by Meredith Buford
From a young age, you dream of what you want to be when you grow up. You hear your parents say, “you can be anything you want to be” and you envision yourself as a doctor, a veterinarian, a teacher, or even a firefighter that swoops in to save everyone from the blazing flames. Each year at our children’s school, there is a community helper day, and my five year old will lay out three or four different costumes indecisively. She then proceeds to tell me “when I wake up mommy, then I’ll decide who I want be.” How freeing and simplistic?! Her innocence and care free attitude of going to sleep, and then waking up to decide who she wants to be for the day is completely in her control. I am continuously learning that the plan you have for your life is not in your control, and may not always go to plan (You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21)… and, sometimes against your best efforts, the Lord just calls you to be still (Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10). Some doors open along the way that take you by joyful surprise, and some doors close and leave you wondering why? I’ll be the first to tell you that life hasn’t gone according to my grand plan, however there is so much beauty wrapped up in each day because it hasn’t (I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11). In the midst of all the hustle and bustle that each day brings, full of activities for my girls, a nursing baby that requires a lot of my time and attention, kids homework, house duties, exercise, grocery store runs, dinner prep, making time for friends, and somewhere in there…there is a conversation with my husband or a high five as we’re walking out the door (Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give our rest. Matthew 11:28). I often catch myself asking, “are you sure this is where you want me, Lord? I am thankful, but this just wasn’t my plan.” Then without a shadow of a doubt, I faithfully know this is where the Lord has me for this season of life (To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). This is where he wants me, where he needs me, and where I am making the greatest impact for the advancement of his kingdom (And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:23). Some days I fight it… falling to my knees and crying out to him for the career I so desperately desire during this time, and worked so diligently to have (Ask, and it will be given to you: seek, and you will find: knock, and it will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7) and other days I watch my children with such delight as tears roll down my face, their giggles fill the house, and my heart explodes with thankfulness (Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4). Although it may not look how I envisioned it, it is beautiful. His blessings are seen in the everyday mundane of each day that so quickly pass us by. He continually reminds me how valuable I am when I’m the “doctor” to my little one as I slap a band aide on her bleeding knee, or the “teacher” to my oldest as we are doing math homework, and even the “firefighter” as the dinner on the stove is in flames (seriously, I burn everything). So, when I wake up each day, I don’t have to pick and choose who I want to be, because I am already HIS (He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1:5). My identity is in Christ, not who I had planned to be or even aspire to be. He alone sustains me and fulfills me. He is where I find my strength (The Lord is my strength and my shield… Psalm 28:7), and where joy and peace are in abundance (You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3).
So, be encouraged dear friends in whatever season of life you’re in. He is alive, able and well. He desires us in our lows and our highs, in our victories and our failures, and willingly goes ahead of us in the everyday mundane (It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you... Deuteronomy 31:8).