In a few days I will be 30. While 30 is obviously only one year more than 29, it feels like a greater distance now that I’m entering a new decade of life. As I look back on my twenties, I think of the plans I had for myself: graduate college at 22, get a job right away, be married by 25, have at least one kid by 30, and be a stay-at-home mom. Well, as my dad told me years ago, quoting John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
As it turns out, I barely graduated before my 23rd birthday (without a job), I married at 28, and I’m still waiting on that mom-thing. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. Why? Because God knew better. He knew that the extra semester I would spend taking additional classes would help me land a job a month after graduation. He knew the perfect time for me to start dating my future husband, and I have to trust that He knows the perfect time for me to become a mom.
In today’s society that is all about self-advancement and independence, I think sometimes it’s difficult for us when things don’t happen as we’ve planned. I’m a big planner, and I often get upset when something doesn’t go as it went in my head, just ask my husband. But as I age (and hopefully mature), I come to understand that the world is not going to end if I don’t get everything checked off of my unrealistic to-do list for my day off.
I’ve also come to understand the beauty of surrendering to God’s will. At first surrender is scary. It reminds me of that dream where I’m falling into a vast space. But when I loosen my grip on my own plans and let God in, He always shows me He’s taking care of me.
At age 30, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else but where God has me right now. I can tell you, though, that I couldn’t have predicted it! Woody Allen was wise when he said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I can picture God 10 years ago smiling and saying, “Just wait and see what I have planned for you!”
We can never know fully what God has planned for our future, but the more we surrender to His will, the more fulfilled our lives will be. So next time you’re faced with a decision – small or large, consider asking, “God, what do YOU want for me?”
I’ll leave you with a quote from St. Josephine Bakhita, whose feast day is on my birthday, February 8th. “The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us!”