Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hi, my name is Jessica

And I'm a planner.

Sometimes I'm organized, and every now and then I have a clean house. I try to be responsible with time and money. And I always want to plan ahead.

We're moving? Where? I want to know all of the details years ahead of time. What kind of place will we live in? Let me get online so I can analyze our options. What kinds of jobs will we have? When will we have kids? I want to know so I can plan our lives accordingly.

I think this is probably normal. I mean, who doesn't like to know what to expect in the coming months and years?

For me, however, it gets in the way of trusting God. When I don't know what to expect in the future, I often turn to worrying, making arbitrary lists, frustrated crying, and peppering Josh with questions he doesn't know how to answer. As a result, I'm miserable.

Wouldn't you know, God keeps putting me in situations where I don't know the outcome. I can think of many times in just the past five years that I've had to wait and trust. Most of the time I've been pretty terrible at it. But I think that God, in his love, is going to continue to give me opportunities to trust Him. Goodness knows I need the practice. Now is one of those times.

We know very little about what our life will be like after May 2009. Josh will graduate from Kelley, and we'll move away from Bloomington. This much is relatively clear. But beyond that, like a location? Jobs? Friends? No idea. It is difficult for the compulsive planner within to come to terms with that reality.

But this fall, I'm doing my best to choose trust. God hasn't deserted me yet, and I believe he never will. He hasn't promised that life will be easy or absent of suffering, but He has promised that nothing will separate me from His love. He has bigger and better plans for my life than I could ever dream of, so instead of getting in the way with my limited comprehension and incessant need to know what is going on, I'm going to stand back and let Him lead us. Yikes, it isn't easy.

This passage, from a Reformed theological document known as the Heidelberg Catechism, has been a favorite since I was young:

Q. What do you believe when you say, "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth"?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who out of nothing created heaven and earth
and everything in them,
who still upholds and rules them
by his eternal counsel and providence,
is my God and Father
because of Christ his Son.

I trust him so much that I do not doubt
he will provide
whatever I need
for body and soul,
and he will turn to my good
whatever adversity he [allows]
in this sad world.

He is able to do this because he is almighty God;
he desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

Q&A 26


Anonymous said...


Searle Family said...

I too have taken this leap of Faith. When we decided to sell our home of 11 years and embark on this MBA adventure, I decided to turn it all over to the Lord. I do have to remind myself from time to time that He is mindful of me and my family. He has a plan for us and will lead us to where He needs us. Sometimes I get impatient, but when I can truly step back and place His will before mine, I feel the greatest peace and know that it is right.

Short Stop said...

WOW, Jessica.

I, too, struggle with not knowing the future, and tend to worry SO much when I'm not quite sure what the future looks like.

That section of the HC is so profound, and so comforting. Thank you for sharing it.

Dave and Jenni said...

Thank you for sharing what's on your heart, Jessica. We're a lot alike in the whole planning kind of way, so this was a great reminder for me to, to trust Him in everything and not just when it's convenient.

Kristen said...

I am a planner too - big time! I don't do well with spur of the moment things.

This is a wonderful reminder. When we were moving someone gave me a plaque that said God not only knows where he is taking you but how to get you there (that's the gist of it, not exact quote) but it really resonated with me.

Lynn said...

Wow, this sounds like you could be writing about me! This spoke right to my heart. Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement in the end. What a mighty God we serve!

The biggest struggle for my Type A personality is when I HAVE a plan and God's timing is different than mine. Infertility was a BIG struggle for this planner. I learned a lot. Can't wait to see where He takes you next summer!