So far, life has taught me some very valuable (and painful) lessons. But there is one that has proven to be true in ALL situations. My #1 life lesson is this: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” It’s an old, tired cliché, but it is 1000% true! And if you truly know God, you know He has a twisted sense of humor lol.
I’m a perfectionist with a slight hint of OCD, so I’ve been making plans for my whole life. I always made lists of things I wanted to accomplish the next year, and 5 year plans. I knew that I had life completely figured out. I remember that I made a 5 year plan after high school. By 2014 (last year) I would:
1. graduate from college
2. be working in my field
3. be married to the love of my life
4. have a house out of Alabama
5. have AT LEAST 1 kid
God really thought I was hilarious. I imagine him laughing at me like I was opening for a Kevin Hart standup. Of all these things, I have only accomplished ONE (I’ll let you guess which one). Not for lack of trying, but because God had other things in mind…
The day you find out you have no control over your destiny will probably be the worst day of your life.
I graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and I just knew I was going to Physical Therapy school far away from Alabama. I was going to find a husband, get married, and have my first kid before the age of 26 (a year after being in the field, of course!). My life was going to be smooth sailing after I walked across that stage… SIKE! What really happened: I got rejected from EVERY school that I applied to, I was unemployed after graduating, and I moved back in with my parents. Definitely NOT in the plan… I fell into a very deep depression because I just didn’t know what to do! I felt like I was a failure and I had no future ahead of me. I was lost…
The day you find out you have no control over your destiny will probably be the worst day of your life. It was a hard pill for me to swallow, especially since I wasn’t very strong in my faith at the time. I rebelled and threw temper tantrums like a toddler. “But God, I don’t wanna do this, I wanna do that!” or “I’m not doing that and you can't make me!” One day—after God showed me time and time again who really ran the show—I threw up my hands and reluctantly asked Him to take the wheel.
That was the BEST DECISION EVER! Ever since, things have been falling into place. Of course there have been some obstacles along the way that make me want to go back to my old ways. Then I remember that God has a better future planned for me than I do. My five year plan has nothing on His! I still question Him though (“Are you sure I’m supposed to be here?”) and sometimes I throw my temper tantrums and get frustrated… But I have to remember to keep my faith. Everything will work out in my favor. I just have to be patient and keep praying.
So I prayed and prayed about my future and somehow God led me to education. My mom was a teacher and I vowed to NEVER do it because it seemed like a constant headache (and there’s no money in it). But here I am! And I’m a semester away from graduating with a Master’s degree. I have my own apartment and a great job working with kids. I’m still not married (no kids either!), but who knows what may happen in the next year ;-) A couple of years ago, I never expected to be where I am today.
This is what I try to tell my friends when they say things aren’t going as planned… of course they aren’t, because YOU made the plans! I encourage everyone to give up control of your life. I don’t mean just sitting on the couch all day praying for miracles lol. I mean ask God where He wants you to go and really listen to it. You may have to give up your current job, friends, or even family members but things will finally fall into place when you stop calling the shots. Now, I ask God for help with every decision I make and He hasn’t steered me wrong yet! I’m confident He never will :-)
Whitney is currently an exhausted teacher, a loving daughter, an annoying little sister, and a devoted wife. :-)