"'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.'"
I discovered this verse, which has since become what I guess some people call a "life verse" (ok, I don't really know what that means, but I'm taking a guess) when I was 18. I was pretty sure, like most people discovering something for the first time, that I was the only one who had ever read this verse. It was transformational. I knew that God had put this verse in my life and that He was speaking straight to me. The timing just "couldn't" be coincidental. I was going off to college soon, right?
Three weeks later, my high school boyfriend broke up with me.
I was devastated, in a way that ONLY a teenage-girl-in-love can be. If you're wondering, this one turned out to be the failure to launch mentioned in another post. In retrospect, good riddance, but tell that to the over-the-top drama queen at the time.
At some point in the first act of my one-girl-show, I remembered this verse. And it gave me hope. Let's be honest, it didn't stop the tears and wailing, but it told me that God had other things in store.
Four weeks after that, I met the guy that I would eventually marry five years and three months later.
"Plans to give you... a future." Huh. Sometimes God IS literal.
We celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on December 31.
I now know that I'm not the only one to have read this verse, not the only one to have revelation of a kind from God, but that doesn't make that time any less special, or that those words didn't speak to me in such a real and profound way, although I couldn't guess the reasoning at the time. I couldn't have guessed what meaning this would have for me in my life, or how this verse would be played out over, and over again.
Like the time I sunk my Civic Hybrid in the river after spinning out on black ice, and hitting a tree on my way down the embankment. I hit the tree like I was in slow motion, ran it over (it wasn't very big) and landed in the river facing the opposite direction I was driving in, feeling like I was surrounded by pillows. Within minutes, an Air National Guardsman stopped and helped me out of my car, filling with water, that I couldn't get out of on my own because of the angle (read: had to open the passenger side door like a hatch cover.)"Plans not to harm you..."
Like feeling dejected at jobs, then being hired to the right next job just at the moment when I began to feel that a job search was fruitless. "Plans to give you hope..."
I don't know what the plans are, shoot, I have never been able to make a five-year plan for myself, and every time I think about it, five years later I'm doing something radically different than plan. But God knows. I don't want to get preachy or over spiritual, this isn't that kind of blog. But this is the a part of who I am, a verse that's been written not just on my heart, but across the pages of my life in indelible ink. I forget its there, way, WAY too often, so its important for me to reflect on it from time to time.
"I know the plans I have for you," DECLARES the LORD.
Now THAT's a declaration.