God’s Plan doesn’t Work for Me (Guest post by Ashlee Barclay)

New year is approaching and I can’t think of a better God-ordained post to share.  So glad to welcome Ashlee Barclay as this season’s guest blogger.  This post is full of timely wisdom and I’m sure will be a blessing to someone out there as we move into 2016.  

Happy New Year 🙂

So I’m trying to live this life as the perfect teacher turned Stay-at-Home mom. I’m educated, ambitious, determined, and after all, we just have one child – “easy breezy”. That was me about a year ago. The teacher part, that was my choice that I had worked so very hard for. The SAHM part, well that kind of came with the territory and was a choice made by my husband and I to best accommodate our family. It worked and I thought I was doing a pretty good job. I enjoyed being home with my daughter and being able to support my husband’s career. Our plan was that when she got a little older, I would go back into education, a field that I love!

When my daughter turned one, we threw her the biggest, most fun, colourful and completely unnecessary first birthday party. I gave it my all, designing, planning and crafting! After it was over, we travelled back home (we threw the party in our home town to be with family) and there was nothing to completely give myself to any more. 

After being a SAHM for a little over a year, I began to get anxious and feel like I was losing who I was. I had never thought about it, but I guess I had always defined myself by what I did, not what I was. So being a child of God was great, but I needed more. After all, I had followed God to get to the place I was at this point, so now it was time to get my butt in gear and find something for me to do. You know, speed up the process and help Him out a little bit.

God's Plan Just Doesn't Work for MeIn a search for my identity, I was at a complete roadblock and nothing sounded right. In hindsight, that’s because I was trying to take a detour off from God’s path for me. The abbreviated version of this story is that God saw that I was on my way to jeopardizing the call He had for me by moving too fast (as usual) and He intervened. He allowed me to recognize a gift that He had given me upon His very creation of me. Writing. His…let me repeat…His purpose for this gift I had was to become a Christian faith blogger.

Upon this realization, I talked to God, I argued with God and I tried to negotiate with God. This plan of His didn’t sound quite right, for me anyway. I love God and always have. I am a Christian and always have been. But spreading the Lord’s word never made it on my to-do list.

Can you imagine your Heavenly Father tapping you on your shoulder to show you this wonderful gift He can’t wait to give you, only for you to see it and say, “Yeah, that’s not really my style,” or “That just doesn’t work for me,”?

Now imagine the disappointment that gives Him? Especially, when all He wants is the best for us, and His omniscient wisdom has it all worked out for us. It’s like seeing your beloved child walk into a busy street when you, yourself, have built a side walk for them.

Each one of us, as God’s children, has a purpose from the moment we take our first breath. Some of us have fully grown into our calling and realize this purpose, living it fully. Others are yearning for God to show them their purpose, wanting to dive in head first to give Him their all. Then the rest of us are aware that we have something there, but are too busy with our own, sometimes arrogant, ambitions, because God’s plan just doesn’t work for us! As followers of Christ, we know that if we follow His will for our lives, the focus is no longer on us. Following His plan involves the saving of others, sharing the benefits with others, and giving all of the glory to our Almighty Savior. We have to die to ourselves.

Be content with you are-15At first glance, God’s plan never appears to be easy or even ideal. But once we get on board and submit ourselves to Jesus Christ, then that’s when things begin to happen.

Whether you feel God tapping you on your shoulder with your calling or if you are wondering if God has a purpose for your life (and He does), we must surrender our own dreams before we can grow into God’s calling for us. There is the chance that the dreams we want to pursue are a part of His divine purpose for us. But there’s also the chance that when we lay our dreams at His feet, He will show us a completely different plan that doesn’t include our personal aspirations.

In order to recognize the Lord’s calling and follow His direction, we must be in relationship with Him. He wants us close to Him and part of our relationship should include doing these things:

  • Know His Word (2 Timothy 3: 16-17)
  • Continually seek His wisdom and guidance (James 1:5)
  • Wait on His lead (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to keep us sensitive to His voice (Isaiah 30:21)
  • When He shows us the next step, obey! (Isaiah 1:19)

God created each of us for greatness. It is our job to surrender our lives back to Him and let Him have His way – fulfilling it through whatever gift you’ve been blessed with. God’s greatness will not be determined by what we have, but by His greatness in us!

Ashlee BarclayI was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and I currently reside in West Virginia. I’ve been married to my husband, Chris, for two and a half years and he is a college football coach. We have a beautiful, one year old daughter, who is the absolute joy of our lives. I am a former elementary school teacher, and I am now a stay at home mommy to my awesome baby girl. I love encouraging and connecting others through my writing! I have always had a love for writing and never took the time to appreciate that God-given gift. In an effort to nurture my relationship with Him and cultivate the blessing He’s given me in writing, I am dedicating myself to being who I really am…my authentic self – a writer, a blogger, an encourager!  You can visit Ashlee on her website or connect with her on Facebook.

15 Replies to “God’s Plan doesn’t Work for Me (Guest post by Ashlee Barclay)”

  1. So timely for me as well! God has me so far outside my comfort zone right now and I am learning to really love it. It does require surrender and dependence on Him lighting each little stepping stone one at a time.

  2. I too am a former teacher, now SAHM. The plan was for me to stay home when my husband got reassigned to a base in Georgia, and go back into teaching once she was in kindergarten and we got moved again, but we’re still here in an area with not so hot public schools. So now I’m learning how to teach elementary school instead of high school. My kindergartner is probably the only one who knows what hyperbole and onomatopoeia is, but I’m loving it. I’m writing a blog too over at Heaven Not Harvard, our stories are pretty similar. I’ve learned that God’s plan has mine beat and to go with the flow. He is shaping and refining me; it’s not always pretty, but it is always necessary and the results are beautiful.

  3. Wonderful message! I can relate to the journey of learning to wait on God’s time, big time. The last few years have been a growth spurt in faith and a huge struggle at times… But oh, HOW amazing and patient our Father is with us, demonstrating how we should be with Him. I’ve learned that His plans far exeed my own in awesomeness, and He’s got the perfect timing for everything. I sure want that. 😉

    • Thank you so much Hannah! Knowing that He always has the “inside scoop” makes the wait rewarding, but I too think that the struggle is real at times! He does orchestrates things that we couldn’t script ourselves! And you are so right – there is nothing like our Father’s patience! 🙂

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