Looking Ahead, with Joy

By Naomi Rossow

I am 19 years old. I will be 20 next month. I am a full-time college student. I am an employee. I have a devotion book coming out in the next few month (yay!). I am building a life for myself and moving forward. But I am stuck in place at my grandma’s house.

The sensation of moving forward while being stuck in place is an odd experience. I am joyfully anticipating my future in nursing school while impatiently finishing my pre-requisites. I love my new job in home care as I look forward to my life as a nurse. I sit on the floor of my makeshift room looking at available apartments with my best friend. I fantasize about a wedding and marriage to my current boyfriend until the reality of timing and money slaps me in the face. I love my future children while knowing it will be years until I have them physically with me. I am moving forward with my life, unable to get out.

This past week I started to do a lot of organization, budgeting, and planning. I have an organizational system for my school work that is effective. I get my work done on time and well. My calendar looks hectic to the outside eye, but the overlapping colors make me happy because I can see what the people who are most important to me are doing during the day.

I have a temporary budgeting plan that works for me. Granted, it is the first time I have attempted to budget my money, so it is sure to have its flaws. And, as I budget it, I feel more confident in my ability to move forward like I want to. I have a steady income in a job I can reasonably keep for at least the next year or more. I have the organizational skills to keep track of where the money goes. I have a best friend who wants to live with me. I can realistically take the first steps to living the life I have mentally built in about six months. I am so excited to take that first step, and it can’t come fast enough.

I have had an issue with control for a while. I like to be in control of the plans. I like to know what’s happening. It’s why I have five other people’s calendars synced to my own. I have prayed a lot about my control, trying to hand it over to God and let the Almighty make the plans. Time and time again I have tried to yank back the calendar from God’s hands. Every time my loving Father patiently waits for me to look up to heaven, baffled and confused, and hand the calendar back.

I thought at first that all this apartment planning and budgeting and even wedding fantasizing could be me yanking the calendar again. But I realized, maybe this is God showing me the plan in joy, to watch my excited reaction.

God is in control. Instead of panic, that sentence brings peace to me because I know I am on the path God put me on.

I know am not perfect. I know I will try and yank the calendar back again. But, in this moment, I am joyfully anticipating my next steps with the people in my life and I can feel the fatherly, playful delight as my Heavenly Father watches me jump up and down in excitement with the precious people in my life. And I get to receive these moments of anticipation and these dear friends as gifts from God.

So today I pray: “Thank you for the excitement. Thank you for the joy. I am jumping up and down in anticipation of these plans you have laid out for me. Guide me as I take these next steps with the people in my life. I love you, Father!”

My Bible journal from Jan. 31, 2021 – Proverbs 16:3 NIV

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

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