Wednesday, July 25, 2007

His Ways Are Higher

The future. For those nearing the end of high school, the word can strike terror in their hearts. For their whole life, their education has been laid out for them step-by-step, as they advance from one grade to the next. Then suddenly, before they realize it, they're 18 and graduated, and wondering what the next step will be. When they were little, they couldn't wait to finish school, but where did the time go?

Almost without fail, as soon as people learn that I'm about to enter my senior year of high school, their next question is, "So, what are your plans after that?" That's when I have to give a little smile, sigh, and say, "Well, I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing." Why did everything become so complicated?

When I was little, I had my life planned out. In fact, I thought that those older folk (high schoolers) who didn't know what to do must have something wrong with them! To me, it was crystal clear. I'd go to Belhaven College, major in dance, perhaps dance with Ballet Magnficat! and when the time was right (hopefully sooner than later), get married and have children. However, as I grew, my dreams slowly dimmed. I wasn't extremely impressed with what I saw of Belhaven's dance department... I learned that I'd probably never advance far enough to dance professionally, and as time went on, realized that I no longer wanted to. My dream of being a wife and mother remains strong, but I've become a bit wiser then my eight-year-old self, and have realized that husbands don't just appear for the asking. =) So, I'm left with the question: What do I do?

These questions are nothing new to me now. As my family can attest, I've been debating them for almost the past two years. As I'm about to enter senior-hood, they only become stronger. "Is there something wrong with me that I can't figure out what to do?" I cry to God with desperation. "No, that's not true," He reminds me yet again. "Wait. I have a plan for you."

All these things were swirling in my head as I attended Ballet Magnficat's Intensive. I spent much time there praying about the future, and discussing different possibilities with Jennifer. And God was faithful to give me an answer - though it's not as clear-cut as my human heart desires.

On the evening of June 28th, we participated in Creative Worship - a time to seek God and worship as we felt led. Picking up my Bible, I randomly flipped to Isaiah 55:6-13. Verses 8 and 9 especially stood out to me:

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.'"

I read it through. Then I read it again - and again. Not wanting to forget, I took out my notebook and began to scribble...

God's thoughts are not my thoughts; neither are His ways my ways. I seek Him while He may be found. I don't have to worry about my future... What I will do... What I think is the best direction for me. His thoughts are higher than mine. He has great things in store for me. I may not ever have my life planned out, but He does. He knows what I need... What I should do. My job is to seek Him. He has greater things in store for me than I could even imagine. Trust Him, Anna! He is faithful!

"I may not ever have my life planned out, but He does..." As someone who enjoys planning and figuring out what I'm going to do, it's extremely hard for me to not know what I'll be doing in a year. However, as I can't stress enough, God is faithful! Through all the uncertainties, I've learned so much about trust. I do trust Him, that at the right time, He will lead me down the right path. Does that mean that I'll never doubt again? No. Sometimes I take my eyes off of Jesus, and begin to get anxious and fearful. Yet each time, God is faithful to gently point me back towards Him.

"Is that it?" you may ask, "Your just sitting back and waiting?" I am waiting on God to guide me, but I'm also preparing for different possibilities. I'm continuing to study and learn different things, and continuing to gain expertise in the homemaking arts. I took the ACT in June in case college is in the future, but I'm also researching other ways of learning, as my heart leans towards home. I've asked the counsel of many family members and close friends, to get their opinion on what they think I should do. But above all, I continue to seek my Father, for He knows me best.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."
~Psalm 27:14

9 comments:

Luke said...

All of your preparation for an uncertain future reminds me of this verse:

"Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" Psalm 27:14

Love you,
Michele

Laura H said...

Just wanted to say, I have been there too! Here I am 25 years of age, and still living at home with my parents. Several of my worldly relatives ask me, " What are you doing with your life?" I would answer, " I am training to be a homemaker, wife, mother, follower of Christ, and an anti-feminist teaching others about the dependance on Christ and Man! My side things I am doing, are fashion, photography, webdesign, guitar, and French. These will help me in my life as a mother."
Find things that will help make your life as a wife and mother, easier.And work in a homebusiness, like I am. My family and I run a bakery business! We make and sell wholesome granola bars, and so far they have gone as far as Michigan(We live in Washington State).
All I can say, is, " The Lord says, For I know the plans I have for you. Plans of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end!" He knows what you are going to do, just trust Him!
Laura H

Anna S said...

Dear Anna, first of all let me say I wish you the best of luck on this great journey called life!
We all have periods when we're standing at a crossroads, not sure what to do. Been there when I graduated from highschool. Now I'm almost done with college, and here I'm standing again, not sure what to do. However, I'm not fretting and worrying, and thank you for reminding exactly WHY we shouldn't do that. Prepare, yes. But not worry! He has a master plan for us!

