There Is A Plan!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosperyou and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  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.

Jeremiah 29 11-14

This is the verse that gives me strength each day and helps me hold tight to the promise that God has a plan in store for me, even if I do not fully know what it may be!

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Chapters in Life

Think about a book for a moment. Nearly every book of any length is divided into chapters. These chapters work together to bring about the full story. If taken individually, a single chapter would not make sense…the reader would be confused as to who the characters are and what is happening. This is why a book is not read by only reading a single chapter; no, it is read by reading all the chapters, in order. Just because a chapter ends, does not mean that everything starts a new with the new chapter, rather, it builds. In this way, the story is understood by the end and all the pieces have fallen into place.

I like to think of our lives as being broken into chapters. These chapters often reflect significant events that shape us and provide structure to our lives. Chapters may include things such as: college, time at a particular job, a relationship, and living in a particular area…I think you get the idea.

Just like a book, there are themes, people and ideals that run constant throughout our chapters. While some of these things remain constant throughout our lives, or at least through multiple chapters, but some of these do disappear between chapters, and do not play a part in subsequent chapters. It is important to recognize when these chapters end and try to determine what will happen in the next chapter, what will remain the same and what will be set aside.

As I have moved through the story that is my life, there have been people, places, material possessions, ideas and more that have stayed through the chapters, been written out and been added in. It just keeps showing me that my life is like a book, and I do not even know everything that is happening. Is it easy to move through the chapters of life? Not always, no. But I try not to be too worried.

You see, one of the reasons I am not too worried about what is next in my story, is because I believe the words of Hebrews 12:2, which state: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus is the author of my life. 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 a hope and future (Jeremiah 29:11).

So as I move into new chapters in my life, I know there are things and people that will not have a significant role in the new chapter. This is not necessarily an easy pill to swallow, but life does go on. For everything that is taken out of my life, I know that God will replace it with something even more amazing and in line with what He has in store for my life.

To those who are also starting new chapters, to those who are working on figuring out their own story and what may or may not be in it- I wish you all the best. We all go through periods of life in which we try to figure out more of who we are and what God wants for us, and I hope each and every one of you gets to that point. Know you are in my thoughts, but more importantly in my prayers.

So live life, enjoy the chapter you may be in, and know that something new is around the corner…in a chapter still waiting to be written. But also know that some times, goodbyes happen…

Every memory of looking out the back door
I had the photo album spread out on my bedroom floor
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye.
Every memory of walking out the front door
I found the photo of the friend that I was looking for
It’s hard to say it, time to say it
Goodbye, goodbye
.

Impossible.

This is a special post to anyone who may be struggling and thinking they are facing a seemingly impossible outcome or future. You may be looking for a job, trying to finished school, dealing with a relationship, or whatever else life may be throwing your way.

I get it, I do. I have been through so many different things in my life…things that I thought I would never get through…truly difficult situations that I thought were impossible. This song has always served as an inspiration for me in tough times, the times that seem impossible. So think about what you are facing that seems impossible…and once you have it in your mind, hit play.

Unsinkable ships, sink

Unbreakable walls, break

Sometimes the things you think would never happen

Happen just like that

Unbendable steel, bends

If the furry of the wind is unstoppable

I’ve learned to never underestimate 

The impossible

Also, a piece of biblical encouragement from Isaiah 40….He gives strength to the weary and increases the power if the week. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

When It’s Story Time

Take a moment and flash forward to your life in the future…you pick how far out…maybe 20 years, or 10, or even just a couple years down the road. Now, do not try to picture what you will be doing, where you will be working or who you will be with (while those types of exercises can be helpful, that is not the point of this poist)…instead, I want you to picture sitting down with someone and beginning to tell your story…all of it. Imagine you are telling your story to your spouse or children (yes, this is going off the basic premise of the tv show How I Met Your Mother). Now think about your life, things you have done in the past, the things you are involved in right now and what you have planned for the future. Now ask youself this question:

Am I proud of my life, will I be ashamed telling my story?

 So how do you answer this question? Are you living your life in a way that at some point down the road you will enjoy telling your story? Will your future kids be proud of you, or at least enjoy the story, or will it make them wonder who you really are? Will the way you are living cause you to become the type of parent that will have to tell their children:do as I say, not as I do/did?

I know there are things in all of our pasts that we are not proud of… decisions we have made or things we have done that perhaps were not the best, but let us put an end to that right now. When I look back on my life, I do not want to see a life of regrets or poor choices (I know there are some of these, I’m not being naivie), I want to see a life well-lived with the people I love the most. More than anything, I want to look back on my life and see Christ. He has a plan for my life and some day I’ll fully know how it all fit together.

I am, right now, recommitting my promise to live a life that is in accordance to God’s will for my life. He’s brought about some pretty amazing things in my life before, when I put my trust fully in Him, and I know there are more great things in store. I have learned that when I try to do it fully on my own, or fall into the traps of the world, I am led astray from the path He has set before me. I want to live out Romans 12:2..check it out. 

I want my story to be God’s story for my life…He is the author.

A good reminder when looking at the story that is your life.

 

Lessons and Resolutions

I feel, in a way, obligated to write down a few of the main lessons I learned in 2011 and a few of the things I will strive for in 2012. I mean, why not?

Lessons:

  • 1 Corinthians 13:13; Isaiah 40:31; Jeremiah 29:11
  • Our best laid plans will often seem to fall apart right before us, but the plans of the Lord are unchanging and firm.
  • When the going gets tough, trust in the Lord…when the going goes well, trust all the more.
  • Learn from each and every opportunity, every moment is a moment in which God is teaching.
  • You just never know what this crazy life has in store for you…live it.

Resolutions:

  • Get back in to climbing and summit Mt. Rainier before the year is up
  • Read more books of varrying genres/themes…continue learning
  • Write. I’ve got lots of ideas in my head and I want to spend time getting them on paper.
  • Be open to new experiences and opportunities…be more of a “yes man.”
  • Find new ways to give back and service those around me
  • Enjoy life and everything it has to offer… live each moment to the fullest
  • “Live Like You Were Dying”…just go for it