Ministry Resources

Ministry Resources
Ministry Resources

Plans Turned to Purpose

Today's guest post comes from Ashley who has an amazing story of how God changed her life.  This self-proclaimed planner shares her heart about how her list of plans got turned upside down and how a special mug changed her heart forever.

After I graduated High School, I had a set of goals. 
1. Graduate College
2. Get a job
3. Get married
4. Have a baby

These goals were my life's aspirations.  There is nothing wrong with these goals. You see, amongst this list is a plethora of amazing experiences, unforgettable memories, and opportunities to learn (and to still learn from).

I am a Planner.

I want things to go according to MY life plan, my goals, my dreams, wishes, and MY aspirations. 

There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to attend college.  There was no doubt I wanted to be a teacher.  I knew from an early age that I had a love for children and a drive to succeed.  I met my husband when I was in college, we got married before I graduated, and I accepted a job right before graduation.  #'s 1, 2, and 3 knocked off my list in two years.  I was OK waiting on # 4.  In the meantime, I dipped into my career and people pleased my way through each day.  And I loved it.  

#4 came about 3 years later.  And it was hard.  You see, I loved my marriage, my job, and my baby.  I loved my life.  After # 4 I had already met my goals. So what was next?

Photo Credit: Ashley Teets

The planner was at the point in her life where she had nothing left to plan for.

The year after my son turned one was a terrible year for me at work.  I don't know if I was still getting used to being a first time mom or it was the fact that my job was becoming complacent, but I couldn't get out of bed.  I feel into a depression.  One day I was at the doctor's office for a checkup and I started to sob over my life circumstances.  He referred me to a psychologist who originally diagnosed me with postpartum depression.  They gave me some medicine and asked me to keep coming back for follow up appointments.   Some days were bad; I could hardly get out of the bed to take care of my busy one year old.  My husband was a huge help and really wanted me to get better so he did everything he possibly could to make that happen.  I didn't feel like I had the symptoms postpartum mothers say they experience, but I needed help and the medicine wasn't cutting it.  After going to two psychologists, I was finally diagnosed with a work-related anxiety disorder and not postpartum depression. 

But let's go back to my plan.  Not loving my job was not on the list!  Remember, teaching was my life calling.  Or so I thought.  I tried to make changes all around me.  But little did I realize what really needed to be changed was me.

You see, I married as a non-Christian.  Yes, I had been to church and "walked the walk," as did my husband.  One of the first years we were teachers, a lady who worked with us was talking to my husband and asked him what church he went to.  He told her he was a non-believer.  The very next day this wonderful lady brought him a mug with a card in it for her church.  He dismissed it, but we kept the mug and didn't think much else about it.  After my son was born, my mom prompted me into checking out a church.  I immediately thought of the card and the mug and decided to try that church first.

So I went with my mom on our first visit.  I wasn't really moved or ready for the "church thing” and I wouldn’t visit the church again until 2 years later, after my anxiety diagnosis.  I was eventually encouraged to try it again on my own.  So every Sunday I sat two rows back, carried my son with me, and I prayed. I worshipped. I let the music move me.  The Holy Spirit took over me. 

 God changed me.

 After I had been going to the church about 6 months, I started making life style changes.  I was still a new Christian in need of guidance and love.

I found myself wanting and needing God.

I realized that some things you don’t plan for, but God has a plan for YOU.  I am lucky enough that I am so passionate about my God and that my husband supports me and my son, even though he is a non-believer.  By the way, can a sister get some prayers for her husband?  I believe we are responsible for our own salvation.  I love my man but it's not my plan, it's God's.  And in His perfect timing, I am confident that my husband will join me on this journey.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope, In those days when you pray, I will listen.  If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)

I still have plans, dreams, and wishes.  But I also have God and I don't have to worry about what obstacles I face or what comes next. 

God is the ultimate planner of my life.

Are you in need of an ultimate planner?  Take out your planner or your list of goals.  Pencil him in.  Better yet, make it a PERMANENT marker appointment and let God make plans for you. You can't be your own planner, because God plans for you.  It's not about MY aspirations, dreams, goals...it's about God's plans for ME AND YOU.

How wonderful is it that we don't have control over everything?  What a relief!  Oh, and that anxiety disorder?  HEALED! Amen!

"And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is."
 Ephesians 3:18 (NLT)

Do you identify with Ashley's story? 
Hop over to Ashley's blog and read more about her heart for Christ at:

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