Confession: I am a planner. I like Calendars–paper or digital. I like being able to visibly view the day, week, or month ahead. I like planning times to get together with friends, adventures we will take on a weekend, what we will eat next week, and even what I will do after I finish writing this post. It can kinda get out of hand.
It began in High School, when due to my “over-achiever” personality, I began to realize that I received a sense of pleasure and accomplishment from being able to juggle everything I wanted to do (student council, youth congress, etc.), with everything I didn’t want to do (algebra and chemistry). I loved when I had a different activity after school every day, or when my Algebra Two teacher asked if I would be attending class any time this semester because all of my activities came with “dismissed-from-class” field trips. The more I “accomplished,” the more I felt almost super-human.
My love for planning (and event juggling) continued through college and into my job in youth ministry. I loved planning ahead, foreseeing things that needed to be done, and finding a rhythm each year that was just predictable enough–while leaving room for the unexpected. Two years ago, I would have been able to tell you what I was doing in February, May, and in June. But now? Now, I can’t even tell you about next week.
As I shared a few months ago, my plans have changed. Before my eyes, my dreams have become sand. Not working these past ten months have made my days quiet. I am undergoing a planning withdrawal, that sneaks up on me in the form of anxiety.
Who am I if I am not busy?
Who am I without a paycheck?
Who am I without a job?
These questions find me at random moments, picking away at any sense of contentment or faith, until I catch myself from falling into the valley of despair–but honestly, there have been days when I don’t catch myself. Days when my husband comes home from work, to find me sitting on the couch in a funk, because these questions have over taken me.
I can’t plan anything right now because I don’t know where this path will take me. I can only take steps of faith and one day at a time. I am used to being the one with “the plan.” Now, I don’t have any plan. And you know what?
Like I said, it often doesn’t feel OK, but it’s OK because I have been in places of the unknown before, and God has always been faithful. It’s OK, because busyness doesn’t always equal fulfillment, accomplishment, or any of those things I used to believe in High School. It’s Ok, because even though I don’t have a plan, God promises that there is a plan for me, and that it is good. Finally, it’s OK, because although I haven’t always had friends on the journey, God has blessed me with some very good ones right now, and one of them told me last week:
“You can’t plan your significance.”
God ultimately decides, and if I can’t plan the most important thing I will do or be, then its time to embrace this vacation from planning, this time of waiting.
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