Sweet Friends! Oh my, I have been excited about this post for oh-so long now, and it’s finally here! The brilliant Leah has written for us about trusting God with all aspects of our futures as teenagers- this is a post you DO NOT want to miss! And once you’ve read this post, go give Leah’s blog, Faith Filled You, some love! You can also find her on Pinterest and Instagram, so be sure to check out her pages there too!
When I was younger I had my entire life mapped out – I wanted to go to college, graduate, start teaching (my dream job!) right when I graduated, get married a year or two after, travel the world during the summers off, and start a family by age 28. It’s a lot, I know. But in a way, I think most of us have some idea of what we want our life to look like in the future. Our “dream life,” as many of us call it.
I’ve had this idea embedded in my mind for so long that sometimes I fear it changing. Have you ever felt this way? However, if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that life is constantly changing and it’s very unpredictable. And as I’ve grown older, especially in my late teen years, I’ve had a growing feeling of uncertainty – Will I really get into my dream school? Is this the job I really want to spend my life doing? What if I get married and start a family sooner/later? Or what if God leads me down a completely different path?
So what happens when life starts changing and we are slowly turned away from the plans that we have always imagined? And how can we trust God through it all? And what are things in our future that we can just put in God’s hands?
Friend, this post is going to be straight from the heart, from me to you. This is something most of us will ponder during our lives, and it’s something that I’ve found myself thinking about a lot lately. However, I’ve grown to find peace and comfort when it comes to the future, and I want to share how with you!
Putting Things In His Hands
In the midst of an ever-changing world, where can we turn? God.
I think that trusting God and putting things in His hands go hand-in-hand. By “putting things in His hands,” I simply mean just giving it up to Him. I mean surrendering your control, and acknowledging and submitting our future to God’s control.
This can be hard – it’s natural for us to want control. When I find myself struggling with this, I often try to think about these things:
No matter what my plans are, it’s God’s plan that will come to fruition.
God knows everything – He knows the things happening behind closed doors that I will never see.
I will get where God wants me to go.
There will be struggles, but each difficulty provides an opportunity to show dependence on God and to grow a deeper relationship with Him.
When I began fully submitting my future to God, I found comfort and peace in it because I knew that God was directing my steps. Even if it was not completely in control, I realized that I am not alone. I have God – the endlessly loving, caring, powerful, and knowledgeable Father by my side. I find that pretty peaceful and comforting!
Here are two Bible verses that I also find comforting:
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)
Things We Can Put In God’s Hands
We can trust God with everything about our future, but here’s a list of a few large things that often bring people stress and anxiety. By putting these parts of our future in His hands and trusting Him, we can be confident that we will get exactly where He wants us to be!
School – Grades/College
Oh wow have I struggled with this one! I have always felt a pressure to perform well in school. I’ve always wanted to do good so when it came to college, I’d be prepared and hopefully receive some financial aid. It got to the point where I’d stress myself out so badly that my mental health would deteriorate – I’d spend all my time doing school work (and stopped hanging out with friends), obsessing over the numbers I’d receive, and it consumed my life. I was making my grades a higher priority than God because I was trying so hard to construct the future that I wanted.
However, as many people do, I hit a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. I slowly came to realize that I needed to rethink my priorities, and I gained the mentality that I was going to try my absolute best and trust God with it and where I’d go in the future. I began trying to make God my number one priority again, yet still trying my absolute best.
This has helped me so much academically and spiritually, especially when I receive a bad mark because I think to myself, I tried my best, and I’ll still get where God wants me to go.
As I mentioned before, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. In all honesty, I’ve always felt called to it – I love teaching others and I felt I could make a difference. However, I definitely had my times of doubt, and those times terrified me. I’d been preparing all my life and designing my future around this career, and then I would suddenly feel like it wasn’t for me, which sometimes makes me very nervous!
Through all this, I’ve come to realize that God is going to place me in the career that He thinks will be best for me and where I can make the largest impact. Even if my career ends up being the complete opposite of what I’ve planned, I know that God is placing me there for a reason. When I think of my career, I think of not only how I can serve others and my family financially, I think of how I can serve God. And no one knows the greatest way to serve God other than God Himself. Although I’m still moving forward with the idea I’ve always had, I’ve come to be more than open to change if that is God’s will.
