Archives for posts with tag: jeremiah 29:11

This post (and habit) was inspired by Courtney’s post.

I have a habit of hiding good news until I know that it is true, without a shadow of a doubt.  This stems from repeated disappointment, primarily due to a relationship in which the guy constantly kept me updated (communication is good), but I always assumed that that meant whatever he was telling me was a definite go (because I don’t tell people unless I am almost certain that it is a definite go).
I learned that people have an uncanny habit of letting you down and that I was best protected when I expected nothing.  And, since I knew how upset I would become when life failed to go according to plan, I usually waited until I had a high percentage of certainty before telling anyone anything that I considered important.  I didn’t want to look foolish if I became excited over anything and then the plans fell through.

I still do that.  I feign indifference or even annoyance if someone mentions something that excites me, because I hate these conversations:
“What do you think of XYZ?”
“That would be great!”
“Okay, I’ll plan it.”
“Awesome!  I’m so excited!”  Around this point, I run around telling everyone that I’m going to XYZ.  And then this happens:
“Actually, because of ABC, we can’t XYZ.”
“Oh.  Ok, that’s fine.”  Even though I feel like my soul may have just died.

And then I met Alan.  Maybe it’s the fact that we actually live in the same time zone and actually spend time together (this was a novelty to me), or maybe it’s the fact that I love him more than I ever believed it possible to love someone, or maybe it’s a combination of the two, or maybe it’s the combination of the first or the second with something completely different!  Anyway.  Regardless, I’ve found myself telling him about opportunities long before I receive confirmation, leaving myself with the distinct possibility that I may have to turn around and later tell him that the opportunity fell through.  It’s nerve-wracking, but it spurs me to work harder, to do everything I can to prevent having to admit that I’ve failed at something.  I’m working on it.  I’m also working on actually acting excited when I am excited about something.  That one is a lot more difficult, because I hate being disappointed and it’s so much easier when people don’t know that I’m disappointed — then I can wallow in self-pity by myself!  But even that rarely works, because I tend to write it out (and Alan reads it) or I pout (and Alan asks why and I tell him … after an incredibly extended game of “I’m-fine-and-have-no-idea-what-you’re-talking-about-even-though-I’m-obviously-insanely-upset” that can sometimes last until early in the morning).

I decided to apply those concepts to this blog and the writing process (I knew there was a point to sharing bits of my past to people I’ve never met).  I’m not just going to write that my writing was published, but that I sent a query letter, that I was rejected, that I’m frustrated but learning from my mistakes (and the millions of things that happen in between).  So, without further ado. …

I e-mailed a potential source twice in two weeks and have yet to receive a response (I intend to call tomorrow).  I e-mailed a military source earlier this week and have yet to receive a response (I plan to follow up tomorrow).  I found a potential source online two weeks ago, typed her name in on Facebook, sent her a message and prayed I sent it to the correct person.  I did — she e-mailed me today, and we’re setting up a Skype interview.  I e-mailed another source and hope to set up a Skype interview next week, over spring break.  I also called a military source today — I was hoping to schedule an appointment tomorrow so I could explain everything in detail (because I pass the source’s office on my way home).  However, the source wanted me to e-mail the proposal, first, so I did.  And, I e-mailed an editor at a local newspaper.

I pray before I compose an e-mail, before I dial a phone number.  I ask God to guide me through the process, to speak through me and grant me success if it is His will for my career.  And if it isn’t?  I pray that he will grant me the serenity and comfort to accept that fact, and to continue forward without taking the rejection personally.  I also write a script outline so I remember to hit my key points (or remember to speak in intelligible English, because that sometimes doesn’t happen if I’m nervous), and display it on my laptop screen as I call.

You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. – Psalm 71:21

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. – Proverbs 19:21

During my freshman and sophomore (particularly my sophomore) years of college, I really took this verse to heart.  I had entered college with intentions of becoming the next secretary of state, or perhaps the next Michael Yon/Michelle Malkin (I once had a dream I met Michael Yon – most women dream of meeting Hollywood actors.  I’d rather meet a combat journalist).  I was going to graduate with a degree in political science, history and journalism, minor in Mideast Studies, earn a doctorate, complete a stint with the Peace Corps, become a war correspondent for a bit, and then continue on to politics (all by the age of 30, no less).  Oh.  And by the end of freshman year, there was no plan for marriage.  Ever.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that pursuing political office as a political science major was counterproductive.  And then there was that little issue of my college not actually offering a program in Middle Eastern Studies (it’s not like there’s a war going on over there or anything).  Finally, I admitted to myself that my reasons for wanting to enter politics were not entirely my own – I had been telling people, since about eighth grade, that I was going to work in politics.  It was simply assumed.  It was what I thought everyone wanted, what I had been telling myself I wanted.  But was it really what God wanted me to do?

So, during my sophomore year of college, I changed my major to journalism and history (besides, who really wants to take three 400-level senior seminars and write an honors thesis?).  And the Lord brought someone new into my life, and I realized that accomplishing everything in the world would mean nothing if I did it alone.  The effect love can have on your willingness to change your plans is unreal.  No longer was I simply pursuing what I wanted to do to further my career, but I began to pursue avenues that would help both of us.

Instead of chasing after my many plans (most of which would have required complete, solitary focus to achieve, anyway), I am studying to become a journalist or an editor, I am preparing to earn my bachelor’s degree, I am preparing to become a wife and a stepmother in less than 16 months.  That’s an enormous responsibility, but I know that God has His hand in our lives.  Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord, not ourselves, to acknowledge Him.  Philippians reminds us not to be anxious about anything, but to pray.  Why?  Because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Was politics my calling?  I don’t believe so.  I enjoy studying politics, but when I finished my history paper last night, I didn’t reward myself by reading Safire’s Political Dictionary (probably because it’s at home on my bookshelf).  I decided to reward myself by blogging (which, actually, didn’t happen because I had other work to accomplish).  I have always enjoyed writing, and I believe that God has blessed me with that gift, with this current path, to prepare me to glorify Him through my work.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Maybe our lives don’t always follow the paths we had once envisioned.  But perhaps that’s because we are too busy following the plans of our own hearts, instead of giving it all to the Lord and reaching our true potential.  When we allow Him to work in our lives, His purpose prevails.