let’s start at the very beginning.

proverbs 19.21  “many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

never has this meant more to me than it does today.  the last year or so has not looked like i thought it would.  my life this year is a testament that the Lord’s purpose prevails.  when i started seminary in january 2008 i expected to graduate with my counseling degree and get a job in a group practice as a licensed professional counselor.  i interned at the college counseling center and made big plans to work there upon graduation.  didn’t happen…well, the graduation happened, but not the new job.  when i graduated in may 2010 i expected to get a job as a nanny and work for one year while i discovered my counseling career path.  i landed a nanny job that started in september 2010 and ended in november 2010.  during the time i had this job, i was pretty angry that things were the way they were…my plan was going to the pits.  i got a message that my friend’s mom had a friend who knew a guy that was looking for a nanny for his family of 7 kids.  he needed someone to start right away and work along side his wife to manage the home.  b-i-n-g-o.  i settled up with this fam, tied up work with the not-so-great fam, and my first day of work was monday after thanksgiving 2010.  i learned that this fam, the A-team, has two children from haiti…interesting…well, it didn’t take long for us to work into a rhythm and move right along.

so about this time last year, i realized that God gave me the job i had from sept to nov because the A-team didn’t need a nanny until november when baby #7 came home from the hospital.  okay God, i got it…thanks for being in control of the situation and for giving me the job i had to “hold me over” until the real job came along.  i was fooling myself to think this was all God was up to…

the A-team teaches me so much.  they teach me to be real and really generous.   so maybe it was jan/feb 2011 when i was at the mall sporting one of my favorite vera bradley purses.  an employee at the mall commented on how cute my bag was, how much she loved it…oh man, here we go, i knew the time was right to finally do something fun…i asked her for a bag and proceeded to empty the contents of my purse into said bag and hand over my purse to the girl at the mall.  wow – that was so great.  she was surprised and shocked.  i got to practice being a cheerful giver and it rocked my socks off.  i knew this was the start of something good…the beginning of being radical.

it was not later than march 2011 when my cousin talked to me about going to haiti in october 2011 with her.  without hesitation, i said yes.  the fact that i so quickly agreed to go with her was frightening to me for several reasons: 1) until that point i never wanted to leave the country, what if i get food poisoning or get lost or get hurt. 2) i like to feel clean and never feel hungry. 3) i really love to be comfortable…not too hot, not too cold, not tired.

but none of that seemed to matter when i was invited to travel to haiti and serve.  i decided that i had to go.  i was not going to stay home from a trip like this because i was being such a baby about leaving my precious, comfortable life. again…the beginning of being radical.

once i agreed to go to haiti, my perspective changed.  i started noticing the little things in life.  the blessings i have and the blessing i can be.  i began living like each day was a chance to serve, a chance to take the passed over job, to bless the people around me.  i started to notice the grip i had on my life, my plans, my stuff, loosen and my hands opening.  God was teaching me more than patience and trust; He was teaching me to let go, to surrender.  He was teaching me that the less i care about myself, the less i hold to, the more He can do with me.

i want to live my life with my hands open…holding tightly to nothing.  because when i do, the Lord’s purpose prevails and that’s way better than any plans in my heart.