Don’t you love when everything goes according to plan? Don’t you hate when it doesn’t?
When I first stepped foot on Grand Valley’s campus as a freshman, I finally experienced a taste of freedom that was totally new to me. There were so many new opportunities to take advantage of, people to meet, and responsibilities to take on- and I wanted to do it all.
See, I was so ready to get out of my house. Nearly every relationship in my family is strained by a past that is littered with emotional deprecation. Refusal to see eye to eye or give respect to each other’s opinions and feelings created an environment of negativity and hatred.
So, it makes sense that as soon as I was set free from that enslaving environment that I felt the need to take advantage of every opportunity just because I could. The ability to do things without the fear of judgement or backlash was freeing and addicting.
What I didn’t expect was the feeling that came over me with all of these new things. With every new organization I joined or team I was on, I convinced myself that I had be the best. I had to be successful. I had to be the kid from my family that went and did things with their life- and I didn’t need anyone else’s help to do it. I had to do it on my own. Why? To prove that I could.
I prayed about the things that I did, yes, but I always prayed for success. My arrogance was only fueled by God’s grace to grant me many successes. Until he didn’t.
Let’s take a trip to Spring Break sign ups. I was a one year veteran of this, so I had a plan. I had a list of top 5 trips that I would like to go on, but we all know that all I wanted was my number one choice. When my number was called, there were still openings on my trip and I was confident that I was about to go on my first-choice trip. Except someone took the last spot just before I got there. I was crushed, disoriented, confused, and frantic. Hold onto that thought.
Now let’s talk about some of the other organizations I got involved in. I became heavily involved in the residence life community here at Grand Valley this year. And when I say heavily, I mean that I took on just about every role that I could. I am on the E-Board for the National Residence Hall Honorary and Laker Village Community Council and am an active member of the Residence Housing Association. Not to mention that I helped plan the regional conference this year. So, when I applied to be an RA, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be granted the position. Everyone told me that they were rooting for me, my application was flawless and my interview was effortless. But, from the way this story is sounding, you may be able to tell what happened next. A few days ago, I received an email that I was not selected. I was again crushed, disoriented, confused, and frantic.
Now let’s go back to our Spring Break situation. Once I finally accepted that I was not going to my first choice trip, I looked at my list and reluctantly walked to the table of my second choice. As I was filling out the contact information, something came over me that I still can’t explain. Something beyond my control prompted me, mid-signature, to look up from the paper and ask the trip leader, “Do you actually know if there are any spots open on the Cuba trip?” After the words came out, I was mortified. I couldn’t go to Cuba. It was far too expensive. Cuba wasn’t even on my list. I told myself that this year I would trust God with the funds, but Cuba? That trip is almost twice as much as the next most expensive trip. I didn’t have a plan for this. Well God did, and here I stand today with my trip paid for in abundance by his grace.
For the Spring Break situation, God’s answer was not only direct, but I believe he took complete control of me. There was no time for me to think about my fears and hesitations. For the RA position, it is a little less clear. What is going to happen now? What will I do in the fall? While I don’t know the answer to this, I do know one thing for certain. God is in control. But guess what? That is okay. That is okay because his plan, as he has proven time and time again, is far greater than anything that I could imagine.