‘‘I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord.
“They are plans for peace and not disaster,
plans to give you a future filled with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
I was just a teenager when this verse first jumped off the page for me. I was depressed, although that was not clear to me at the time. I remember feeling hopeless, and deeply sad. For many reasons, I could not see a future. I could not picture myself in the future.
But I did know that God was near me. I knew that He saw my sadness. I knew that I could cry and feel hopeless, and that He cared for me. I had first asked Him to “come into my heart” when I was 3 years old, and my simple faith began at that moment. I never feared that He would leave me. I struggled with many, many fears along my life’s path, but the one constant Truth that I could hold tightly was that He was there.
Looking back on the Path along which He has led me, I never had any doubt that He was near…walking with me, watching over me, gently guiding my steps. Many times, I did not want to walk the Path, as it was too scary . . . too painful . . . too lonely . . . and at times too dark. Yet I knew absolutely that He was there. He was with me. He wasn’t fixing everything. He wasn’t parting the clouds and shining His Light for me to see or understand all that was surrounding me. But I knew that He was with me. That simple truth was what I could hold on to.
God’s message through Jeremiah is simple, but oh, so powerful. No matter what tomorrow holds, no matter what sadness is surrounding our days. . . our hearts, He is carrying out His Plan in each of our lives.
Would I have ever imagined that I would be a widow. . . that I would be without the church I had helped birth and build beside my husband for most of my adult life? No. This part of my journey has been very difficult and painful.
But I also have to ask myself, would I have ever imagined that I would be the grandmother of 12 loving, delightful children, the mother of three wonderful, wise, loving sons and the beautiful (inside and out) wives they chose . . . lovingly raising “the 12.”
And would I have ever imagined being deeply involved with a Muslim nation that has welcomed the Good News of Jesus. No, I would have never imagined such a thing.
Though I would not have written the Story of my life that has unfolded, I can have Peace of mind and heart knowing that His Plans for me have truly been best.