On the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the sermon at our church focused on giving thanks to God. Ever since then, through the chaos of term papers, finals, and the kettle campaign, I have been thinking about it. I’ve been trying to figure out for what am I most thankful. It has not been easy. I started with the obvious: family, health, etc. Then, it occurred to me. I am most thankful for the times when God has said “No” and changed my plans.
Five years ago, I thought I had my life planed. I was going to graduate from the Tech school, get my electrician license, and be married within five years. My electrical business would grow into general construction. I would be living in a large house with federal architecture.
Well, if you are reading this, you probably know me well enough to know that NONE of that has actually taken place. I did finish the Tech school, but with a certificate instead of a diploma. I never sat for the electricians’’ exam. Instead, I went to Georgia Military College and began my true academic career. I grew closer to maturity my two years there than I did in the previous ten years combined.
There was a time when I thought I had found my soul mate, the one with whom I thought I would spend the rest of my life. In my mind, all that was left was to have a talk with the fathers and make it official. Well, the relationship I envisioned never developed. I never had that talk with the fathers. And it is a good thing. If it had, I would have never been able to experience the next phases of my life without being helplessly torn between maintaining the relationship and taking part in one of the greatest opportunities of my life.
Working the campaign was tremendous, but left very little time for anything else. Even when I was doing something else, it was always on my mind. I gave it everything I had. But, it wasn’t enough. We still lost. But, through the contacts formed and experience gained, I was able to get an internship at the General Assembly.
The four months in Atlanta were among the greatest of my life. Sure, I went through times of loneliness. There were times I felt like the only one who actually stood for something. But, I made several great new friends. And, more importantly, it was the first time in my life I KNEW I was doing what I had been called to do. All of the NOs, all the changed plans, had led up to this.
Sure, I have plans for the next five years. But now, it would not surprise me of they all changed. God has been teaching me to depend on him for even my next breath. It is a lesson that has taken me a while to learn, and I’m not quite sure I have it now. Abigail Adams said it wonderfully, “Unto Him who mounts the whirlwind and directs the storm I will cheerfully leave the ordering of my lot, and whether adverse or prosperous days shall be my future portion I will trust in His right had to lead me safely thro.”
So, that is the highlight of my thanks. God has set out a perfect plan for my life. He is willing to tell me “no” when my feeble attempts at running my life would actually ruin my life.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
~ Romans 8:28