Since May, my life has pretty much been functioning in a series of near-constant large events. I’ve been focusing on each large event at hand and worrying about the next event after the current event is over. Because of that one-step-at-a-time mentality, I haven’t devoted much mental space to the major cross country trip I’m leaving for in less than one month. Or to planning it out in fine detail. Now that the Crazy Summer Event finish line has been crossed by moving back home I’ve had nothing but mental space with which to consider this trip. I’ve been in full-force planning mode ever since I got home and let me tell you…
I’m starting to freak out a bit.
This is not shocking. To experience some level of anxiety in the presence of a looming deadline with factors necessary to it’s completion being outside of my control is as inherent to me as my abnormally small feet and propensity to tripping over air: it’s part of who I am. And this part of who I am, this part that is constantly, nervously babbling fears and doubts and apprehensions in the background of my thoughts, is in need of a reminder that ultimately, I am not in control.
So to call a recent experience I had fortuitously timed wouldn’t be giving it the credit it is due. It was nothing short of miraculous.
Before I left Rochester I went to the bank to deposit a check. This errand was sandwiched between the other normal tasks I needed to accomplish – making a coffee run at Leaf & Bean and grabbing a few last minute groceries at Wegmans. Nothing major.
I go up to the counter and hand over my check. After entering in the necessary information the teller asks me if I would like some sort of service specific to that branch. I say no, because I am moving in a few days. He wonders where to? I briefly tell him the story of my plans for the next few months. He asks me why I am doing such a thing? I inform him that I’ve always wanted to and that I felt like God opened up the doors for me to do it now. And then he said this…
“I want you to know that the Lord has a special plan for your life. And his plans don’t always make sense, like when he told Abram to move to a new land or told Noah to build the ark, but his plans are always for the good of those who love him. That’s not to say that there won’t be bumps in the road, but I believe that God will put people in your path to provide for you along every step of the way. If you really feel like this is what the Lord is calling you to do then go and don’t look back.”
He went on, but I was too stunned to catch anything else. Until he closed with, “Oh, and here’s my and my wife’s email address. We would love to lift you up in prayer as you travel. If you have any prayer requests just send them our way.”
At that point I couldn’t help the tears that were freely flowing down my face. It was all I could do to say thank you and shake his hand and walk out to my car before the waterworks really took off. I was so in awe of being known and loved by a God who would go so far to reach out to me. It was exactly the reassurance I needed and will continue to need as I plan and venture out into the (literal) unknown. It was reassurance that I am taking risks but taking them for the right reasons. And that I’m planning as much as I can but that every plan is already safely held in his hand because his plans are bigger than mine. His purpose is bigger than me and my hippie road trip. I’m not the one calling the shots; I’m not the one in control. I’m just the one who felt the tug on my heart and decided to go.
Psalm 139 has always been one of my favorites, but these verses have been especially meaningful recently as I reflect on God hanging out at HSBC…and wonder where I’m going to sleep for the next 3 months.
1 O Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O Lord.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
Look around for the places and people and moments God is orchestrating just for you today. He’s there in all of them. He has special plans for you.