How I Learned to Trust His Plan

This is going to be quite long. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I was going to post it in multiple parts but I personally hate “to be continued” things, so I just decided to do it all at once.

Part 1: The Elderly: A Background

I’ve always loved elderly people and the wisdom they share. Okay, that’s a lie. I didn’t ALWAYS love them. When I was younger I thought they were incredibly boring. But, as I got older, I have learned things. I learned the value of the elderly, perhaps a little late in life, but better late than never, right? I had a great-grandfather who always wanted to sit and tell us stories. I am ashamed to admit that I would find any excuse to get out of listening, even into my early 20s. He would make audio tapes of himself talking, telling stories about his childhood in Wisconsin, his family history, and I would have rather pried my eyeballs out with a rusty spork than have listened to them. Oh, how life changes you. I would give anything if I could just have him back for a day, or get my hands on one of his tapes. Even more importantly, I would love to go back in time and tell my younger self, “Hey, you ungrateful little turd, sit down, shut up, and pay attention, because 30 years from now you will regret that you didn’t.” But, I know myself, and I wouldn’t have listened to that either.

I truly believe God has a reason for everything. I was not very respectful to the elderly when I was younger. I didn’t really start to appreciate them until my husband’s grandmother, in the couple of years before her death. We had become so close. She would call on Friday nights and we would talk for hours. I never got tired of it. My husband used to call it “hen cackling time” because we laughed and carried on so much. After she died, I truly felt lost. I had learned so much from her, and enjoyed a relationship with her that I had never had with my other grandmothers. I was very close to my dad’s mom but I was still quite young and immature (age 25) and didn’t really appreciate her enough before she died. My mother’s mom…..Well…I have never been close to her and don’t think I ever will. Even though she is still living at age 80. That is a difficult story for another time. Any-hoo, I believe my husband’s grandmother was the start of the manifestation of God’s purpose for me in life. She was the first elderly person I truly listened to, learned from, and really felt connected with on a deeper level. Her death absolutely crushed me and I didn’t think I would recover.

Just 2 years after her death was when I finally connected with my grandfather William (see prior blog for that story). By that time, I was desperately in need of an elderly person to fill that void, and help ease my need and desire for that relationship again. After I met him, he became exactly what I needed. He was 87 years old when we met, full of history, life experience, wisdom, knowledge….he was perfect in my eyes (perfect for the role, not a perfect person!). I spent many hours talking with him about everything. It was just what I needed and lasted for 3 short years. After I woke up from my depression late last year, I reconnected with God and began trying to figure out my purpose in life. After much deliberation, prayer, and guidance, I discovered that my purpose was to work with the elderly. But, in order to work for God’s purpose, I need to do so on His terms, for His glory, giving Him the honor and praise. So, in order to do that, the particular path I chose was working as a Hospice Chaplain. This way I could work with the sick and elderly who were dying, be a friend and support to them, minister to them in their final days. In order to do that, I would need to be an ordained minister, which requires going into seminary. So, I researched different programs and schools, and finally settled on one. I began the first week of January, just 2 weeks ago, working toward a Master degree in Biblical Counseling. This program aligns mostly closely with my goal of being a Chaplain.

Part 2: In the Beginning of a New Journey: Entering Seminary

My first class is Old Testament Survey, which I expected to be a complete snoozefest. I had never really spent much time in the OT prior to this. All of my Christian life I had understood that as modern Christians, we live by Jesus’s teachings in the New Testament, and are not required to live by the OT laws. That is true, of course, but I took that to mean that the OT wasn’t particularly important for purposes of instruction and learning, it was just as it said: OLD. Yes, it contained valuable information about creation, early Israelite history, early Judaism, the ten commandments, and a whole lot of unnecessary “begats.” I was not looking forward to this class at all. I received my textbooks and got ready to be bored to tears. I was definitely not ready for what I actually got: A completely new outlook on Christianity, Jesus, and God’s master plan.

I began my OT course with 6 chapters on the study of Ancient Near Eastern culture, archaeology, and literature. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Egypt, so reading about that was fun too. The main point to reading all of this “pre-Biblical” secular history was to get us to understand just how it all ties into the beginning of documented Christian history in Genesis. I learned about all the different cuneiform tablets, the Merneptah Stele (12th century BC), Babylonian literature like The Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Code of Hammurabi, the evidence found of Jericho’s destruction, tablets speaking of King David and King Solomon, and even the remains of Solomon’s 2nd temple……it was all just fascinating. Archaeology has always been a great love of mine, so reading about these specific things was just so much fun and so interesting!!! I mean, I knew this was all true and I had read about most of it already, but I had never studied it in any real depth before. I believed in all of the OT things because of my faith in God and His Word. But, I had never studied the process of scripture canonization or the Apocryphal books. I had read some of the apocrypha before this, but I largely ignored it because I’d always believed it was “Catholic heresy” (I know this isn’t true….those books were just deemed as not “God-breathed” so they weren’t included in scripture!). I learned about the different councils and how they decided what books to include, and was even surprised to learn that several books I did like in the OT were almost excluded! (Ezekiel, Esther, Ecclesiastes). It only took me a few days to get through all of that material because I read like a starving person eats…!

