Even before I started high school, people were already asking me about my plans for the future.
“What are you going to do after high school?” they would ask. “What do you want to be when you grow up? Are you going to college?”
I would answer, “I have a couple ideas of what I want to do, but I’m not sure yet,” or even, “I have no clue.”
A couple of years ago, I didn’t feel pressured to know what I wanted to do after high school. But once I started high school, I wanted to know. I wanted to have at least an idea of what I wanted to do after graduating.
True, I had plenty of time, but I felt the need to have a plan.
What would be my major in college? Would I get married? What did the future hold? These questions and others swarmed through my head.
But lately, God has been teaching me something, and I know I’m not alone in my struggles. Maybe God has led some of you here today because you are also feeling the pressure of wanting to know what the future holds, and you want to be released from that pressure.
Here are three reasons you and I shouldn’t worry about our future.
1. It Produces Unnecessary Stress
I’m a planner. I love knowing exactly what to do next and when I need to get this done, and I hate running late. I run by schedules and can usually stick to them.
When I was a freshman in high school, my mom soon started looking into colleges for me. “We should go visit this one sometime,” she would tell me.
But I didn’t know what I wanted to do in college. And I didn’t know what credits I would need to earn so I could get into the college I wanted to attend.
Maybe you’re in the same boat as I was. Maybe you’re in high school–or even college–and the unknown future is stressing you.
This stress is unnecessary. Did you hear that?
Why? Keep reading.
2. God Has Your Life Already Planned Out
I have the greatest friends. I’m so grateful for each and every one of them–not only because they’re a lot of fun to hang out with, but because they are godly young women who are always there for me, to pray for me, and to encourage me in the Lord.
In March, I was involved in my sixth drama camp—where we put together an entire play in six days (lines having been memorized beforehand). I love drama camp, acting, and performing, but these past couple of years have impacted me more than the other years.
One day, our director showed us some videos about the academy that sends out these seminar teams around the United States.
I just sat in my chair watching the video, trying very hard not to cry in front of everyone. Is this what God wants me to do? I wondered. Is this where He’s wanting me to go?
After the performance, I saw my friend, Alyssa. “What did you learn this week?” she asked me.
I started tearing up right then and there. I couldn’t explain it to her because I was crying. I couldn’t tell her about the academy’s college programs and how I wondered if God was leading me there. I was too emotional to say anything.
So I wrote her an email and told her about it. Then she sent back a very encouraging message:
“You voice some valid questions about the different career options you’re considering. Just know that if it’s where God wants you, He is able to make it work. We don’t always know how-—it doesn’t always seem logical or practical, but sometimes God just wants to use the small army (in the story of Gideon) to reveal His power and glory.
“So I would just encourage you to just continue to sit in God’s presence and rest in His love and fix your mind on His truth and character. And bring all your thoughts and cares to Him. Because He cares so, so deeply about all the intricate details of your life since He knows you and loves you so intensely. Continue seeking Him and surround yourself with wise people who will continually point back to Him. And God will lead you in the direction that is best for you (and sometimes there may be more than one good option). I’ll be praying for you!”
Alyssa was completely right. God has been guiding me in the paths he wants me to take. A year ago, I didn’t know what to do, but now I have an idea. Of course, who knows? I might not end up going to college for this major.
But I can be certain of this: God has my life planned out already. I don’t have to be afraid or stressed about what the next step will be because he will show me the next step in his perfect timing.
3. When You Stop Worrying You Can Watch God Work in Your Life
Sometimes, God does things that we don’t understand. And that might mean not telling you right now what he wants you to do after high school or college. It might mean not letting you into the college you wanted to attend.
But not knowing what the future holds is kind of exciting. You get to watch God do great things in your life. He might present you with an interesting opportunity, and you might have chances to serve that will send you to a college to earn a degree you never thought you would choose.
I had an opportunity to take over my Spanish class and my sister’s Spanish class when our teacher was sick. I had always enjoyed Spanish and did very well in class, but this unexpected turn of events got me to taste what it was like to be a Spanish teacher.
Thanks to this opportunity God brought me, I’m currently thinking about going to college to be a Spanish teacher.
My friend, you might not know what lies ahead in your future, but God knows. He’ll bring amazing opportunities to you and guide you where he wants you to go in his own, unique way.
Stop Worrying, Start Trusting
If you don’t know what your future holds, don’t stress about it. Maybe God doesn’t want you to know right now. He wants you to trust him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
My friend, stop worrying about what the future holds. God will show you what he wants you to do in his perfect timing. And if you think about it, that’s so reassuring and exciting!
God has you in the palm of his hand. He knows what’s best for you.
And that’s a wonderful promise.