When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

If you would have told me at the beginning of the year that this is what my summer would look like, I would have told you were crazy.  I didn’t want to do the things I’m currently doing.  I had my heart set on something else, and I thought for sure God wanted me to do it too.

At the beginning of January, I had applied to be a counselor at a church camp I love dearly. I had been going to this camp for ten years of my life.  I started going as a camper when I was seven, and tried to go every year.  (I missed two years for travel reasons).  This camp was like a second home to me, and I used to say that I believed there was magic at camp.  My first year as a camper, I remember quite vividly wishing to be a counselor one day.

I loved this camp so much, and I was beyond certain that God was telling me that I was supposed to be a counselor this summer.  I felt I had all the experience (two years as a counselor in training, ten plus years of babysitting, and experience working with children with special needs).  I felt I was spiritual enough (I felt that though I didn’t read the Bible as often as I should, I was still really connected to God).  And I felt that any areas of my life that were lacking, God was going to fill.

Though I tried really hard to not let myself get overly hopeful while waiting for the answer after my interview, part of my heart started to dream and plan.  I thought that if I got the position, I would grow closer to God, I would meet a good Christian guy, and I would make a good group of life friends.  I thought that being a counselor at camp would solve all of my problems.

The Thursday before Easter, while on break at work, I received the email I had been both dreading and hoping for.

I am sorry to inform that you have not been selected to be a part of the summer staff.”

(That’s not verbatim since I deleted the email the next day …..)

As you can imagine, the rest of my shift was rather a struggle.

I was heartbroken.  I was angry.  I was jealous.  I was hopeless.  I didn’t even want to talk to, or about, God.  Easter Sunday was really hard for me.

It took me days to be able to talk about my disappointment and even listen to Christian songs again.  I was hurting too much.  Then one day, just minutes after my parents and I talked about my disappointment, my youth pastor asked me if I wanted to be a leader for a junior high summer retreat.  My youth pastor had no idea about my application being rejected.

It was as if God was telling me, ” Just because your plan isn’t being fulfilled, doesn’t mean mine isn’t.  Trust me.”

Long story short, I’ve found my happiness again.  I’ve found my joy again.  I’ve found contentment again.  And now, I have an excitement about this unknown future God has for me.  I guess I needed the plan I had, and the future I had created, to be knocked down, to let the bigness of God’s plan back into my life.  It’s like I had to break through this wall of ugly disappointment and feelings of rejection to see and feel God again.  But now I’m so, so, so excited for this unplanned summer.

(Okay, I do have plans … I’m taking summer classes, and working more.  But that’s it.  There’s nothing major besides that, the junior high trip, and a small family vacation.)

My summer didn’t start as planned.  This is not what I planned it to be.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not okay.  That it’s not good.  That God isn’t working.  Because believe me when I say that I feel God more now than I ever have in a while.

I have a lot of theories as to why God wants me home this summer.  For example, there is a situation from high school that has been needing to be resolved for years, and just a few weeks ago, I took the first step in resolving it.  Maybe God wants that to be something I work on.  I always have a lot of projects I am working on, and maybe God wants me at home to work on those, and in doing so, getting to further know myself.  And maybe, God wants me at home to spend more time with Him, than I would if I was at camp.  He is a selfish God after all, and wants me to spend time with Him.  But this is all just speculation.

My whole out-look on life has changed these past months since being told I wasn’t going to be on staff.  I see each day as its own, instead of trying to plan concrete events far on the future.  I don’t plan farther ahead than about a month.  I’ve learned that my plans are at the mercy of God’s plan, and if He sees fit to change something, well then by golly, it’s gonna change.

And so, all I can do now is stand in awe at the unfolding beauty of God’s plan, and say, ‘It is well with my soul’.

Ciao for now,

Julia

 

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