Today’s Wonderful Wednesday post is written by my precious, long time friend and Proverbs 31 sister, Leah DiPascal – who just also happens to be a member of the YLSC Contributor Team (Chapter 17, Her Story section). She has a powerful word to share with you today about learning to trust God’s plans and will for each of our lives, and walk through doors that He opens!
I’m thrilled to be joining you today on Tracie’s blog! I don’t know about you, but the past 5 1/2 weeks have flown by!
We’ve come so far in such a short amount of time and it’s been wonderful for me to have this opportunity to journey alongside you and Tracie as we’ve put pen to paper and made some real progress through this amazing study.
We’re on the home stretch now and there’s no time to slow down. So pace yourself and keep moving forward until we wrap up this study on May 1st. God’s with us every step of the way!
I hope you’re taking plenty of notes and highlighting the key verses and awesome quotable statements in your book. Tracie has outdone herself and there are plenty of ah-ha statements and Bible verses to ponder and put to memory.
A bright future is up ahead and I’m planning to cross the YLSC finish line with each of you!
I have a confession to make though. Can I share it with you?
There have been times in my past when I felt as if God was getting in the way of my plans. Maybe you’re feeling that way right now. As you step out of your comfort zone and move forward in your calling, you might be tempted to hurry things along like I did.
More often than not, I would admire my friends and notice how there were able to hand over their past mistakes and heartaches to the Lord quicker than I could. They seemed to be on the fast track towards succeeding in life and pursuing their unique calling.
I had goals I wanted to accomplish, dreams to pursue and a calling I longed to fulfill. So, why did it seem like they were making great progress and I wasn’t?
Here’s where I went wrong … I was determined to make things happen in my own time frame instead of waiting on God. The achiever in me insisted on bulldozing forward with my big expectations and my own plans. I thought, If I just work harder and stay focused, everything will go according to my plan.
I longed for God to stamp ‘yes’ stickers on all my prayer requests and open every door of opportunity that I thought would be the perfect fit for me. But that didn’t happen.
When a door didn’t open I’d sometimes push through it, which got me in a whole lot of trouble. It was as if I’d take one step forward and three steps backwards. Instead of waiting on God’s timing and plans, I convinced myself that my plans were better. The result: More roadblocks and less open doors.
My self-made highway towards all those dreams started to look like a dirt road covered with potholes of discouragement and puddles of frustration. So, I prayed harder, sought God more and asked why He wasn’t taking all of my great ideas into consideration.
I wanted to be optimistic and full of faith, but the more I pondered and asked questions, the more I started to second-guess my calling.
If God has gifted and called me to this, shouldn’t it be easier?
If I’m trying to do God’s will, why does it seem like He’s saying no to my prayer requests. Surely, He knows this is important to me?
Look at this great opportunity. It’s exactly what I’ve been asking for! Why do I keep getting overlooked?
Then one morning as I was reading my Bible and journaling, I came across today’s key verse:
Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then this thought came to me: If God’s plans for my life are good and full of hope, why am I so determined to create my own plans and pursue them instead? God already has the very best waiting for me!
It was as if a light bulb went off in my head. I suddenly saw things from a new perspective! God’s perspective.
Not all of the answers came right away, but I refused to give up. I kept reading my Bible and asking God to show me His plans so that I wouldn’t be tempted to refocus on mine. I continued to trust God and follow His lead, even when things didn’t make sense. I laid down my own plans and even began to look at closed doors in my life from a new perspective.
I no longer believed the lie that a closed door was God’s rejection of me. Instead, I realized it was God’s protection over me. A way of guiding me towards His best plans for my life.
God loves us too much and knows us too well to give us everything we ask for. His protection for us will always override our earthy wants and desires. Even when we have the best intentions in mind, His plan will always be better than ours.
The gifts God has given you and the calling He’s placed on your life are irrevocable. Whatever door God opens on your behalf cannot be closed by anyone. God’s plans for you will succeed and His promises stand firm forever.
As we continue to follow our dreams, lets be sure to wait on God’s best plan instead of chasing after our own. Let’s not only thank God for the doors He’s opening, but also for the doors He’s closing in our lives. Doors that could potentially lead us to harm, dare we get our own way. Let’s be sure to remember: God is not getting in our way – He is the only way to fulfilling our purpose and complete victory!
Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts and calling You’ve placed on our lives. Help us to trust You when things don’t go according to our plans and desires. Let us see the potential of a closed door as a divine detour that will lead us closer to You, as we wait for Your best in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
In your journal or study guide, write down the last time you encountered a “closed door” situation. Include details of how you initially responded to it. Reflect back on that situation you felt, and answer these questions in your journal:
* Can you now see how God might have been protecting you from something or someone?
* How did He redirect your path in the midst of those circumstances and move you towards His best plans instead?
* What good came out of that situation?
* Hows does thinking back about how God’s plans were actually best, help you to trust Him with future plans He might have for you?
Who doesn’t like a fresh cup of hot coffee or tea in the mornings as they spend quiet time with God? Today’s YLSC coffee mug giveaway will come in handy and serve as a reminder that God always has a plan and purpose for your life.
To enter to win this YLSC Bible Study keepsake coffee mug, leave a question (either personal, fun or ministry related) that you would like for me, Leah DiPascal or Bonnie Wallace to answer on next week’s Live YLSC Webcast! (Don’t worry about repeating a question you see in the comments, because we’ll answer the more popular ones asked.)
So leave your question in the comment section and enter to win this special mug, then make plans to log on to the webcast next Monday night, April 27th, at 8:00pm EST! Click here for the webcast page – and on Monday night, you’ll also be able to ask questions live in real time!
If you’d like to connect with Leah on her blog or social media, visit the links below: