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Surrendering Your Plans

Surrendering Your Plans

 
By:  Mission Team October 18, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Depression, #God, #Hope, #Humility, #Wisdom

If you asked me half a year ago what I was doing with my life, I could have walked you through exactly where I was going to be every day for the next fifteen years of my life. There was something very powerful that propelled me into getting good grades and achieving everything I thought I was supposed to be in high school. It was the pressure I put on myself to be the perfect person.

So if I was going to be that person, everything I did had to be intentional and planned. There was no room for error. I couldn’t fail, because if I failed it would mean I wasn’t perfect, and to Junior year me, that was the end of the world. And to be honest, I got pretty close to my idea of “perfect”. I met all the standards and goals I had set for myself in high school. I applied to ten colleges “just in case” and got into all of them. I picked the college that pleased my parents the most. So I threw everything I was doing into scholarships for that school. Just to give you an idea of how intense I was about striving for money and worldly perfection, the first anxiety attack I ever had was when I was ten years old thinking about how I was going to pay for college. So out of fear, I spent hours upon hours of my life to keep perfect A’s in higher-level classes and writing essays, working different jobs and internships, striving to build a resume that couldn’t disappoint anyone. I got exactly what I wanted. Except it wasn’t.

I remember the day like it was yesterday, and it went like this:

It was a Friday, I had an appointment with my doctor, and I remember him commenting on how I was thinner. It’s because I was; I had dropped twenty-one pounds since my last appointment with him. I was cutting weight for wrestling. I had been injured for the last year and it was halfway through the season that I was supposed to get cleared to wrestle again at this appointment.

He walked into the room and I’ll never forget the look on his face. He broke the news to me that he wasn’t going to clear me for sports. On the way back from the hospital, I remember crying in frustration. I remember saying I just need to find something to do. I walked into our weight room and broke the news to my coach with tears still in my eyes. He said, “I know. I was expecting this”. He proceeded to tell me that he wanted me to stay on the team as an assistant coach. I accepted the position, after all, it was another resume builder; if I couldn’t have wrestling itself, I might as well coach.

I went home that day feeling very strange. I got a call from a place I applied to work at saying they wanted to hire me. I found my financial aid package on the counter. It was so much better than I hoped for. I got almost complete tuition assistance, and I would only have to pay $2,000! Later that evening, the girl I had a crush on texted me asking if she could come over and “hang out” as my parents were out of town. My other group chat was blowing up, congratulating me on my scholarships telling me they wanted to take me out to a party and get messed up to celebrate.

For whatever dumb reason, I told everyone I had a family dinner that night and I couldn’t do anything. I remember lying on the floor of my parent’s room. My heart was thumping in my chest and I pulled on my hair; nearly everything was going how I wanted, but I didn’t understand why I felt so wrong. I was beginning to achieve that perfection I wanted so bad. Why did it feel so wrong?

A thought occurred to me, to what end? Why was I actually doing all these things? I saw how fast I had gone from my wrestling season being over right into trying to achieve the next thing. If I couldn’t be perfect in that area, I might as well go be perfect somewhere else right? For the first time, I realized that there was no satisfaction in any of those things I had been trying so hard to achieve. I finally got everything I wanted. Yet still, there was something lacking in me.

There is a song by Billie Eilish called Everything I Wanted. One of the verses goes like this: “I had a dream, I got everything I wanted, Not what you'd think, and if I'm being honest, it might've been a nightmare.”

This was exactly how I felt. My dream of being perfect was a nightmare and I didn’t know it. I had to change something, anything. This is when I applied to be a missionary. I have no idea why I agreed to do it. In the eyes of the world, it was probably the stupidest thing I could have done, but it had to be done.

In the second week of training, I remember sitting in the chapel with another missionary and I had my notebook with me. In this notebook was the plan I had come up with mapping out the next fifteen years of my life. I looked at it, then I looked up at the cross. I thought to myself, “Did He die for me just to do this?”. Looking back, God was really speaking to my heart at that moment, and he said ever so simply: “This isn’t you”. I picked up my pen and drove it into the notebook and put a giant “X” through the entire page.

As I reflect, I realize just how far God will go just to show me that my identity isn’t in what I accomplish, but in Him. Thomas Aquinas says, “The things that we love tell us what we are”, and so take my advice and do not love what is futile and seek what is false, for those things only lead to dissatisfaction. So rather, love God if you desire true fulfilment and want to know that you are truly amazing, not because of what you do but because of who you are.

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About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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