Thursday, May 03, 2007

I AM - Lesson 4

Lisa, The Preacher's Wife, is hosting this study. Come along if you like, you can join at anytime.

1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)

It seems like I have mini NLIP's all the time. I structure my life and expect things to go a certain way. For example, I planned a trip to the local museum and they were sold out on tickets that day. I kind of freak out a little when that happens - I am not especially adaptable sometimes.

For a bigger NLIP, like Moses, I thought that I was totally in control during college - I set goals and met them. Until God showed me that my goals did not match up with His plans and gifts. It switched my lifelong career goal from being a doctor to being a teacher.

2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.

I have truly gotten better. I still sort of get angry and wonder what in the world is going on. I am working on trying to see God's purpose in it all, as well as holding my plans a little looser. I am much better now that I have kids - they are all about flexibility.

3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?

I served with our high school ministry for two years, thinking that since I am a high school teacher that this would be a good match. It turns out that it really isn't. I don't know if it was an age thing or that I was wanting to focus more on God and less on fun. High schools just want fun sometimes and that has always been hard for me. I am serious a lot of the time. I so admire the blogs that can make fun of their foibles. Something that God is working on in me.

I don't know that I questioned God through this process, I just figured that I was there for a purpose, even if I didn't seem to see results and I discovered one area that wasn't a "great" fit for me.
4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?

I have followed or been under leaders that later sinned greatly and fell out of leadership. I wonder if I was wise to have followed them? Was a learning what was biblical or was it tainted by their sin? I then wonder if I have not been in a leadership position because of who I was following? I trust the God of the Bible and try to verify teachings from man against the word of God, but sometimes I wonder....

5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.

I guess that my biggest was a result of my sin. My husband and I had a child before we were married and planned on placing her for adoption. We weren't even thinking of marriage at the time. I had a plan - have the baby and go back to CO from MN. God had a better but more complicated plan which included a husband and baby. My career goals were my focus and not having a family.

It is amazing how God can and does take something that we are not even looking for and make them the best things in your life. I am so incredibly blessed that life did not work out how I envisioned so far.

6. Based on Moses' response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?

I am hoping that my life is more God centered and that I am continually seeking Him. I have learned that MY plans are just suggestions and it is GOD'S plans that prevail.

Thanks for reading!



Mindy said...

I appreciate your honesty in your comments!
I really am enjoying seeing how others respond to these lessons!
In HIm -

The Preacher's Wife said...

Hi Cyndee!

I love your discussion on #4 because it came up not long ago in another conversation I had.

Will God shorten the arm of your ministry because of who you follow? You could look at it in a couple of ways, I think. I can see where God would want to lessen the impact of untruth if that is what is being taught. But, if truth was being taught but the person teaching was fallible, the word still goes forth. Like Paul's teaching on the impure motives of some preachers still resulted in the Gospel being preached.

We have to remember to always follow the example of the Bereans and test each teaching against the Scripture. If you are faithfully doing this and desire ministry, even the gates of Hell will not prevail!

Thank you for your wonderful insights!

Gretchen said...


I love your outright honesty and lack of pretention in your answers.

Kids ARE all about flexibility, aren't they? Also, they help me figure out that "it's not about me". If I can get off self long enough for them, I can easily get off self long enough for God.

What you mentioned about career control spoke to me, too. I always wanted to be a pediatrician. Then, the Lord helped me see that, excepting my own and some friends, I'm not good with children, and they wear me out! Instead, I became a speech pathologist who specialist with adult neuro populations. A much better fit.

Denise said...

Sweet blessings to you.

Nise' said...

Thanks for sharing. It is so true that kids are all about flexibility! I can relate to your mini NLIPs!