Claire said...

God bless you, dear sister, as you seek to be His Handmaiden. I am a homeschool graduate currently living at home, teaching music lessons, doing much volunteer work, and serving as Director of Religious Education at our church. The world does indeed look on our season of life with eyes of curiousity, misunderstanding, and sometimes disdain. The key is, just as you said, that our Lord is faithful. As long as we are serving Him and at the same time remaining attentive to His Will, we will be secure. There can be moments of frustration or discouragement about others' sometimes viewing us as "without dreams" or "unambitious"... but the truth is, sweet following of His Will is the greatest ambition there is!

Peace,
Claire

Susan said...

What a lovely post, Anna. I really identify with all this. Not with post-highschool options (it was a given in my family that I was going to college), but with post-college options. I had a lot of time of searching, as I thought of post-college job options. I got a lot of inquisitive looks with the non-full-time-with-benefits path I chose, but I'm glad it was God's plan for me :-).

Ella said...

Anna, I know how much this is a big thing for you right now; we have been prayer warriors about what God is calling us to do. While I feel God leading me to NOT attending college, His plan is different for everyone. I pray that He makes it clear what you are to do.

How thankful I am that God's ways ARE higher than ours. These new seasons of change that many of us are finding ourselves in our crazy, but praise be that "God's grace is sufficent. His power is great in our weakness!"

I will continue to be praying for you, my friend.

king's_daughter said...

Anna,

This post was so encouraging to me! I, too, am about to become a senior, and have no idea as to what I am going to be doing after I graduate. I don't have any deep passions, and just don't know.... Something I keep trying to remind myself of is of all the things the Lord has done in my life so far; He's not going to all of a sudden abandon me when I turn 18! For example, these past two years have been crazy for me. We left our home church of 8 years to attend a more conservative one, and enrolled in a homeschool program (I've always been homeschooled). After 9 months of attending the new church, we felt led to return to our real church home, but to stay enrolled in the homeschool program. Because of all of this, I now have a new close friend, which I had in fact had prayed and cried for! I also am involved in a senior class (homeschool), and will have a very formal graduation ceremony next spring, which is something that I've always wanted! Looking back on it all, I realize that all this happened because 1) we met a homeschool family down the road from us because Mom wanted to ask about something they were selling, 2)we had no contact with this family for 5 years, and 3)we happened to meet this famiy again at a 4-H meeting that is no longer in existence! All this was simply to say that, looking back on everything now, it all makes sence how God put everything together, but at the time I didn't know what was about to happen! It makes me almost excited, actaully: what's the Lord going to do next in my life? It's scary, too, though. :-)

I also just wanted to mention an online forum for girls that I'm a part of. It's specifically for girls who have graduated from highschool but are still living at home (although anyone can be a part). Here's the link: http://aladyinwaiting.freeforums.org/index.php.

I'll be praying for you!

Anna and Miriam said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. Actually Michele, I really like that verse as well and posted it at the end of my musings. =) It's a wonderful reminder to me when I'm worrying.

Thank you all for sharing about your experiences. I really enjoy hearing what others went/are going through. Anyone can post more examples of what they did - college or otherwise!

Lydia said...

Hey Anna!
Sorry that I didn't get to post here earlier. I can really relate to what you're going through. I went through a lot of the same questions when I tried to decide what to do after high school. The one thing that you can cling to is that God is faithful - no matter what. After high school I stayed home for a year, trying to figure out what to do. I've tried to follow God in the decisions that I've made and been amazed and where God has allowed me to go. I don't have it all figured out. It's still difficult to been in times of uncertainty about the future, but that's when we have to trust him. Even today I found myself having to give God my future again because I don't know how it will work out. I admire your courage to trust God and seek him. It's hard not to have a clear direction but, as you wait for him, he will prove faithful. When I was trying to decide what to do before I went to Timberline, I attended the CTCI summer heroes program for two weeks. I had applied to places but was still uncertain. I came to the point of just having to surrender it all to God. That meant that I might still go home and not know what God wanted me to do. I gave it to him and the next day I had a phone interview with Timberline and through that I saw that this was where I should go. It had been a whole year of uncertainty and having to wait but "at the last minute" it seems - just a few weeks or so before it started - I was finally able to decide to go to Timberline. After that it has been more times of asking God for guidance and wisdom and times of uncertainty and waiting but God has been faithful through it all. As you said in your blog he is faithful and "he has greater things in store" that you could ever imagine. Keep seeking him. Take courage! God is faithful! Whatever happens he will show himself faithful! I'm keeping you in my prayers!
Your sister,
Lydia
Philippians 1:6