Future Plans and the Pathway to Peace

This past December, I completed my last master’s class in the biblical counseling program at Southern, and my seminary journey—a truly life-transforming journey—came to a close. This coming March will mark two years that Adam has served as pastor of education in our local church here in North Alabama. Both of these milestones have spurred me to think about the pathways of our lives–the plans we make, the roads we take, the journeys the Lord ordains for our steps. I can sense how the threads of our decisions and God’s sovereign will are interwoven to form a tapestry of beauty and purpose that we may not fully see and comprehend this side of eternity. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand {Proverbs 19:21}. Those words bring comfort to my soul. As we think, pray, and make plans for the future, we can rest in God’s perfect sovereignty. As we seek to give Him control of everything–offering our lives fully and freely–He will accomplish His Kingdom purposes in and through us. We can’t mess up His plan.

Since finishing my degree, several people have asked, “What’s next?”. During this season, I feel so blessed that God has made it possible for me to be at home, giving me time to very intentionally pour into my children spiritually and serve alongside my husband by teaching and counseling the women in our church. Really, there is nothing I’d rather do. As for the future, I am open and praying that God would use me and our family as He wills. I think often about the brevity of this life here on earth. I so desperately don’t want to waste it. I also don’t want to live like this is all there is. I want to hold my life loosely, offering it to Him regardless of where that leads. The plan is to finish up certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors simply to make myself accessible to women in our area looking for a biblical counselor. I would also love to explore and pursue some sort of writing ministry, but I’m not sure what the future holds.

Here is what I do know. God is less interested in my plans and more interested in my heart. The primary thing God has taught us in two years of ministry is this: He doesn’t want us to pursue ministry success as much as He wants us to pursue Him. He doesn’t want us to find our satisfaction in the spiritual growth of church members. He wants us to find it in Him. God wants us to worry less about being fruitful and more about being faithful. He wants us concerned less about pleasing men and more about pleasing Him. He wants us consumed with Him, identified with Him, trusting Him, finding our joy in Him. How easy it is to look for our identity, fulfillment, and self-worth in what we do and how we do it {which ultimately means looking for those things within ourselves}. How easy it is to take God-given desires and make them ultimate, bowing down to something that’s good but isn’t God. Regardless of your vocation or role, you will be tempted to look there to find who you are and to measure your worth. But you will come up empty every time. Because our idols can’t fill us up and make us whole. Our idols enslave but they don’t save.

But Jesus. Jesus is so beautiful. So glorious. So pure. So full of a radical love for the undeserving. So altogether worthy of our adoration. He alone can fill us up and make us whole and right before God. He is the Living Water that always, always, always satisfies a soul so thirsty for fulfillment, purpose and joy. He may take us down the most unlikely pathways to accomplish God’s grand purposes in and through our lives, but when we are a resting in Him alone as our pathway to peace, we will walk confidently and contentedly regardless of what the future holds.

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