untalented and unintelligent. My new friends were some of the most talented people I’ve ever meet. I’d compare myself and thought I’d never measure up to their awesomeness. There I was trapped in this identity crisis right where the enemy wanted me. I hated it when people would ask me about school and my interests. I’d give a smile and answer that would sound “good enough.” I felt this pressure to just figure who the heck I was supposed to be!
I finally did the scary thing. For the last time I changed my major and for the first time went after some secret desires. Becoming a teacher was always on my mind. The only thing that held me back was focusing on other people’s opinions. I had a desire to start writing and singing. I sat on the bench for a while because of the fear of disappointment. But then courage started rising up inside me. This self-discovering stuff felt like a mental roller-coaster ride, but one I needed to give a chance. When you go to a theme park you’ll see many people standing in a long line waiting and waiting to experience the thrill of that daring rollercoaster. When they finally reach the point of sitting in that seat excitement and nervousness is rushing through their veins. The ride starts and they experience ups, downs, twists and turns. If anyone’s on Sheikra at Bush Gardens they’ll find themselves hanging over a 90 degree drop for what feels like an eternity! On this “Who am I walk?” it felt just like riding Sheikra and I’ll tell you one thing, it’s never been my favorite ride. But sometimes you have to experience uncomfortableness to overcome being stuck in something physically or mentally. Today I can say I’m finishing up my degree to become a teacher, figuring out ways to do more with writing and serving on my church’s worship team. That may not seem like a big deal to some people but for me I see it as how good God is and with him all things are possible on this roller-coaster called life.
Have you ever pictured the “you” from years ago sitting next to the “you” today? The “me” today would tell that girl that she is capable of so much more than she knows and that her confidence is found in Jesus alone. I would share with her Psalms 37:23-24 and 37:4. I’d explain to her that the plans God has for her life is for His glory; that each day He should go before her. I’d remind her of Jeremiah 29:11-14““For I know that plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and 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. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.””Many of us have Jeremiah 29:11 memorized and I just love what follows after it. He says seek and find me with all your heart and that he will bring you back from captivity! Nobody has to stay confined in an identity crisis. Jesus can release you from the imprisoned of doubt and confusion. In life we’ll have all kinds of voices telling us different things. Sometimes it’s family, friends, the enemy and even our own voice! The one voice who will never give you the wrong answer is God. There was the time I was confused on how someone I couldn’t see could direct me. The closer I drew to him the more clear it became. Throughout the bible and to this day God reveals things to his people, whether it is through prayer, other people, sometimes dreams, situations and His Holy Spirit. God will show you whatever he’s calling you to do. John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
You my friend are capable of so much; you’re unique, gifted and purposed. As awesome as the “Tracy’s” are in life, don’t focus on being her because not only will you miss out on your awesomeness but others will miss out on it too! So when the words “ Plan out your future and make your dreams reality” are in front of my face I’ve tweaked it a bit in my mind with, “Let the Lord plan out your future, delight in him and he’ll make your dreams reality.” No matter what you think of yourself today know Gods love for you isn’t ever going away and that he has wonderful plans written out for your life.