Sometimes I want to control my life.
Make that pretty much all the time.
I think we all do this to a certain extent. (And so I'm hoping you can relate to at least some degree...)
We make 'goals' (even if we don't call them that).
We create pictures in our minds of what life will look like.
And then things don't happen the way we picture.
Sometimes that's an amazing thing with results that we couldn't have even dreamed for ourselves.
Sometimes it can just plain hurt.
Sometimes we get caught believing we did something wrong. We didn't dream big enough. Or we didn't plan enough. Our goals weren't "smart" enough. The pictures were naive.
This last week, I was reminded in a big way of how God can surprise us, in ways that only He is capable of.
My boss Stan and I were at the Abbotsford airport at an ungodly hour waiting for our plane to take us to Hamilton for a conference. We had discovered that for the first leg of our trip (to Calgary), we weren't sitting together. And so while Stan and I were chatting (mostly about how ungodly the hour was...), I started getting curious about who I might be sitting next to. Soccer mom? Business dude? Ex-biker-gang-member-now-radically-reformed-into-a-wedding-florist-type?
I stepped onto the plane and walked towards my seat.
And there was my friend Karen. A dear woman. Who's seat was right next to mine.
I hadn't seen Karen for about a year, since she moved to Saskatoon. It was so perfect.
We spent the next 54 minutes catching up and covering as many topics as possible. (Stan confirmed with me later that we were 'those' women...yup, the chatty ones...at that ungodly hour...and I didn't even care). It was good for my soul. And I hope it was for Karen's too.
After saying our goodbyes (and after running into both friends from church and some fellow conference-goers...to which Stan was laughing at me for the random run-ins I was having), we got on the plane for Hamilton. I was getting excited about the conference and about re-connecting with those I had met at last year's conference.
(Side note: This conference is for student development professionals from Christian colleges and universities across Canada. It is my favourite event. It is a place where I feel incredibly normal. And where I can ask questions of my cross-Canada colleagues: the "what the heck do you do with this situation?" questions. We also get to share war stories and the latest college pranks. It's pretty incredible.)
We were staying in the dorms at Redeemer University College, and when we signed up, I had (in order to save the college some money) volunteered to room with whomever the conference organizers wanted to pair me with. I was honestly slightly nervous about it, just because all the other women I knew going already were partnered with their co-workers, and I wasn't sure who I would end up with. It felt a little bit like college again.
I arrived at the dorm room.
On the door was my name, and the name of a girl who I had gone to CBC with 11 years earlier.
I didn't even know Megan was working in student development. And in fact, she hasn't even started yet. Her new role starts in July.
It was fantastic.
We laughed. We shared about anxieties, and joys, and grad studies, and being single, and ministry, and (of course) Arrested Development.
I could not have planned it any better.
Because I didn't.
I simply put myself in the way of it all.
I got on a plane.
I volunteered for a roommate.
I really tried not to 'play it safe'.
There were lots of little things that happened throughout the week that felt like reminders from my Creator that He has things under control.
He wants me to dream and plan and make goals and create pictures...
...and He wants me to hand them over.
And let Him make them better.