I am not a new Christian by any means. But, in starting from the beginning like this, I have felt like an infant. I know the principles of Christianity, the basics, the “whats,” or whatever you want to call it. But now, I was learning the “whys” about it. It has been absolutely life changing and just when I thought I couldn’t be any less knowledgeable, I opened Genesis again. I’d read Genesis so many times I should have been able to quote it from memory, but as I began reading it under the lens of my newfound knowledge, it became abundantly clear that I knew nothing before. I knew the basic storylines, most of the main names, and the basic lessons necessary for being a successful practicing modern Christian, but I still knew nothing. I would start each lesson by completing the assigned reading, listening to the lectures, and watching the designated videos (FYI If you are interested in the videos, they are each about 6 minutes or less, and will completely change your outlook – you can find them all here – start with Genesis!). Only then would I open up the Bible and read related passage. The only phrase I can use to even try and describe the difference in my understanding before versus now, is a line from Amazing Grace: “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”

Yes, I am a dramatic girl, but this is truly how I felt. My eyes had been opened and I UNDERSTOOD what God was presenting to me. I began to see how God’s plans for Jesus’s earthly mission had begun in the garden of Eden, how the covenants with Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all tied into the New Covenant through Jesus, the symbolism and meanings of the many Leviticus laws, and how everything just wrapped up into one perfect piece. HOW HAD I MISSED THIS? I never paid attention I guess. One afternoon I was reading an in-depth analysis of the Day of Atonement, I saw the term “scapegoat” used to refer to a sacrificial goat. I thought that was interesting and wanted to dive a little deeper. I even started preparing a blog to teach about that word and how it was a very early hint at the separation from God brought on by sin, as well as about Jesus being our literal “scapegoat” by dying on the cross.

So, I’m writing, when the phrase “Trust the Plan” comes barreling into my head. No, I’m not talking about the QAnon culture’s saying regarding Trump, although I do find that very interesting indeed. I’m talking about God’s plan. It was almost like the clouds in my head parted and I was able to see God’s own vision for my life. Everything in my life had lined up exactly for this exact moment at this exact time. His bringing me into seminary, opening my eyes, and making me SEE. It all made sense. I began to see how my life had prepared me for this, even small moments that seemed insignificant, all tied in. In my quest for simply learning more about how to help people who are sick and dying, I found instead, that God had planned this for me all along. I still don’t know what lies ahead, I wasn’t shown the future. I was only shown the path of my life and how it had been precisely planned for this. It was another life changing moment for me and is what inspired this entire blog. As I kept writing, the words changed from my original intent and continued to flow from my mind into my hands as I struggled to keep up.

I don’t know the purpose of this writing but someone out there will. My writing has been shown to me by the Spirit as helpful for others, and I only write when the Spirit moves me to. Every single time I do, I am contacted by someone who says my writing was important to them, that they needed to hear my exact message at that exact moment. So, that person is out there somewhere, needing this message. To you I offer this: I pray God brings you to this message and you find the answer you need in whatever capacity that may be. I pray for you to be inspired as I was.

I will close today with one of my new favorite songs, performed by the amazing Zach Williams. Lyrics courtesy of AZ Lyrics.

Hear the voice of love that’s calling
There’s a chair that waits for you
And a Friend who understands
Everything you’re going through

But you keep standing at a distance
In the shadow of your shame
There’s a light of hope that’s shining
Won’t you come and take your place

And bring it all to the table
There’s nothing He ain’t seen before
For all your fear, all your sorrow and your sadness
There’s a Savior and He calls
Bring it all to the table

He can see the weight you carry
The fears that hold your heart
But through the cross you’ve been forgiven
You’re accepted as you are

So bring it all to the table
There’s nothing He ain’t seen before
For all your trials, all your worries and your burdens
There’s a Savior and He calls
Bring it all to the table

Bring it all
You can bring it all

And come on in, take your place
There’s no one who’s turned away
All you sinners, all you saints
Come right in and find your grace

Come on in, take your place
There’s no one who’s turned away
All you sinners, all you saints
Come right in and find your grace

And bring it all to the table
There’s nothing He ain’t seen before
For all your sin, all your sorrow and your sadness
There’s a Savior and He calls
Bring it all to the table


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