“I know the plans…”

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This Saturday ended as I expected but not quite in the way expected. The day itself was not as I planned, yet ultimately God had his say.

A couple of days ago when I was biking with a friend I mentioned how I didn’t feel like I had clarity about my life right now. Yes, I’m praying. No, I haven’t felt uneasy. I simply had not gotten clarity, so I told him that I felt a good prayer session was needed, something to break through. I knew that Saturday there was a prayer and intercessory concert sponsored by students from IHOP (International House of Prayer). My hope was to go into it fueled up rather than depleted, as I had been feeling.

Yet the day was nothing like I’d planned. I’d begun making lists of the events and things to be done each day since my life has gotten so full. Unfortunately Saturday turned into a “re-boot” day. I felt so drained and in need of rest that I did absolutely nothing on my list, including going to the prayer meeting. Thankfully, God is not restricted to time or place.

As the day wore on, the burden to pray increased. As the Spirit of God moved, I prayed even as I watched the clock tick. Even now as I write, the Spirit won’t let me go. What he is wanting to say or do, I am not quite sure, but he is at work. I am compelled to pray.

Many people adopt a life verse from the Bible for their own. I never have. I have some favorites that keep me centered and focused. John 1:1-18 and Philippians 2:5-11 are particularly meaningful. Yet no life verse. As I was feeling God impress on me something yet unknown, I heard a snippet of a verse. “I know the plans I have for you…” from Jeremiah 29:11. Many people use this verse as their own. I never have. I see the verse in the context that it was written – to the Jews condemned to exile because of their disobedience. For them it is a promise in the midst of failure that God has not forgotten them and would restore them to their land. I never confuse myself in the mix. I would not be so audacious to suppose it.

Yet God spoke that word to me. It was the second time in as many months that I felt him impress this upon me. And it isn’t for any great and mighty plans that I know of, just the fact that HE has plans and HE is in control. I need that right now. I need to know God is in control. It isn’t a life verse, but it is a verse that God has imprinted on my life at this time. I need to know that HE has a plan for all this.

I’ve spent over 30 years with a sense that God had something for me to do or be. Actually, since the time I was 4 years old, and long before I was a believer, I felt something stirring. Over the course of life and bearing the burdens of this fallen world, I lost a bit of that sense. God renewed it in the last three years in remarkable ways, but something elusive is still out of reach.

Tonight I prayed for my family. Not the family I know (though I do pray for them) but for the family I don’t yet know. I don’t know how or when, but God wants me to be part of a family. I have children, especially teens, waiting for me to love. When I posted on Facebook recently that I couldn’t shake the desire one day to be a grandmother, despite not wanting to give birth at my age, friends jumped all over it. They loved the idea. I still have that crazy idea, but the feasibility of it either by formal adoption, informal adoption, or marriage is remote right now. Yet the idea persists. So I pray for my family. I do see it as a complete family – father and mother and kids – yet I have no idea where it will come from.

I’ve never considered myself very maternal or domestic. Thankfully babies and little kids no longer scare me, but I’m still reserved with people of all ages sometimes. This reserve is something I hope to break down in the next few months. I think it scares me to love another as openly and completely as I know I’m capable of. I simply know that somewhere is my child or children. Yet I’m not obsessed with it. I won’t go nuts if it actually doesn’t happen, but the compulsion right now is real. I can’t shake it.

Tonight I felt that compulsion to pray for my family yet to be, as well as for my life as a whole. It could be that this feeling for family is simply part of the process and journey. I don’t know. But I do know that in my praying I heard God say, “I know the plans….” I will keep praying for the clarity I need and the desires he has placed in my heart. The fact that God is so much at work, even when I don’t know what that work is, amazes and awes me. He has a plan and I am humbled.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD….

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