To my fellow high school seniors:
Have you felt the pressure yet? The pressure to have it all figured out. The pressure to know where you’re going next year and what you will be doing. I’ve been feeling it lately, and I’ve also felt like my plans are too small. Like I’m not dreaming big enough. Am I choosing the right path? I’m not applying to Ivy League schools (if you are, please know I would be the first to give you a high-five because that is an awesome accomplishment!). To be honest, I am only looking at one school out-of-state, because I feel like staying in-state might end up being best for me. Most of my peers, however, are planning on attending an out-of-state university. Despite what I feel is right, others make me feel that it’s wrong. That maybe I’m wrong for not shooting for the stars. I have felt fear and doubt as my peers are signing with schools and they just seem to know where they are supposed to go, while I don’t.
But do you know what God told me?
He told me that my unplanned-plan is perfectly fine. Why? Well, first of all, because God is probably going to change it. He has control of my life; I don’t. And I’ve spent enough time with Him to know that what I plan to happen usually doesn’t happen. But He always has something better in mind. Also, having “smaller” goals than others is absolutely okay. What is small to this world may be the grandest plan to God. I have no idea what kind of difference I can make on a campus, no matter its location or size.
I want you to know that your plans are not too small. No dream is too small for God. Do not look at your path through the eyes of the world. Do not believe for a second that you must do “this,” or go to school “there,” or become “that,” because those are the world’s standards, not God’s. His plans are different, and so much better.
If you don’t have Plan A-Plan Z completely set and figured out, GOOD! That means that God has room to move in your life and direct your steps. If you decide that your future plans are set in stone, they aren’t. Maybe they’re set in your stone, but are they set in God’s stone?
Maybe you know exactly what it is you’ll be doing next year, and if so, I would encourage you to hold that future with a loose grip, because it may change entirely. God has the strongest grip of all and though you’ve planned your course, the Lord will establish your steps (Proverbs 16:9).
On the other hand, maybe you don’t have a clue. I would encourage you to trust God. In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises that He has a plan for your future, and it is a plan full of hope. He has plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Read Scripture, because God has already answered so many of our current questions in His Word. Pray sincere, big prayers. They can be messy; He knows we don’t have it all figured out. Pray specifically; your faith will grow when you see Him answer those specific prayers that you told Him about.
God’s plan for you might include a four-year university. Maybe it includes two years at the community college. Maybe He wants you in the workforce. While this season of life is full of unknowns, remember to listen for God’s voice before you listen to the world’s. Because although earthly shouts feel stronger right now, God’s whisper can change your entire life.