rebelling against low expectations

Arms Wide Open: Letting Go of Our Plans for His


It’s hard to let go when our hands are clenched hard around our dreams, our aspirations, our lives.

I’m at that age when people are constantly asking me what I’m going to do, what college I’m going to go to, etc.

And, again, I chuckle. I smile and I reply, “I don’t know yet.” Sure enough, I have goals. I have aspirations. I have dreams, plans (remember? *grin* ). In fact, I dream of marrying some amazing cowboy who loves me like crazy, and raising my babies in a house on a farm that faces the sunset.


And it’s okay to have dreams. To have plans, and ambitions. It’s a good thing. But when we hold on to them so tight, then we’re not really open to the plans God has for us.

God has a great plan for your life. Trust Him.

Again, it comes down to surrendering our hearts, and our lives, and everything to Him. Not just once. But all the time. Every day, every moment, it comes down to trusting Him with the pen to our life stories (and, of course, our love stories *wink* ). Sometimes we grab the pen away, thinking we could paint a better story, with a better ending, all our own way, all by ourselves.

I’m sure He chuckles, too. Oh, I’m sure of it *smile* .

But maybe, just maybe, if we hand the pen to the Author, He can write a better story, with a better, happier ending?

All by Himself. (He doesn’t need our help.)

There are times (more frequently than not) when I look at a future situation, and write and plan everything, down to the pin-pointed details, and act accordingly.

And funny thing. Usually God has a tooootally different plan. And I’ve found, over the years, I’ve begun to like His better *big grin* .

So will you stand beside me, looking towards the heavens, with arms wide open?

Photos courtesy of Daveybot and Knowsphotos on Flickr Creative Commons.

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About the author

Rachel Hatcher

is an ordinary 16-year-old with an extraordinary God, who aspires each day to pursue God and to glorify Him. She enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking coffee on rainy days. She strives to be an inspiration to those around her by sharing her love for Jesus and being an encouragement in times of need.


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  • After reading this, I started going back several years, thinking about everything I wanted. I now realize God’s plans always were better than mine. Its definitely hard to realize that His plans are better at the time, but they always end up being so much better than my own.

    • So, so true. It’s so easy to forget how God is always in control, of everything, even if it seems like our world is spinning out of control, but He knows what’s best for us all!

  • This is so true. I’m already to the point where people are asking, “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” They always get a weird look when I say, “Whatever God wants!” Obviously, people think it’s unusual that I don’t have my life planned out already, but I don’t have to make a plan up for myself; God already has one for me! And though I might not always understand it, it’s the best one possible. Thank you so much for this, Rachel! 🙂

  • Thanks, Rachel! I’ve been learning this lesson a lot lately. I find it hard not only to give up my dreams, but other’s dreams for me, too. At the same time, I am so glad that God’s surrounded me with so many people who care and want me to live in His will, and see me give up my dreams for His.

    • Yes, it is hard to have those expectations of others on our shoulders. But God has so much in store for you, for me, and for all those who love Him.

  • Praise God! He has been sharing this message with me again and again, and I praise Him for it. It’s so true. His plan will always be better than ours, and we have to trust Him for that. It’s awe-inspiring, what God can do, and will do, for us and with us. I am so thankful. We serve an amazing and wonderful Creator and sustainer.

    • “It’s awe-inspiring, what God can do, and will do, for us and with us.” Amen! Couldn’t have said it better. God always provides for our needs.

  • I struggle with being too much of a planner! I want to plan out my life so that it doesn’t have mistakes. So far, that hasn’t worked. 😉 I’m thankful that God has been teaching me more and more about letting go. I have to constantly remind myself that his ways are far higher than mine.

  • This is very good! You’re point is definitely one that needed to be made, and you made it make perfect sense. I am also at that point in life, and since I, too, have such big dreams and aspirations for my life and how I’d like it to turn out, it can be very hard to let go and let God. Very nice!

  • I also find that verse in Matt 6 really helpful; ‘Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow can worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’. And ‘Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you’. Makes me feel so much better to know that God can take care of tomorrow!

  • There is a great quote from a novel written by Karen Ball. I don’t own the book so I can’t tell you exactly but it’s something like: “God directs our lives so much better than us. Not because He’s seen the picture, but because He painted it. Every stroke. Every color.” But He’ll only paint it if we want Him to. Sometimes, I wish He would force me to do what He wants. It would be so much easier sometimes. But at the same time, I love that He lets us make our own decisions. I’m sometimes such a bundle of contradictions. 🙂

      • It may be easier if God made us do what He wants, but that’s just it. We have to make decisions sometimes, and if they are wrong, we will make sure to see what His will is for our next move. That is what He wants.

  • I am asked some similar questions sometimes. Where will I go, what will I do, and honestly, I don’t know. I want to work as a Biologist, but I realize I need to be more open to God’s will, and I need to follow it (even though I hate roller coasters (: )!

By Rachel Hatcher
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →