I know the plans…

“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.”

 

Ah Jeremiah 29:11… the verse we put in graduation cards and encourage one another with as we make those big life decisions.  And what wonderful opportunities to remember that our God is one who gives only good gifts and has already ordained every day of our lives. But sometimes I think we miss out on the beauty of this verse when we forget what was going on when God said this to His beloved Israelites.  At this point, Israel had said far too many times to the Lord, essentially, ‘We really don’t need you God, nor do we want you. Actually, thanks for your help, we’ve pretty much got it from here. [*ting* insert sparkling smile and a quick wink here].”

Ok, so that was a bit of a paraphrase with some liberties taken, but Israel had once again broken its covenant with the Lord and because He is a loving God who is also righteous and holy, He had just used the nation of Babylon to discipline His children.  In fact, Jeremiah 29:1 addresses this letter to the surviving elders, priests, prophets and everyone else who was carried away in exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.  And it is in this moment that the Lord comforts His rebellious children by reminding them that, even in what seemed like the worst possible situation, He has only good plans for them, to prosper and not to harm them.

Well, I haven’t been exiled to Babylon recently, but all the same – this is the verse the Lord has been using to comfort me over the past few weeks.

 

 

Just a few weeks until departure.  I was wrapping things up, packing things up, and trying not to say goodbye.  And in the midst of what was already chaos, I got a wrench in the gears – or maybe more accurately, (what felt like) a punch straight to the stomach: the Lord said, ‘Don’t go to Kenya.’

 

At first I tried to brush it off as a weird batch of nerves, but the Lord was persistent. And throughout the long process (you can imagine just how long too if you know anything about how stubborn and hard-headed I can be) He kept reminding me, ever so gently and yet firmly:

I have only good things for you.  Eileen, my precious daughter, I have brought you through so much – do you still not trust me?

You know my voice.  It is not fear or nerves or insecurities. Listen and obey.

                                                                                                                                                                                           .

So, with such blatant instructions, I’m listening and trusting and obeying.  And to be honest, it’s sort of hard. It’s hard to let go of seeing my friends and family in Kenya – I was so close and I miss them so much.  It’s hard to feel like I’m letting down my Kenya team – Abbie and Aaron are still going, but I threw a wrench in their plans too.  And it’s hard to write this post – to tell you all that I won’t actually be doing as I planned.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”   It’s not really my plans that matter in the end, it’s His.  Maybe part of this process is a necessary and humbling reminder that none of this is mine; not the planning, the resources, the logistics; not this trip, and not this life.

I’ll no longer be leaving on July 7th for Kenya, instead I’ll be heading directly to Uganda on August 26th.  I don’t completely understand, but already I can see His hand moving and weaving and pulling everything together. I’ve now 7 weeks in the U.S. that I wasn’t expecting to have. I don’t know what all the Lord has planned for me in that time, but already He’s using it to encourage and grow and draw me closer to Him. Praise God that we have a loving Father who works all things for good!

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~ by eileendekker on July 1, 2014.

One Response to “I know the plans…”

  1. You are such a beautiful soul and a beautiful person. Thank you for sharing how you are knowing and experiencing God through this process. Thanks for allowing us to enter into this journey alongside you.

    So blessed by you dear friend.

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