I remember like it was yesterday, it was a Sabbath (Saturday) morning and it was time for children’s story. The nicely dressed lady at the front was asking us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and as expected answers such as a doctor, fireman, policeman, nurse and teacher came up quite frequently. Then she turned her attention to the little chubby girl sitting next to a flower vase, and asked the same question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Now in case, no one caught on, that little girl was me. So, I just sat there, staring at my mum in the congregation wondering what to say. I mean, that was a deep question to ask a four-year-old. I didn’t even know how to tie my own shoelaces yet, I still depended on the trusty strapped shoes from Clarks. But she asked me the question, and it was now my turn to answer it. “I want to be a mummy,” I said. The whole church began to drown in awws and chuckles, that’s when I realised they had misunderstood everything.
“No, I want to be a mummy and get wrapped up and die!” That’s when the awws stopped and everyone’s face just began to grow pale! But hey, I was only four, plus I kind of liked mummies. Now I just look back at that moment and smile to myself. In all honesty, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up and right at this moment – I still don’t have a clue and I’m just being honest. Yeah, I have ambitions like every single human being that live on this planet we like to call earth, but I still don’t know what I’m going to do with my life five years from now or maybe even ten years from now. I know I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t know what to expect for the future. You’re constantly bombarded by the past and present and so to consider the future – is something worth ignoring. At one point in my life, I didn’t particularly think I was even capable of having a future. Getting married, having kids, working in my dream job, inspiring people all around the world and travelling all over the globe.
In the past, I would think of these ambitions and laugh because due to the circumstances I was in at that time, the prospect of a future was only a distant dream. In all honesty, 5 years ago I would never imagine myself even hitting eighteen. That was a reality I thought I could never reach, you see, at that time I had all this anxiety that if things were this bad and I was only 13, I had no future. My future was a myth. I would never be eighteen and I would never be applying to different universities for me to go to. It was my circumstance that blinded me and caused me to feel as if all the pain I was experiencing at the time would never end. And so, I believed it, and I stopped dreaming because what was the point. Everyone wants a future, for some, it gives them this thrill and for others, it means nothing to them.
I like the way the new international version puts it in Jeremiah 29:11 when it says, ‘“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.”’ Sometimes in our lives, we feel as if there is no point and that circumstances that we’re in will never get better and that things will only escalate, and only get worse. Sometimes we start to believe that we have no future because all the pain we’re feeling is only going to continue, but God lets us know in his word that he has a plan for our lives. We were born for a reason and it is our destiny to fulfil that reason. What the devil likes to do is to distort our perception of our lives and our future. He causes dark thoughts to clutter our minds with regret, guilt, pain and shame because of what happened 4 years ago or what happened that same day. What we need to do as children of God and heritage of the kingdom, we need to understand that even in the pain and the suffering that we go through, God is always there and there is always a future planned for us. Right now, I’m struggling because I’m going to go university very soon and now I’m not sure if I want to go university, I’m not sure about anything anymore.
The idea of going to uni, the idea of having a house, the idea of getting married and finding that Godly husband – that Boaz for myself, the whole idea of just growing up scares me because, I don’t know what to expect, but I am reassured by the Word that God has a plan for my life. Who am I to be scared? God is the author of my life, he has the pen, he writes my story. I shouldn’t be afraid of what happens tomorrow because he’s the one that holds tomorrow. Through it, all God reassures us that with him we ‘find [our] strength.’ The Bible tells us that he is ‘the way, the truth and the life.’ If God has planned our future and has a plan for our lives, the devil cannot mess it up! He hasn’t been given that power or permission, the only thing he can do is discourage us and attempt to alter our perception. But even with the pain, the hurt, the tribulations and trials we should not feel as if we have no hope, God has already won the battle. We already have the victory. We are destined to live with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords forever, in a place where night and tears will all be non-existent.
It’s hard to imagine a future when everything around you seems to keep crumbling and nothing seems to be getting better. You live in the shadow of your past and the future is too far to think about, too far to grasp but God reassures us that if we pray, if we seek him, if we have faith, everything will be okay. Now, as much as I’m still unsure of what I want to be and what I want to do in the future, I am now reassured that I have a future. In the past like I said, having a future was something I wouldn’t think about, it was something I thought I could never have but now, things have changed. I’m not saying things have gotten easier, neither am I saying things have gotten harder. Perhaps things are still the same, I mean the devil hasn’t changed. He’s still the same conniving deceiver, just with new and improved tricks up his sleeves.
But now I am encouraged by the Word of God that God has a plan for my life as much as I doubt it at times, it’s there and I need to believe, have faith. That’s all I need to do. And that’s all you need to do too.