“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”— Proverbs 19:21(NIV).
Before turning my life over to God, I was in complete charge of my life, or so I thought. My plans were spelled out each day on my to-do list. Without the list, I couldn’t accomplish the tasks I’d set out to complete each day, each week, each month. I considered myself a woman on a mission.
Looking back, I wonder how many times my missions didn’t line up with God’s plans for my life. Since then, I can see how God stepped in and changed my carefully planned life.
When I enrolled in college in 1971, my chosen major was elementary education. But I believe God intervened when my college advisor said, “Carol, you’re going to have a difficult time finding a job in that field because there are so many choosing that career path.”
When Our Chosen Path Changes Course
When my advisor asked me what my favorite school subject was, I replied, “English.” I loved writing and reading had been ingrained in me at an early age.”
After choosing a journalism class as an elective, I eventually switched majors, choosing English as my minor. I was still in education, but now I would be teaching on the secondary level. For over 30 years, I taught teenagers and believe my impact on their lives was greater than if I had been in elementary education.
Why do I believe that? Because I’m in touch through social media with many of them. And I’m humbled when they share with me the difference I’ve made in their lives. Only God could change my path for His purposes.
God’s Purposes are Better
Before retiring from secondary education in 2005, I’d started making plans for my post-teaching career. I was a young retiree at age 51. When my career began, I was fresh out of college and many of my students weren’t that much younger than I was.
In addition to moonlighting as a reporter for the local newspapers while teaching, I was also a professional photographer. I earned additional income from shooting wedding photos, little league sports teams, and high school senior portraits. My retirement plans included growing both side businesses—writing more for area publications and expanding my photography business outside our community.
But God had a better plan, one I never dreamed of or even considered. He moved me from the area where I had lived since 1975 to a larger community, where I knew only a few people. But His purpose for my life prevailed.
When God’s Purpose Prevails
Before moving to the new community, I sensed God’s spirit leading me to give up my photography business, so I sold my studio equipment. I’d also been led by the Holy Spirit to visit with a newspaper editor about writing for their publication. Her suggestions are what led to my faith-based writing. None of these moves were part of my carefully planned life. But God had a better plan—or should I say the best plan.
Looking back at where I thought I’d be now and where God has led me, two scriptures come to mind. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” The other verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Have you yielded your chosen path to God? When you trust Him, surrendering your heart to His greater purposes, you just might be surprised at the direction He takes you, but you’ll never be disappointed.