I’m a planner. I enjoy making schedules and itineraries. I love planning events and filling out calendars. I am big on punctuality and love for things to flow smoothly. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I immediately move on to the next task or begin looking for ways to improve and expand what I have already done. Some would say that these are great attributes, however when you allow these tendencies to get the best of you, they can become your downfall. My need to know, understand and control things often times leaves me frustrated, overwhelmed or fixated on things that don’t need to be the focus of my attention at the time. My need to perfect everything has become a great hindrance. For the past 21 years I have had this illusion that I was in control of my life but God is obviously allowing me to experience the disillusionment before I reach 22. (Well I guess I cannot call it disillusionment because though I am not in control, the Greater One is. Either way, you get the point I am trying to make. Lol.)
My last year of college was a stressful one. It isn’t so much that everything went wrong but more so that everything did not go as I had planned and I didn’t trust in God as I should have to work everything out for my good. Many of us claim that we trust God and that we know that He works all things for good for those who love Him yet our tendency to stress, get frustrated and become flustered says otherwise. We cannot trust God and stress at the same time. We can’t have faith that He knows what is best and is doing what is best if we continually doubt His ways. We cannot claim that we have casted all of our cares on Him if we keep trying to take things into our own hands.
Academically and financially speaking, college had been smooth sailing, but the month before senior year, things shifted.
- I had anticipated receiving financial aid like I had the other 3 years of college however, for whatever reason, FAFSA said I did not qualify for it. This not only meant my parents had to pay for college out of pocket but I also would not be receiving a refund check to help pay bills.
- I had planned on keeping my Cum Laude status upon entering my last semester however, I lost it by 0.04 of a point after my fall semester.
- I had planned to only need to take 9 credit hours my last semester allowing me plenty of time to work and have an internship however, I ended up needing to take 19 credits just to be eligible to graduate on time. This flustered me because the maximum the university allows you to take is 18.
- I really needed a subleaser for the summer but I wasn’t finding one as quickly as I had expected.
- I had planned on having some big things launched for Sowfull by March but they were put on hold.
- And then I also began worrying towards the last week of school because the weather forecast said that it was supposed to be cold and storm during graduation and I really wanted it to be a beautiful, warm, sunny day.
These things don’t seem to be that big of a deal to you all, I’m sure, but to me they were. The problem was deeper than these things not going as I planned. The issue was that because they didn’t go as I planned I became overwhelmed and flustered. This is when God began revealing to me how I had been trying to sit on His throne in my life. I mean everyday God would (and still does) speak to me through His Word, someone or some tweet or Instagram post about how I need to let go of control because He is the One Who is really in control. I would become stressed and overwhelmed because I was trying to handle His position in my life, He is God. I am not. He is on the throne, I am not. I was unable to plan and juggle it all because I was never intended to be the one to fix and control it all.
The night before my finals I went to a worship night on campus that my great friend John invited me to. There he shared an extremely timely message that I needed to hear…
“If you want to hear God laugh, just tell Him your plans.”
God started showing me how I need to respond when things don’t go as I planned. I needed to change my mindset first of all. I had to stop planning things to a T and depending on them to go my way and instead start each day asking God what His plan is. When things go different than I anticipate, I need not fret that they are out of my control because my Father is always in control and His plans always prevail.
Proverbs 19:21Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
21 Many plans are in a man’s heart,
but the Lord’s decree will prevail.
We can try and try to bring our plans about but ultimately what God has set in motion is what will prevail. Once we give our lives over to Christ, we are no longer in control. We don’t plan our lives, He does…and I am glad about it. Honestly we settle when we try to get God to fulfill our plans for His thoughts are above ours and He can do exceedingly above all we could ever ask. If God doesn’t allow your plan to come about, it is because He has something better in store.
Pastor Furtick preached a message that was so timely as well and something he said in particular really hit me. He said:
“I don’t have to know HOW as long as I know WHO”.
We get so worked up when we don’t know how something will work out and forget that we know the One Who is working it out. God is faithful, His timing is perfect and His plans impeccable. He has never failed us yet. As long as we know these truths, we don’t have to know all of the rest. God not only wants what’s best for us, He knows what’s best for us and that’s exactly what He has in store for us if we would just trust and follow Him.
So I cannot tell you the things that stressed me without telling you how God turned it all around to bless me.
- God worked out my financial situation to where I could afford to pay all of my bills on time and still have money left over.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. (Psalm 37:25)
- God blessed me to get permission to take 19 credit hours and also helped me to tackle those 19 credit hours. He gave me great favor on my internship as well, so much so that they want to hire me upon getting my masters and even looked into finding a position I could fill for the time being while working towards masters.
I can do all thing through Christ Who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)
So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man. (Prov. 3:4)
“For he who finds me finds life And obtains favor from the LORD. (Prov. 8:35)
- People told me that I couldn’t be Cum Laude and that it was too late because the school uses your fall GPA to determine your distinction. But I did my own research and spoke to the necessary people and they said that if I could bring my GPA back up to a 3.4 I would be Cum Laude. It wouldn’t be in the graduation program but it will be on my diploma. The day of graduation, 44min before walking out into the ceremony with my graduating class, I checked my student banner and saw that God showed me favor on my GPA! I had brought my GPA back up and was now Cum Laude again!
And being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. (Romans 4:21)
If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. (2 Tim. 2:13)
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)
- The night before graduation was cold and rainy and the morning of graduation was cold, grey and misty. I began to grab a coat and umbrella but I had been praying for a week that it’d be warm and sunny so I decided to walk out on faith. Others kept saying it was going to rain and looked at me funny when I said it wouldn’t because I had prayed about it and my Father said it’s handled. I understood that the weatherman predicts the elements but my Father controls them. I stood on faith. And let’s just say that the lighting was perfect for pictures on that special day! It was warm and sunny all day against the weatherman’s prediction.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt. 8:26-27)
“When He imparted weight to the wind And meted out the waters by measure, When He set a limit for the rain And a course for the thunderbolt, Then He saw it and declared it; He established it and also searched it out. (Job 38:25-27)
- I had originally planned to move out of my apartment on the 31st of May however I felt led to go ahead and move out on the 23rd. Since I had already moved out, I was working to go ahead and get someone else to move in before June because I didn’t want to have to pay for an apartment that I wasn’t living in. God knew exactly what He was doing having me move out early and not allowing me to find someone to move in. Three days after I moved out, my roommate called me to let me know that someone had broken in!!! Imagine if I had been there! Imagine if I had found a subleaser to move in that week! It would have been awful!! I had four girls look into subleasing but none of them worked out and now I see why. God is so merciful, so gracious and is always protecting us from things seen and unseen. He knows what’s to come. He knows when to move and when to keep us still and I am grateful. If things had gone as I planned, it would’ve been a mess and people could’ve been hurt. Trust God always! He knows what He is doing. His ways are better! Oh. And I am also able to be let out of my lease now! Praise God!!!
- Even though I hadn’t completed some of my goals for Sowfull on my timeline, they were right on time for God’s! Things are really taking off! I am proud to announce the launch of Sowfull’s Christian Apparel store!!! Head on over to the Shop tab and click the “shop now” link to give it a look!!!