“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
If I had the ability to talk to my fourteen year old self and tell her of all that is going to happen in the next five years of her life, she would be SHELL SHOCKED. Granted I was shell shocked when my parents sat me down five years ago and told me of how I’d be moving from all I had ever known to San Antonio, Texas. I thought I would never leave Virginia. I was happy where I was! I didn’t even know it, but in that moment I realized I had subconsciously planned my whole life around the fact I’d be in VA forever. I never once thought that God would come in and change all of that. So for nine excruciating months, much of my own doing, I clung to Jeremiah 29:11, crying and hoping those words of the Lord would really be true. My own plans of a forever life in my home state were shattered and I didn’t know what to do.
The next few years I went through moments of hardening my heart to the Lord and moments of pure bliss within my walk with him. I had moments where I didn’t feel it and so I turned the other cheek. I had moments of extreme praise breaks for all God had blessed me with, but it always led back to a dry spell in my relationship with him. I was all over the place y’all! God had to walk with me through some stuff to continually teach me the lesson he started to teach me at fourteen: you aren’t promised tomorrow so stop living for it and let me lead. And he is still teaching me this to this day!
I had given up on Virginia, thought it was a place that I’d be destined to only visit. Now here I am, sitting on our couch in Fort Hood, Texas- three hours from San Antonio, our original reason for moving to Texas. Our family is in the army and I’m at a college that I thought I’d be at for four years. Not even a semester into my first year and God already started switching it up again! He shook up the plan and has now called me back to Virginia.
Jeremiah 29:11 is no longer this verse that I simply state when in desolate places to give me that one shred of hope for something greater. I no longer recite without thinking of the power it holds. It’s a verse I can honestly proclaim: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares THE LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“. What a wonderful promise!
So it seems we have come full circle- at least for now. He had to remove me from where I was at the age of 14 (!!!) and shake it all up for five years for everything to finally start sinking into my hard headed self. He’s teaching me to let go and let him, to stop planning and just praise him in the hallway, and to seek him in everything. It isn’t even till now that he’s pushed me to look past the verse of Jeremiah 29:11 to the verses beyond: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
The verse progression in itself can show the journey he has brought me through. First clinging to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 and now learning to seek him with all of my heart and in everything I do. Everything he’s done- no matter how uncomfortable- has been for the glory of his plan and I’m so incredibly excited (seriously puts me in dance mode) for what he’s doing!
He will continue to teach me to let go and let him and I will continue to have to relinquish my grip on anything and everything. But I’d so rather be “uncomfortable” as he shapes and molds me than sit in comfort in what I have planned myself. So who knows? I might be in VA for a good chunk of time, but I also might be sent to the other side of the world after graduating. Either way I’ll be praising him in those valleys, amidst closed doors, and in those over the rainbow experiences. For God is so good and he has great plans but he also wants us to continuously seek and chase after him! It’s taken me five years to finally start to actually comprehend it, but I thank God for every moment of it!