When you’re unsure about God’s plans for your future

When you’re unsure about God’s plans for your future

You know those moments, when you’re unsure about God’s plans for your future. They can be debilitating and anxiety inducing!

I’ve often felt the pressure to give advice when I hit post on an entry, but I fear that has kept me from saying what I feel the need to say at least a few times. That being said I don’t recommend quitting school (even though I would prefer saying “deciding on a different path” or “course” if I wanted to be punny).

When you're unsure about God's plans for your future

I’m scared

What I feel the need to say today is that I am scared, scared witless actually. I keep struggling with the doubt that God has a plan for me. No, scratch that. I’m afraid that his plans for me don’t meet my own expectations of what my life should be.

My life should follow this neat linear path. High school, college, marriage, family, blah, blah, blah, in no particular order (okay preferably that order). But as my life continues on, I have this sneaking suspicion that God’s plan is not working in this neat little order I would like for it to. And that has been very, very difficult for me to accept. I know that I have idolized this picture for my life; the picture that I am a university graduate doing great things with her diploma and her career. I have tried very hard to fit my life into this box of expectations I’ve set for myself and to be frank it has made me miserable.

But how could I still doubt Him after I’ve told him I wouldn’t do that again? He has told me specifically that He has a plan for me. I’m sure He’s observing my constant striving and worrying with bemused annoyance. I suppose I have been fooling myself by accepting that He has a plan for me while not accepting the oh so minor detail that His plan for me is worlds apart from my own plans or expectations for me.

Chris Russell said it best in his post on understanding God’s will for you life, “Many times when we say we are seeking God’s will, what we are really wanting to say to God is this: “OK, God, here’s what I’m planning to do. Now I need you to rubber stamp this, all right?” I’m definitely guilty of this.

When you’re unsure about what God really wants

Update: After a bit of prayerful journaling and reflection, I have made a not so crazy God-grace-given breakthrough. I was worried that this has been a “God, can I please have your rubber stamp of approval?” type of blissfully in denial decision, secretly hoping God is onboard and wanting to ignore Him if he’s not. But I thought, no, it’s probably best I make sure. And I thought, God, I’m going to listen to your spirit and write what you have to say to me. And I found myself writing…

God, what is the next step in my education? 

You have created me, a smart, brave, creative, and Godly woman; in many ways, like you. You have created me in your image.

You use your word to speak to me and speak truth into mine and others’ lives. Your spirit moves in me when I write to you and for others.

You have created me to serve you and to help others while also being a blessing to others. This is something you have made me capable of doing with or without a degree in everything that I can do.

I know a degree would be pleasing to me but it doesn’t make a difference in the way you see me; supremely adored and loved, covered by your absolute and immeasurable grace.

Life is about more than this moment or one decision’s outcome

My life’s purpose and meaning goes far beyond this one moment and decision. I’m not trying to justify quitting school; by all means, continue onward if that is what you feel you’re called to do! With God before you, how could you be lost? In everything you do for Him there is reason and purpose and worth. And I genuinely think God is wanting me to make this decision for myself without fear. There are personal reasons as to why but I won’t waste your time with that!

Although at the same time it is hard for me to wrap my head around; God has a specific and perfect plan for me and yet wants me to make this decision for myself? What? Why can’t things be more straightforward? Come to think of it, don’t we say that about all relationships? Don’t you wish you could say to your partner or friend or coworker “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?”

If this seems like one giant thought process fueled by caffeine and chocolate covered biscuits, you would be right. (At least it’s a prayerful caffeine and chocolate covered biscuits thought process!) What I am trying to say is I would venture to say that God is trying to teach me that he doesn’t dictate what I do. Instead, He is trying to gently show me how caring and understanding he truly is.

Perfect love drives out fear 

I found a tee-shirt today in a charity shop that says “Perfect love drives out fear” and I found it fitting to mention for wrapping up this post. Oh, I’m so funny. It is true. I’m scared, but I’m ready, and I’m positive there are great things to come. This season of my life is coming to an end and I have confidence His perfect love will drive out this fear I’m experiencing.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. 

Can I get an Amen? Amen!

Jesus is faithful, even when I am not

“Throw yourself into me”

…is what Jesus whispered to my heart when I metaphorically came slumping into worship this evening.

For weeks now I have been feeling like an undisciplined, disobedient, distant disappointment to God. I have put off writing what’s on my heart out of fear of being disingenuous because of my lack of consistent prayer, Bible study, or quality fellowship with my brothers and sisters.

But still, Jesus pursues me. And for this I thank God, because even during my deepest, darkest self-loathing God is still patient and his promises still true, whether I doubt Him or not. Jesus is still who He says He is, despite what battles are going on inside this head of mine.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

If I could make an educated guess as to why Jesus used the words “throw yourself into me,” it would be that I have done the exact opposite over these past couple of weeks. I have withdrawn from Him, even if that wasn’t my intention.

I want to honor and worship the Lord with my life. Because I’m human, however, what starts off as a pure pursuit of righteousness snowballs into a shell of what God intended wherein I’m living to please myself and not the Father.

I try with all of my will to live a Godly life, but therein lies the problem. I chase after perfection and righteousness in my own strength without thoughtful consideration of whether I’m pleasing the Lord or myself. It is embarrassing to admit, but I have even gone so far as to chase after the idea of looking like a Godly woman. Am I that delusional? Yes. The answer is yes, sometimes.

I have unfortunately clung to this sin of chasing “perfection”. God is calling me to commit it into his hands. It is scary and is long overdue. The suffering I have endured mentally and emotionally from this sin, Jesus has told me, is not something beyond the realm of what I can handle. He has called me to finally trust in who He is and what He says when he says:

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

So, starting today I am following Jesus’ advice and throwing myself into all that He is. I am throwing myself into his immeasurable love and grace. I am throwing myself into all of His promises. It won’t be easy, because doubt has made plenty of sneak attacks on my heart before, but thankfully even when I am doubtful, Jesus is steadfastly loving and faithful.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Sharing my God given passions with you

Hello everyone, I’m sorry it has been at least a month and a half to two months since I made my last post.

…As a creative person has to constantly “make”, I haven’t been completely “monging” it (British word). Basically I haven’t been lazing about watching Netflix and YouTube (okay, only a little). I’m very inspired by Christina Lorre‘ on YT; she gives all the glory to God for her gift and passion for drawing.

In case you weren’t made aware by my Instagram (which you can find here: rachelchamberlayne), my other passion is drawing and illustration. Lately I’ve been on a drawing kick. I go through phases where writing is my main outlet and other times where drawing absolutely takes over my life. God has truly given me a gift when it comes to creativity; I could die happy knowing God only blessed me with the ability to create things with my hands. Obviously He has blessed me with so much more as well, but I’m so grateful that I have a passion for something that is truly a vessel for worship.

My friend Hannah recently shared with me the idea of writing prayers down in a way that the words overlap one another so it looks like a bunch of gibberish. It’s great because praying out loud or in my head can be hard for me to do for some reason, but ever since I started writing my prayers out I’ve found it has strengthened my prayer life ten fold. Only God knows what you’re praying to him as well in case anyone gets their hands on your journal. 😉

It would be quite cool to map out an image or a shape that has significance and write the prayer within it if you’re feeling creative enough!

All of that being said, I wanted to share with you a few of my recent sketchbook drawings. By no means am I the best artist ever, but these are a few sketches I like and thought I would share. How could I have a blog and not share a passion God has given me that is so big it demands as much attention as my writing? So without further ado: