This past weekend, I attended a conference for Christian women. It was an event filled with inspiring speakers, great food, and amazing girls. It also required more walking than I ever thought I’d do in a lifetime. This conference was held on a large college campus and every workshop, dinner, and worship time were all located at least two miles apart from each other. One night, we all walked to a dinner party and it rained cats and dogs the whole way. We sloshed through the puddles in skirts and sandals, trying not to get run over as we scrambled across the streets. Needless to say, our hair and makeup were thoroughly ruined by the time we arrived at the party. It was all I could do to keep putting one soaked foot in front of the other, reassuring myself that we were almost there, even when we still had a ways to go.
Sometimes this is what life feels like. As a senior in college, I am desperately searching for a plan, a straight and narrow path that I can follow. Instead, I am walking too slowly in the rain, praying that I can somehow get to my destination quicker. Christians are so often told that we need to give our lives to God and trust in the plan He has for us. But many of us still struggle because in spite of trusting God, we don’t know what He wants our next step to be. I’ve heard many Christian women say that it was a challenge for them to give up the plan they wanted for themselves and follow God’s will instead. And I’m always tempted to ask, How can you tell the difference?
I have the hardest time discerning God’s plan for me when it comes to dating. A few months ago, one of my best friends married a wonderful guy she met on Christian Mingle. I decided that it was time for me to find a partner as well so I signed up for the site. And it was a complete waste of my time. Not because there weren’t any good guys on the site, because there were. No, it was a waste of my time because I could not have cared less about starting a relationship with any of those men. The entire time I was on this dating website, I felt ridiculous. Because for my entire life, I had dreamed of getting married right out of college and starting a family. God had given me an opportunity to make that happen through online dating and I continually turned Him down. I prayed constantly. And I worried constantly. I tried so hard to figure out if I was following God’s plan or fighting against it by signing up for online dating. Then, I tried to figure out if God really wanted me to reject those guys or if I was turning away from the person He had chosen for me. I combed through Bible verses but didn’t get the answer I was searching for. Scripture makes it clear that God is just as happy with His children being single as He is with them being married. We all have a different purpose in life. I just wish I knew what He wanted from me specifically. I did find in my reading, however, that I should not be afraid of what I do not know:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
There was an amazing speaker at the conference I attended who talked about doing a triathlon after she finished chemotherapy. She said that when the task seemed impossible to finish, she focused on the next hundred yards in front of her. Against all odds, she finished the race because she took it one step at a time. This is how life needs to be looked at. Whether you are stuck out in the rain, trying to finish college, or going on a date. We are not meant to know God’s whole plan for our lives. We are meant to focus on overcoming the next hundred yards in our walk with Christ. If He got us this far, He will continue to lead us to the finish line.