“God, I don’t know what to do with my life, and it’s making me feel frustrated.” This is the prayer I used to cry out before every big change in my life. Whether I was facing a graduation, a big move, job hunting, or any number of other things, I always felt like I had to have it all figured out. To make matters worse, it always felt like everyone else had their lives figured out before me as I struggled to play catch up.
But the thing is, even though I was praying this prayer, I wasn’t really waiting for God to answer.
Isn’t it funny how the things you try to control the most are the things God uses to show you who is really in control? If it seems like God isn’t speaking to you about what you’re seeking, that doesn’t mean He’s silent—it could mean you’re creating too much noise. “God, what is the next step? What is Your plan for me?” We demand answers, and we want to see a movie reel in our heads instantly, titled What To Do With My Life. But we have to be ready to sit and wait on God to speak.
When I was younger, I used to help my mom decorate my birthday cake. I distinctly remember being my little five-year-old self and having her guide my hand as I iced the cake in her laid-out pattern. This is a picture of what our relationship with God should look like. But in my life, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to be the guide instead of being guided. Let me tell you, that never works out. You don’t have to be the one planning out your life because, guess what? God’s already done that!
I am a planner. I’m a color-coded, sticky-notes, graphs and charts kind of person. It is so hard for me not to know what’s going on, but God usually doesn’t let me see the next steps I’m supposed to take until right before I need to take them. Why? Because He knows that if I knew everything, I would probably talk myself out of doing what He has placed before me. See, God knows us so well that He knows our limits and breaking points. He knows how much we can handle. So what He does, He does to protect us.
I now have so much freedom in not knowing because I know what my focus should be on instead. In 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV, when faced with an uncertain future, Jehoshaphat prayed, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” God’s got us. Our job is to be expectant and listen for when He gives us answers. When we get those answers, then we must follow through. Even when God’s plan has seemed too big, I’ve gone after it because He has never failed me.
Philippians 4:7 MSG says, “It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Whatever you place at the center of your life is the thing that will control you. It’s so easy to put worry, fears, or the future at the center of our lives when really it should be God. God displaces worry in my life, so I trust Him even in my unknown.
So, just because you’re not sure what the future looks like for you right now doesn’t mean you don’t have a future that is being prepared. Don’t use your time worrying and trying to figure life out on your own. Instead, focus on what you already know to be true and build on what God has already spoken over your life. We all have a purpose that was planned out long ago. Think about the ways in which God communicates to you. Are you noticing the signs through your own distractions? Maybe instead of focusing on God’s purpose and plan for you, you should just be focusing on, well, God. Really, we have the easy part: focus on God and what He’s doing in you and trust that He will help you take the next step at the right time. Is that still scary? Yes! But I can say from experience that doing things God’s way not only gives you peace, but the freedom to know you are right where you are meant to be.