This Isn’t What I Wanted

In two days, I’m turning 26.

As this birthday, that moves me closer to 30 than to 20, approaches I find myself completely overwhelmed by one thought: this isn’t the life that I wanted. 

As a college student, I had a 5 year plan that I had “surrendered” to the Lord… aka informed Him of.  It would have placed me living in LA, recording music and touring all over the world, with a husband and kids as I approach 26. That was what I thought would fulfill me and be what I needed. I thought that that would give me confidence and satisfaction. I thought that would make me happy and useful in the kingdom.

That was the life I wanted.

But that is not the life I have.

If you would have told College Lia about the life she’d be living as she approaches 26 she would have wept  profusely… and that’s not an exaggeration.

But… As I look around at my life, I realize that the goodness of God often looks like His lovingly kind, “No.”

He said, “No” to my plan as I said “YES” to His best.

Did you catch that?

He said, “NO” to my plan as I said “YES” to His best.

When I finally and fully gave Him my “yes” to His best, He immediately started shutting things down all throughout my world. I remember the night I cried out, “I let go- God I want YOUR best.” The very next day, the unhealthy relationship I was forcing came to an abrupt halt. In the weeks to come I found myself without dreams for my life for the first time ever… and the months ahead were filled with heartbreak and feeling completely aimless.

After about a year, slowly but surely things began to come together. Surrender opened my eyes to the kindness of his “no” and the beauty of His “yes” in places I didn’t expect. 

So let me tell you about where His 5 year plan places me: I’ve been a missionary to Las Vegas for three years. I am the Worship Director at, what I think is, the best church ever with a worship/production team that is on fire for the Lord and have become my dearest friends. I have also begun preaching and teaching more frequently. I have the insane honor of being the director of Burn24/7 Las Vegas which is uniting prayer warriors and worshippers across the valley as we declare the worthiness of Jesus here. Joining  Burn24/7 has connected me to a global family of revivalists many of whom that have become mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters in the faith to me. I am the owner of a home that is perfect for gathering people for food, laughter, and worship. I have more ‘family‘ than I ever dreamed I would.

I wouldn’t trade His plan for my old one in a million years. Of course there are things I still cry out to Him for but I’ve found so much joy in the surrender.

So, beloved friends, in the disappointment, in the heartbreak, in the wandering… finally fully surrender. Let your “yes” leave room for His loving “no” and His even greater “yes.” You just might find yourself living His dreams and trust me- they’re just. so. much. better. than you could ever imagine.

 

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says 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

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