Does anyone else love to plan? Do you swoon over the 2016 calendar display every time you see it (even though you bought your new planner three months ago like me)? Who loves adding stickers and using pretty pens to map out the year ahead? Anyone else?!
I’m pretty sure that planning is my love language, and it makes me endlessly happy when the start of a new year or month rolls around so I can begin things afresh, jotting it all down in that pretty pen I mentioned earlier. But this year was my first year that looking forward really undid me. 2016 is full of so much promise and potential, but also so many unknowns in my world. Graduation looms, a job hunt is on the horizon, and I’ll be moving states once again, but I won’t know the destination for several months.
Even so, I sat down with a good friend and my goal setting worksheets and got started, giving myself every pep talk in the world so I could make my list of goals for the new year happen. However, I got three goals in and nearly melted down. How is a girl to plan when so much hangs in the balance?!
You know, I’m so glad you asked! :) Taking a step away from the goals and the unknowns, I turned to a familiar scripture in Proverbs 16. Verse 9 says “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (ESV). I particularly love how the similar word is echoed later on:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
I can prep and plan and fuss all I want to about what is to come, but it is the Lord who will (and should!) lead the way. I never want my dreams and plans to get in the way of His, and I want to lean on Him for guidance in every step of the process. May HE establish my steps along the way and reroute me when my plans don’t match up with His.
Wherever you are in the planning process -whether you have ten goals, twenty, or not a single one- there is so much grace! And, in the words of Lara Casey, there is nothing magical about January 1st. Let’s take time as the New Year arrives to commit our ways to the Lord and to ask HIM what He wants to do in us and through us this year. It could make all the difference.