Senior year of college. Last semester. You have this entire plan laid out for how you would like the next couple months to go (or maybe you don’t even know where to begin). This is where I found myself (and where all of my friends were as well) earlier this year. God had set something on my heart, yet it seemed as though that plan was not working out the way it should. Would God really bring me this far to have me fail?
That answer for me, at the time, was no, but the honest answer is that it could be yes. And not fail in that you have failed God’s plan for your life (which is not possible) or that you are not good enough to be this or do this. It is the idea that the future you thought God had for you failed, so that something even better could take its place.
In society today, I hear so many people say “God will get you through it, He would not bring you through all of that for you not to finish it.” And unfortunately I cannot say I agree with that. I believe God has an indescribable, good plan for your life. This plan though, does not mean it will work out in the way you want it. It does not mean that God will finish that plan you have set in your head.
I do believe that God’s plan for your life is good. And that could mean failing. He may bring you to nursing school to take you out of it and not become a nurse. What if you needed that time to show that He had a much better career plan for your life? What if you got into a career you did not even enjoy? I truly believe that at every moment in our life we should be asking for discernment on God’s plan for our lives. I think in this day of age, we all have this idea that if we can just get to that starting point, whether it be an entry-level job at our dream company, the acceptance letter into a rigorous academic program, or those first few sales from your brand-new small business, that we can make it far beyond that to our wildest dreams. I for one am so guilty of this. I want to believe that if I put in the effort and work, I will be rewarded from it.
And often times, this will not be the case. Things will not go the way we expected. Things may not even go the way you thought God had originally planned. And that is okay. In fact, that is good. It reminds us that we are not in control, and we could not even pretend to understand what plan has been laid out for us. This whole idea of failing as a part of God’s plan honestly is a big fear of mine. A fear that I struggle with, and I know others do as well. A fear so crippling it can make us unsure of anything God has laid out for our lives. When I fail in something I thought God had laid out perfectly for me, all the doubts encircle me of “What did I do wrong?”, “Was God not listening to me”, or “Did He change His mind? Was I not good enough for that plan?” I think the first step in getting rids of this fear and these doubts we have grown accustomed to in our culture, is the idea that failure could be better for our lives than success. That by failing something I have better discernment on what I need to do and where I need to go with my life.
Crazy, right? In my last semester of college, I was so sure that God had placed in my heart a specific area of nursing to work in. I had my preceptorship in this area, and I got immense joy from being able to work in this field. So when I applied for jobs in this area of nursing, every single application came back as rejected, too many applicants, or I just never heard back from the hospital. That was just a stab into my heart. I was so sure God had laid out this plan for me, everything was fitting into place, for all of it to come crashing down. I had to go with my back-up option, knowing full well that was not where my heart was at yet. Still to this day I don’t understand why that part of the plan “failed”. I do not get why God would placed a love and passion for me in that field to not bring me to it as an actual career. I might not ever understand. And that is just a part of our lives. We cannot comprehend nor begin to understand why God does certain things. I just have to move on and trust that His will for my life is so much better than I can ever dream.
I know most of us have had a similar experience or will probably soon have a similar experience. Where do we go from here? In my own life, I do not know how long I will stay at my current job. So I take each and every day as it comes, re-evaluating how things are going, and constantly praying for God’s wisdom and discernment when it comes to what He has set out for my life. That is not the answer you want to hear. But I believe having a different perspective, really having an eternal perspective, is the best way to grow through an experience like this. At the time it might be devastating. But in light of eternity and this small amount of time we will be here on Earth, is it really that devastating? What if you look back in 5 years in a completely different place than you had planned, and realize that God knew what He was doing from the beginning? Or what if you end up with that plan you thought would happen, it just happens 5 years down the row because the timing was not right?
God’s timing is perfect. His plan for you is so good. And He loves you more than words could ever say. Trust in His will. Constantly pray for His wisdom and for His will to be done in your life. And rest easy in knowing that God has got it under control, and you do not have the pressure of making sure everything goes “just right”.