"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 hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a Christian home led by my parents that made it their priority to following the Lord's leading... no matter the task... no matter the cost.
Somewhere around my 5th grade year, Dad followed God's calling to the music ministry and throughout my teen years served as music minister in several churches.
During those years, it became a source of worry for me that God would call Dad to serve in a different church, in a different town, away from all my friends and my school. I knew that both my parents would not hesitate to follow the direction God had for them.
And, sure enough, the spring of my junior year in high school, Dad received a call from a church in a completely different part of the country asking him to visit and consider a position as their music minister. Mom and Dad told my sisters and I about the call and their decision to visit after dinner one night. While I don't remember all the words that were said that night, I do remember clearly my feelings and also the message that Dad brought home to me.
I was not happy. How could he even consider taking me away from my friends and my school just before my senior year in high school? How could this be God's plan? Because it certainly wasn't what was best for me! (Honestly, I cringe just a bit as I type all that out even all these years later! But, it is how I felt at the time).
Dad is not a loud man... he is quiet in manner, kind, loving and so very patient. He did not get excited or show that he was upset or frustrated with my feelings of selfishness and distress that night. But, the words he spoke to me have stayed with me ever since. If this was God's plan for him, then it was God's plan for all of us. God wouldn't lead Dad in a direction that was bad for his family. God would lead us all in the direction that was best for each one of us. God had a plan and God's plan was best.
As it turned out, after a visit to the church and much prayer, we ended up staying right where we were. It didn't turn out to be God's plan after all. At least not at that time. The fall that I started college, my family did move. Unfortunately, I didn't handle this any better than I did the possibility of the move the year before. I was just as selfish and self-centered and for months completely refused to even consider anything Dad had said to me the year before.
Over time, little by little, I softened. I got involved in a great Sunday School class at our church. I made some of the dearest friends that I will ever have on this earth. We've been together thru college, graduation, new jobs, marriages, babies, out of state moves, and more.
Once I had graduated from college, I stayed in that same city and found a job in the area. A job through which I met my husband.
I could go on and on, but I think you probably have figured out by now exactly where this is leading. :) Yes, God had a plan for me and for each member of my family when we made that move. At the time, it seemed like the worst thing that could ever happen to me. Over time, I have come to know and recognize that it was the very BEST thing that could have happened to me then. And, I know for a fact that my parents and both my sisters would absolutely agree that it was the best for them. Not a one of us would be where we are today if we had not made that move.
I could tell you story after story of how God showed himself during those years. How God blessed me over and over again, blessed my family, always provided, and taught me things that I hold near and dear today.
While we can't always see the picture, we can always rest assured that His plans are truly the best. God has no desire to harm us.. he wants us to prosper... it is in His plan for us to prosper.
Happy Sunday and Many Blessings!