By Jennifer Proulx
It was just two weeks before the start of a new school semester when I finally listened to God’s nudges to go back to school. I wasn’t exactly sure what my plan was, but by the time I went to register at the local community college, the only class available to me was a Bible as Literature class. I knew that it was God’s plan for me because it was a perfect combination of two of my favorite things: the Bible and Literature.
God knew, but I didn’t, that first class and those that were to follow would give me something to cling to while my world was spinning out of control.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
God knew, but I didn’t, that just two months after registering for that class that we would have to send my fifteen-year-old son out of state for treatment of mental health and substance abuse issues. I had been consumed for a year with trying to help my son and find treatment that would benefit him. Focusing on my class assignments gave me a diversion from the dark times of worry, stress, and uncertainty about my son. I clung to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11. I was scared for my son’s future, but I trusted in God’s words that His plans were to prosper us and give us hope and a future.
God knew, but I didn’t, that the sense of accomplishment I found with my school success would be a balm to my feelings of failure as a mother. I had been a stay-at-home mom for many years, and the fact that I couldn’t help my son devastated me. Taking English classes with students half my age was daunting at times, but the challenge was just what I needed to feel that although being a wife and mother were my priority, I had opportunities to pursue as my kids got older.
God knew, but I didn’t, what career plans He had for me. I had received a marketing degree in my early twenties, and my new plan was to get an English minor or possibly bachelor’s degree so that I could become an editor. Although it was slow going, only taking one or two classes, or none at all so that I could focus on my family, I plugged away at school. I was unsure about the future, but I surrendered my plans to God, holding fast to God’s promise that His plans for us were good.
God knew, but I didn’t, that He would restore my son. Although the journey was difficult, I now look forward to my young-adult son coming home after he works hard each day in a career that he finds rewarding.
God knew, but I didn’t, that today I would be writing the final pages of my thesis, that I will be graduating in a few weeks from California Baptist University with a master’s degree in English literature, and that I would love my job teaching English composition to young college students at CBU.
If you are fearful of the future, unsure of what is in store for you, hold tightly to God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11. God delivered the Israelites out of their captivity, and God gave me more than I could have imagined. If you remain willing and open to follow God’s leading, He will bring you hope and a future. It may not happen in the timing or the manner you expect or even want, but His plans will be great.