Trusting God's Plan

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.”-William Shakespeare

Last May, I graduated from the University of Florida with a pocket full of dreams and blueprints for how I would achieve each of those dreams. I figured, a few weeks after graduation, I would find a cushy position as a Research Assistant, at an out-of-state university, get my own apartment, and apply to psychology PhD programs. Little did I know that my plan did not mesh too well with God’s plan. I applied for over 50 positions and had several interviews, but none of those doors seemed to open. I was so frustrated with my life. I saw all my peers, fellow 2014 grads, with internships at big names company andgrad school acceptances to fancy ivy leagues schools, and for me, nothing. For the life of me, I could not figure out why I felt so stuck.

“When the Lord makes it clear you're to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.” –Charles Swindoll

Meanwhile, I had an opportunity to manage my parent's business. Because this job didn’t fit my plan, I resented it. For a long time I resented my job because I believed it wasn’t fitting into the plan I had for my life.

My mom always said, Lauren, God says to shine where you are." Realizing my bad attitude and constant frustration wasn’t getting me anywhere, that’s exactly what I set out to do, "Shine where I was."

Although it was tough, I began to focus on the responsibilities I had to fulfill. God began to reveal to me exactly what I should do and the next steps of action I should take. Little did I know that God would use this frustrating season, as fuel, to create a new plan and to bless me with a new visionary outlook. Working for my parents unveiled to me what I valued in life and in my career, things like: Flexibility, autonomy, and passion. This season helped me to see that God not only created me to be an Entrepreneur but He also gave me the vision and passion to help others. This frustrating season opened the doors for me to travel, explore, and develop my passion.

God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. At the time, He didn’t want me to move across the country and start a new life, He wanted me to move back home, help my family, and create a blog that serves as a testimony to help others. If I ignored His will long enough, who knows where I would be. Maybe I’d be in New York working for Columbia University with an amazing fourth floor walk up or, in "The A", having happy hour with new friends. Who knows? I’ll never know because it wasnt His will. That answer alone is enough for me to stop the wondering and fantasizing of how life could be. He gave me this wonderful life, filled with many trials and setbacks, but, also, with opportunities to grow, lessons to learn, and lots of amazing people to love.

I understand how easy it is to resent something or to have an ungrateful attitude about life's current season.  I also understand the struggle that exists in pursuing His will over our own. But, once we get out of our own way, and stop letting our limited, narrow-minded ideas control us, we can really see what God is trying to accomplish, both in us and through us!

Challenge yourself: Take the do not disturb sign off your heart, and allow God to work in and through you. Don’t allow stubbornness and a strong-will to block you from God’s blessings and purpose.  Be open to receiving His message and His word, and listen to what He has to say. His plan is greater than any plan we may attempt to piece together.

Hang tight, pursue Him, and, in the process, let your light shine!

Lauren Alyssa