By Miranda Johnson
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (NLT)
I have a bad habit of not worrying enough. What a problem to have, I know.
Growing up, I seemed to worry about everything possible. I was that over-thinker who asked questions that were not on anyone else’s radar. Those “what-if’s” plagued me.
Now, I don’t worry about things enough.
“Miranda, what is your plan for this thing that is happening in 6 months?”
Me, “I don’t know– ask me again in 4-5 months.”
I have my exceptions. I buy plane tickets as soon as possible. But that’s about it. I make general plans. It’s not that I don’t care, but I know that things will get done. God will provide. I will handle it when I know more about the situation when it comes the time. At least that’s what I say.
If I am honest with myself, I got really tired of making plans that I stuck closely to that still failed—complete crashed and burned.
Does anyone else just get so exhausted from plans changing or failing? I decided at some point in my life that I was going to plan as little as possible because failing hurt so much. Change hurts so much when you invest so much into one thing just the way it is. My mentor likes to frequently remind me that growing is a pain. Remember as a kid when you hit a growth spurt- growing several inches in just weeks? Everything. Hurt. SO. MUCH. Growing pains are, by definition, painful.
I’ve been learning how to plan again. Actually, it’s a giant part of what I do in my career. Yes, I ask myself constantly why I’m doing something that makes me so uncomfortable, something I feel like I am always struggling with. I don’t want to write calendar stuff for the next year because there’s too many “what-ifs.” I imagine too many ways that I can fail, disappoint people, disappoint God- all because I’m not being all I was made to be in this situation.
Honesty, I think I disappoint God more when I am comfortable with what I do. If I’m not trying to grow or improve, if I don’t learn how to walk along my weakness with faithful, if I’m not worrying about the RIGHT things, if I’m not learning from my mistakes, am I really being all I can be? Am I really trying to be all that God has created me to be? “Complacency is the death of creativity.” I think complacency is also the death of growth. It’s the death of learning more. It’s the death of all things that make us stronger with God. It hurts to grow. I’m not a crier, but if I don’t cry over a mistake, I didn’t learn anything. If I don’t feel nervous about doing something, do I really care about it and how I do? Did you know that goldfish grow every time they get introduced into a bigger environment? They can always get bigger. Snakes can always get bigger. They just shed their skin. Lizards lose their tails. Caterpillars go through an excruciating process to become a butterfly. So many of God’s beautiful creatures go through so much pain to grow physically. So why can’t God’s most beautiful creation, us, go through more pain to grow in and with God? Don’t get stuck. Don’t get complacent. Don’t get comfortable. Get growing. God will help. God will always make it better. The New Year will always bring a New You as long as you embrace it and trust God. In the meantime, I will be making an effort to write plans down, even if they are in pencil.
Dear God, thank you for making our lives so incredibly rich that our possibilities to make you proud are endless and unfathomable. Thank you for the gift of opportunities to grow bigger and better for your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Pueblo West, CO
Miranda Johnson is a youth leader at Ecumenical Church in Pueblo West. She has served on the staff for Front Range Camping for many years. Her “plans” are to follow as God leads her into ministry.