I had my life planned out by the time I was 14.
Be a graphic designer.
My love of art and computers made this decision easy. And going into high school, digital art was just becoming popular.
Go to college at MNU.
After all, being a Nazarene in the midwest meant you were destined to go to MNU or another Nazarene school. The admissions department didn’t spend thousands of dollars on birthday postcards to send to 10-18 year olds for nothing.
Get married at 21.
In fact, get married in MAY when I was 21. I thought 21 would be a good age. Not too young, like 18, but not too old that you had to be independent at age 23 or something crazy like that.
Work in a church Communications department.
I thought I could use my talents in a place I really felt at home and passionate about.
Be a successful, influential woman.
I didn’t quite know what this meant, but I knew women who resembled what I wanted to be someday.
But life has a funny way of not turning out how you expected.
As I look through this list, I’m surprised to see that I’ve actually accomplished three of these things. And yet, I look at my life, and this is nothing how I imagined it turning out. Obviously even those “goals” didn’t play out as great as I had hoped. Sure, I’m in “a season” and “this too shall pass.” But really, I’m rather disappointed in how my life has turned out so far. Am I allowed to say that out loud?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely blessed. But I’m still disappointed. I look at this list, and even though things have been accomplished, this is nothing how I hoped my life would look like at 23. Goes to prove how great I am at planning my life at age 14. I didn’t really have goals beyond my 20’s. Which can make things tricky when you get past your early 20’s and have no idea what you’re supposed to do.
I’m not exactly sure what I had hoped “23” would look like, but I know it wasn’t this.
So how do I learn to be content with what God has given me? With where he’s placed me? With where he’s taking me? With who he’s made me? How do I give up my own goals and hopes and dreams and trust that, “in Him,” I am made complete? That He has a plan to give me hope for my future. Not to destroy me, but to help me prosper?
What do you do when your life doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped it would?