God Knew, but I Didn’t

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Blog | 11 comments

God Knew, but I Didn’t


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.

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  1. Oh Jen, this is exactly what my heart needed to read today. I’m in a season of waiting and listening for the Lord’s direction. Your transparency is so humbling and I appreciate you sharing. Your encouragement will be what I cling to today. God bless.

    • Cyndi – I will be praying that God gives you peace as you wait on His prompting and leading. Blessings to you my friend.

  2. Thank you Jenn. Your story and your willingness to share it is a blessing to me.

    • I am glad that you found encouragement in my story, Kelli.

  3. Jennifer – What a timely reminder for all of us…. but I think it was meant for me at this very moment on this very day. Thank you for sharing openly and encouragingly. Grateful for you… and our amazing God.

    • God knows just what we need, when we need it, doesn’t He? I am glad that my story encouraged you.

  4. Jen, I’ve known you for over 30 years and have seen you blossom into the extraordinary woman you are today! Your patience, warm heart and perseverance are comendable my dear friend. So Blessed to know your entire family as my own and going through many of life experiences together–Marriage, death, celebrations, baby showers- bridal showers, Biryhdays, BBQ’s and childhood memories! We have a solid friendship that will last a life time… love you and congratulations on ALL of your incredible accomplishments- you my friend are “Unstoppable”.,, Hugs, Shell

    • Thank you so much for your sweet words Shelly. You truly are part of our family, and your friendship to all of us is such a blessing.

  5. Jen perfect timing. Your blog ministered to me as you know my recent struggles. You are a blessing!!

    • God has lead you down great paths my friend, and He won’t let you down now either. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding” Prov. 3:5.

  6. Thank you so much! Perfect timing because i do not understand the “NO” sometimes, but i do not want to be anywhere he doesn’t want me. His place and timing are much better then mine!

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