I feel like family is one of the things that is most in God’s control. Of course I can’t speak too much on this – I’m not married, I’ve never had kids, and I don’t think I’m too close to that right now! But what I can speak on is how I’ve seen God work through other families.
The truth is, God knows best. So when it comes to God’s decisions and God’s plan, we have to trust that they are the best for us in a greater good, even if at the time they are confusing or hard.
How many times have you seen God working through families? I’ve seen the most random and unexpected yet beautiful love stories, I’ve seen couples surprisingly have a baby and saying that it was the best thing to happen to them, and I’ve seen incredible adoption stories. I’ve seen so many amazing and good works through God, and although I’ve seen some difficult things as well, again, those help us to grow closer to Christ and often lead to a greater good.
Friend, you just have to trust God. Oftentimes, this one is out of our hands completely and in His hands completely.
Again, I don’t have a career or a home or a family to provide for, so this one is tough for me to write about. But again, I’m going to give the same piece of advice again – trust God.
I know someone who used to be extremely poor and was struggling to make it day by day. This person, however, told me that when he prayed, God always helped him. Every time that he was on his last few dollars, He would pray to God and this person would find a way to make a few more dollars. Fast forward to now, and he is living comfortably and making a difference.
I pray that no one has to endure hardships such as this, but that story always stands as a reminder to me that God will not abandon us and that His plan will always follow through.
Now, I want to remind you that it is good to plan for the future – there is nothing wrong with it! Planning is natural and it’s good to have an idea of what to do in the future. However, you have to be open to God correcting or redirecting your path. Sometimes God will bring us to the same destination but using a completely different route than we imagined. Or sometimes He will bring us a completely different outcome or destination than we expected. However, if we have faith and hope, we trust that God is bringing us to the place that is best for us and that He knows is best.
If it is God’s will, it will be.
(There is a great passage from the Bible, James 4:13-17, that is a great reminder that although we may make plans, everything is truly in His control and His plan will prevail.)
To my fellow teens and those enduring hardships, obstacles, and changes, I want to provide you some advice that I have personally found so helpful in the midst of change and trusting God.
- Don’t ignore God speaking to you, and keep your eyes and mind open to the opportunities he brings.
- Don’t fear change. Many of us find comfort in our “dream life” because it seems certain and set in stone. We feel like we control it. It can be scary to surrender your control, but God knows best.
- Let go of wanting your complete control, and let God take control.
- Never stop praying. Have faith and hope, and lean on God for guidance and help. He will never leave your side. Let Him direct your path.
I recently wrote a post on my Instagram (@faithfilledyou) where I talked about keeping hope and trust in God. In that, I mentioned that we have no idea when God is opening doors for us or when He will open up new doors for us. He could be in the midst of that right now! Personally, I think that’s something to be excited about!
We must remember that His plan is greater than our own, and at the end of the day, “our story is His story for us.”
Reflecting on the Past
Friends, I have seen the most beautiful stories fold out of people simply trusting God and His plan. How have you seen God working through your life or through others’ lives?
I encourage you to think about a plan in your life that you (or someone else) originally had that didn’t align with God’s plan, and how it was better than the plan you imagined. Here’s mine:
Since I had started elementary school, I had always imagined that I’d attend my town’s high school with all of my friends. However, God had different plans. Almost a month before my 8th grade school year ended, I looked into a private, religious school that one of my childhood friends attended, and on a whim, randomly decided to go there for high school without knowing many people. It ended up being the best journey of my life. At my new school, I met the most amazing people, I grew my faith so much, and I met my boyfriend of 2 years. God’s plan was so much better than my own!
When we are able to see and reflect upon God’s working goodness in our lives or others’ lives, it can make it so much easier to trust Him with our future.
There are times in our lives where we won’t always understand God’s plan or why a certain thing happens. We won’t always see the good right away. In the first semester at my new school, I was convinced that I wanted to leave. But eventually, after sticking it through, I had found a close-knit group of incredible people that made me never want to leave. Sometimes we don’t see the good behind God’s plans until later on.
Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post today. I hope this post equipped you with everything you needed to trust God with your future and how to fully submit to Him! I pray that each one of you is able to find abundant love and joy in the future and constantly deepen your relationship with Christ. May God bless you moving forward!