Friday, 11 September 2015

I'm right at home in the unknown!

With the final year of my degree lingering around the corner, I've been hit time and again by the million dollar question, 'What next?'
My friend and I were mulling over how our stories would unravel - the careers we'd choose, the places we'd visit, the people we'd meet, the men we'd marry (just to clarify, one man per woman!), most importantly, what would our God-given missions look like? We were so excited for the future that we couldn't wait for it to unfold; we wanted to know every detail of it, NOW!
Where would we live? What would we look like in 10 years? How much would we earn? What would our husbands look like - is he going to be short, tall, bearded, man-buned, dreadlocked, spectacled, tattooed? What would we have accomplished for God? Would we have kids - if so, how many?

As my mind raced wildly through the many possibilities, I realised that where I am at present greatly differed from my dreams five years ago. I wanted to be an Oxford medic pursuing a career in cardiology, but here I am marvelling over the DNA and naked mole rats at Queen Mary with little clue as to what to specialise in, and I honestly love every second of it! If my 15 year old self could foresee the future however, she would've freaked out - she'd consider it a failure and embarrassment. In hindsight, I am grateful that God helped me steer clear of a massive mistake. At 15, I was driven by pride and was not mature enough to choose what was best for me, let alone see God's hand at work in and through me. It took a series of events for God to break me, and change my desires, passions and perspective, and prepare me for what He had in store all along. At 20, I am still not mature enough to handle what God has in store 5, 10 or 15 years down the line.

Hence I've resolved to making a few changes...

I have decided to read my book of life, one page at a time and quit trying to peek into the rest.
As I recently read 'Nineteen Minutes' by Jodi Picoult, I often found myself having to re-read a page because I just could not concentrate; my mind wandered, longing to find out what happened next! I believe the same happens when we pump all our efforts into the future. My friend puts it beautifully in an article he wrote for Open Doors Youth, 'As a young Christian I often place these big expectations on my life, and when the future is uncertain I forget to live for God in the here and now. I get wrapped up in the fine details of my ‘calling’ and miss out on the adventures He has for me every single day. I measure my worth by the things I do, rather than by the One who loves me as I am.'
Right now, there are people all around us, waiting to be fed, clothed, loved and saved - what are we waiting for!
Every grand ending, starts with a humble beginning and many steps of obedience.
What need in the world does your heart break for?
What step is God nudging you to say, 'Yes!' to?

I have decided to embrace the mystery, for it has given me the freedom to dream.
I haven't stopped dreaming; I haven't stopped aspiring - but I do it all at the feet of Jesus. Wise King Solomon said, "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's the LORD's purpose that prevails" I can rest assured that my future is in the hands of the One who seeks the best for me. If my dreams are for my good and His glory, they'll come to pass, no matter how far-fetched they are; and for those dreams that stem out of my 'selfish ambitions and vain conceit', He'll humble me and give me the grace to rise above them and accept His, 'No'. While God sifts through my dreams, I'll continue to faithfully serve Him wherever I am.
I know that I hinted at being weary about dwelling on the future but PLEASE DREAM; whatever you do, DON'T STOP DREAMING, because 'without vision, people perish'

"I don't know what the future holds, but I know the One who holds my future" ~ someone wise

Ultimately, it all comes down to trusting God in complete surrender. As we step into the unknown, be it a new academic year, career or relationship, we can feel at home, knowing God will meet us there.

To end, here's a little something to reflect on from Francesca Battistelli:

Keeping Me Guessing
Coffee cup waking me up
I've got to board a plane
And fly away sometimes
I feel like I'm going the speed of light
Can't relax I'm moving too fast
I want to find the gold but I don't have a map
I wish that I could know what you've got in store for me

I try and try
To read your mind
'Cause I forget that patience is a virtue
You're teaching me to hold on tight

'Cause I don't know how the story ends
But I'll be alright 'cause You wrote it
I don't know where the highway bends
But I'm doing just fine
'Cause You're in control
Even when I don't know
Where my life's gonna go
You're keeping me guessing
So slow me down
Show me around
I want to see the world
That I've been without
I am here and now
The future is out of my hands
I'm trusting you
And how you move
I won't forget that patience is a virtue
You're teaching me to hold on tight

Seasons come
And seasons go
But you decide
You're keeping me guessing

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