"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." - Proverbs 16:9
I must admit, I'm a bit of a control freak. Always have been and, barring a miracle of God (which I'm not discounting!), always will be. I like a schedule (I recently got a PDA...WHERE has this little wonder been all of my life?!). I like plans. I HATE surprises. Like Billy Crystal's character in "When Harry Met Sally...", I find it nearly impossible to read a book without jumping to the last page to see how it will end.
Years ago, I had my life all mapped out. Big plans. NO surprises. When I think of those dreams now, I realize God was just shaking His head (and probably laughing) at my foolish, foolish heart. You can imagine how the story ends...my visions of grandeur were replaced with God's vision for my life. Praise His Name...long before I ever knew Him, He was orchestrating events to bring me where I am today. And I like where I am...correction, I love where I am. In His grace and mercy, He has given me a Godly husband and a wonderful daughter, friends who bless me more than I could have imagined, and an amazing church family. My life is complete and I don't dwell on those dark places that owned my soul before I came to Christ.
There have been occasions when God has brought me face-to-face with some mistakes in my past. His timing seems to coincide with my general attitude...thinking I'm just great on my own, not needing Him so much, and feeling like I'm gaining a slight bit of control. Well, one of those mistakes walked right up to me recently and it was more than a little uncomfortable. Especially considering my husband was in the same room! Years didn't matter. Forgiveness didn't matter. The guilt was oppressive. All I could do was think about what my plans had been. Then, I began to thank God that He knew better than to let those plans succeed. "God, I would've walked through hell for that man, " I thought. And God, in His incredibly sweet but no-nonsense voice, spoke to my spirit, "If it weren't for Me, you would have."
As a young woman, I was convinced my heart was right. I had yet to learn "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. " (Jeremiah 17:9) I had plotted my course, and it didn't involve God. I'm so incredibly thankful that He determined my steps. Steps that brought me to my husband and, ultimately, to Him.
Whenever I start thinking that I'm wise and mature enough to make my own decisions, God reminds me where those decisions would've taken me. On days when it's hard to trust Him, He reminds me that He knows the outcome. He has big plans, and although He might like to surprise me, nothing surprises Him!