The first time Reggie approached me about a relationship, I told him I didn’t see him on the horizon. At that time, when I imagined my future, God hadn’t added Reggie to the picture in my mind. I’d just come out of a bad relationship and wasn’t ready for another. So, the idea of another relationship so soon was the furthest thing from my mind.
But as I prayed, healed, and got to know him better, I came to see Reggie and the role he would play in my life clearly. Slowly, over time, I came to see what God saw and had already shown Reggie—a future of us married, using our gifts to build the Kingdom of God.
In fact, Reggie became such a fixture in my picture of the future, that when he was gone, it was difficult to see my life any other way.
The formation of my image of a future with Reggie reminds me of how God creates a new thing. According to Isaiah 43:19, when God creates something new, it springs forth in the sense of a fountain bubbling up or a plant sprouting up from underground. Whether a fountain or plant, I imagine something that starts in an instant, usually out of sight, before gradually becoming visible, then develops over some period of time resulting in a harvest.
Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. ~ Isaiah 43:19
That’s how the idea of Reggie being my husband came to Reggie and me. It started the instant God spoke to Reggie. Reggie tucked his conversation with God in his heart, hidden from me for three years. Not wanting to miss his opportunity once my previous relationship ended, the idea bubbled up causing Reggie to share it with me. Once he did, our acquaintance transitioned to a friendship, then an engagement, and ultimately, our marriage.
When God creates something new, it springs forth in the sense of a fountain bubbling up or a plant sprouting up from underground.
This experience shows me we need to be ready for the instantaneous and prepared for the duration. We need to be ready to join God the moment He first invites us to create and be prepared for His timeline in bringing our creation to fruition.
The Instant and the Duration
Being ready for the instantaneous and prepared for the duration is how we form our mental images—whether adding or subtracting. Just like it took time for me to see my life with Reggie, it also took time for me to see my life without him. Though Reggie was gone in an instant, it took time for me to heal and begin, once again, to think of myself the way God thinks of me.
To learn more about what God thinks of me, I looked to Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11
The Hebrew word translated “thoughts” in this verse means “plans.” In other words, God has a specific set of ideas or thoughts—plans—about each and every one of us. And God has already devised strategies—plans—on how to make His thoughts realities.
When I couldn’t think of my life the way God does, when I didn’t have a specific idea or thought about who I was, I was stuck, unable to move forward.
Now, God had a plan all along, but in the months following Reggie’s death, my pain kept me from seeing it. Watching Reggie fade from the picture of my future hurt. So, I held onto my image of him as long as I could.
God was already seeing me and my life differently.
Unfortunately, holding onto my image of us together, disconnected me from God’s plan for my life—because God was already seeing me and my life differently. Having seen God’s power restore other people though, I knew restoration was possible, but disconnected from God’s plan for my life, I felt powerless, unable to make His power real in my own life.
When I fail to think of myself as God thinks of me, I limit my ability to follow God’s plan. When I fail to imagine the possibilities God’s plan makes available, I access less of God’s power to maximize His plan—not because more power isn’t available. It is. God’s power, His abilities are limitless (Ephesians 3:20).
No, it’s my ability to access His unlimited power that’s limited. It’s my delay in thinking as He thinks, my delay in imagining the possibilities, that keeps me from creating my new life.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. ~ Ephesians 3:20
I use the word imagine because Ephesians 3:20 says, God can do more than I can think in the sense of imagine. If you, like me, believe in God’s ability to do more than we can imagine, then we need to unleash the power of imagining, thinking of our lives the way God thinks of them, which Ephesians says is limited only by the power working in us.
In other words, the manifestation of God’s thoughts and plans for our lives are only limited by our thoughts and plans for our lives. The more we think and imagine in alignment with God’s thoughts and plans the more God’s thoughts and plans can become real in our lives.
Following God’s Plan
Armed with a new plan, I began to act on what I saw. I joined God by following His plan for my life.
I know for some of you following God’s plan may not excite you. It hasn’t always excited me. And it certainly didn’t excite me in the wake of my catastrophic event—Reggie’s passing. But my use of the word “following” was intentional.The manifestation of God’s thoughts and plans for our lives are only limited by our thoughts and plans for our lives. Click To Tweet
You see, following God’s plan gives the imagery of guided movement toward something, or in this case, toward someone. Jeremiah 29:11 uses the word “toward” to illustrate direction. And the direction in this passage is toward me.
God is guiding me as I move closer and closer to becoming me, or keeping with the planning imagery, the me He designed me to be. So, the closer I get to God, the closer I get to me.The closer I get to God, the closer I get to me. Click To Tweet
That thought is exciting to me. As I hope the thought of you becoming you, the you God designed you to be, is exciting to you.
- When was the last time you imagined your future?
- When you imagine your future what do you see? How close is what you see to what God sees?
- How are you doing at following God’s plan?