… to quote Katelyn Mee. (More on her and her sister Allison in a minute)
So often Jeremiah 29:11 becomes the verse of choice for Instagram bios, tweets and Facebook posts. I would bet that people who aren’t even Christian have probably seen this verse. If you don’t know it, here it is: “‘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.'” (NIV). The message in that verse is so important for us Christians to remember, but there’s a vital piece of information missing from it.
While God does indeed have many great plans for us (Ephesians 2:10, Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 31:14-15), He also requires we have faith in Him. We must trust that the Lord has our best interests at heart, even though we often don’t see it that way. We are reminded that by seeking and praising Him, we will be taken care of (Romans 8:28,Lamentations 3:25-26).
As humans, especially those of us who are type A, we love to plan and do everything we can to make sure we get what we want. It could be a job we want, a college degree, a new car, a new pair of shoes, to date a certain person, to move to a certain place, to buy a new home; the possibilities are endless. Despite how hard we work for these things, these things don’t always go according to our plan. What can be even more frustrating is when we are truly being faithful Christians and things don’t go our way. That’s when we start to question God and even get angry with Him.
But we can’t get angry with God. Who are we to talk back to God? (Romans 9:20) He made everything and He planned everything. We cannot question Him. Ever. God’s plan is far more perfect than we will ever realize. Even the smallest things are a part of His plan for each of us. Like running into people in the most unexpected places.
I grew up with Allison and Katelyn. Allison is my age and Katelyn is three years younger. I was never close friends with these girls, but we went to the same school. Allison and I played on the same basketball team in elementary school. They lived three houses down from my aunt, a house I’ve spent plenty of time at.
A couple weeks ago I ran into Allison on my way to brunch. I haven’t seen her since before she graduated from OU in the spring of 2016. She was walking out of church as I was walking to Packard’s. I hear this “oh my gosh!” and I look up and it’s Allison! She gave me the biggest hug. We talked about her time as a graduate student at Harvard (yes, this girl is way smart) and how she was teaching AP courses at Mustang High School. She told me that God put her where she needed to be and was just beaming telling me all about her teaching and her students. But she recognized that God put her in a classroom full of teenagers, somewhere a lot of people would not want to be, to not just teach them valuable lessons on various subjects, but to be a Light.
Ever since I saw Allison, I’ve thought about that: Where does God want me? How do I get there? I want to be as happy as Allison is about her Godly purpose.
Then, last night, I see Katelyn. I haven’t seen her since Christmas Break. Last fall, she interned in OU’s athletic department with me, so we spent ample time together. Some of you know I help out with youth ministry at Life.Church Norman on Wednesday nights. Katelyn’s first night of volunteering was last night. She joined in my small group and WOW.
I wish you all could’ve seen it. This girl gets it. Last night’s message was about approval and how the only approval we need is God’s (Galations 1:10). A lot of what we talked about was social media and how likes = approval for so many people, especially our cute little middle school girlies we work with. I could not have asked for a better co-leader than Katelyn last night.
While I must thank both of these women for being such bright Lights when I really needed it, I also have God to thank. He knew I needed Katelyn and Allison to show me how to be happy no matter where you end up and to be a good example to those who need it most. God answers prayers. I asked for more Christian friends and I got them.
Last night as we were all leaving church, I told Katelyn about how I ran into her sister and I started to say, “God’s timing is…” and she finished my sentence, “Impeccable.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.