My “Play-Doh” Plan

I had this smart, cost-efficient, reasonable plan that I thought was exactly what God wanted me to do. It’s not like I just made a plan myself and expected it to go well; I tried my best to listen to God, and then tried to build a plan for what he wanted me to do about college. It was great, smart, and really seemed to fit. And then it didn’t.

I called it my “Play-Doh” plan because I knew it needed to be flexible and moldable. I mean, my plan was six years long. I knew things would change here and there. I just didn’t expect so many big changes… My plan was a beautifully orchestrated plan. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. Except, that I held too close to it. I mean, not unreasonably, I don’t think. I was excited about the next stages of life, and finally ready to take it all on (I wrote about it in my post, “Let’s Talk College”).

When I created my plan, it all made sense. I love kids, and people, and was passionate about sharing the gospel, so it made sense to be a missionary. What I was hoping was to travel the world, make new friends, and teach something somewhere. I didn’t exactly know how I’d do it, but that’s what I wanted to do. Right now, I’m looking at maybe backing off from the idea of being a missionary. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still do all those things that I wanted to.

My want to teach, and work with kids, and people, will never change. It’s a part of who I am, and whatever I choose to do in college will not change that want (I mean, I’ve been doing all of those things my entire life anyway). What I discovered, is that vocation is kind of irrelevant. Yes, I want to have a job I love, and that I’m good at. But, life isn’t about jobs.

We’re taught from such a young age that everything we do is prep for college. We go to school, grow up, go to college, and then after college is when our lives “start”. Well, that’s not how I’m gonna do it. I’m not gonna wait for college for my life to start. I mean, I’ve already done some incredible things without having gone to college (being that I was just a kid).

I don’t want college to be my main focus in life. Everything I’m working towards is not so I can get into college, or have a good career. It’s so that I can live the life God intended me to live, and love people, and reach out to them. That’s what I wanted to do through my mission work plan, and there’s no way anything’s gonna stop me from doing it in any other position. If that’s truly what I love, I should have no trouble doing it anywhere, or any place.

My Necklace

I’ve got this necklace that I’ve been wearing since ninth grade. It started as kind of a friendship thing with one friend, but I got a few more charms over the last couple years, and it’s turned into more of a blanket friendship thing. If I get a charm, or a ring, from a really good friend, it goes on the necklace.

I was thinking the other day about what I’d do if, when I grew up, I wasn’t friends with any of the people that have charms on my necklace. Then I started to think of how cool it would be to someday tell my kids, or my grandkids, about some of the coolest friendships I ever had.

Just because life is changing doesn’t mean I lose the people that I’m close to. Sure, things will be different. I might not see them very often, if at all. We might not talk much. But, I will always have memories of those friends, and I’ve learned some pretty amazing things from them that I’ll never forget.

You ever think about why God created us to be social creatures even though life is constantly changing, and we often get pulled away from the people we’re close to? Well, I do, and I think I know why. I think it’s because of all the things we learn from so many different people. Part of the reason I have so many friendship charms is because with every stage of life, things change. God knew I would need different people to teach me different things. I met my first bestie in seventh grade, and I needed her because my family just switched churches, and I needed someone who was good at loving people, and making friends, so I’d feel welcomed at church and would be able to have good friendships in the future.

Not everyone likes changes (I don’t usually), but that doesn’t mean they’re not important, and not good for us. One of the biggest changes in my life was switching churches five and a half years ago, and it has made a huge impact on me. I’ve learned so much about people, my relationship with God has grow a ton, and I’ve learned a lot about the body of Christ. I’d never really had a church family until we switched churches, and it means the world to me.