Remember graduation day…saying good bye to the confines of High School and hello to the great big world in front of you. It was both exciting and scary. The possibilities seemed endless. Mountains were high but so was the courage.
I had plans, expectations when I left those brick walls. I was going to be someone my community, family, and friends would be proud of!
Then life happened. I fell down hard, flat on my face, broken. The climb was excruciating. The world I was building for myself crumbled. I was doing what I thought would please others and myself. College, career, success, house and a family seemed to be the “best” road to take. After all I lived in the United States…that’s what we do here. Or that’s what I thought was expected.
With my world crumbling within me I dropped out of college. I never earned a degree and for years felt like a failure because of it.
Some weeks ago as I was reflecting I realized my life is not what I expected! I don’t have a college degree, I am not working the “dream job”, I don’t have a big house with a wrap around porch, I don’t have tons of children dancing at my feet, and so on. Does not having those things make my life not good? Am I a failure because I don’t have what society expected of me? Does expectation not met equal not good?
A woman found a beautiful plant that would fit perfectly in her flower bed. She bought it, expecting it would be a vibrant green plant. A few weeks after planting it in the rich black soil; it began to bloom. Flowers sprung up all over the plant! Wow! Not what she was expecting! Does that mean she should dig it out and throw it away? The plant was not what she expected but does that mean it is not good? The plant has flowers on it. The plant is different than she expected. Does that make it bad?
Most would say the plant is good. It is healthy, growing, and has beautiful flowers. Why would any one throw it away?
Our lives are similar. Very few can say they are where they expected to be, but that does not make our lives bad or wrong. God is shaping, growing each one of us. His plans are often different from what we expect. Our expectations are formed based on the imperfect world we live in. With God, what He has for us is based on His perfect design, loving character, and what is absolutely best for us.
Often what God is doing in our hearts and lives doesn’t make sense to us. Often it doesn’t seem to meet our expectations or what others expect for us, but what God does is good. What God has for us is better.
Take a look…Your flowers might be blooming and you don’t even recognize it!
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. ESV
Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. ESV
1 John 4:16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. ESV
Jeremiah 19:7 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. ESV