So there’s this friend of mine. I’ve written about her a time or two, most recently here. When you find a friend who pushes you, encourages you, leads humbly and effectively, and always points back to Jesus? You’ve won. Big time. It’s such a joy to invite her into this space today. I hope her words encourage you just as she encourages me in real life each day.

In Christ, we have been redeemed.

To me, a story is about discovery. Stories with predictable plot lines are boring, and quite frankly, I get bored pretty easily (just ask Kaitlyn). A story should constantly surprise you, challenge you, convict you, and encourage you, and with these qualities in mind, it is easy to see who the world’s greatest story teller is – God. There is always something new to be discovered in a good story, just as I discovered something new in a familiar verse in Scripture this morning:

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Psalm 20:4, NIV

I have heard this verse a plethora of times. It was something that was highlighted in pink this morning as I opened my favorite Story Book and began to enter into sweet and needed time with my Lord and Savior. But it wasn’t the pink mark across the page that caused this verse to stand out, it was the conviction that I found in it for the first time.

I am selfish and I am broken. And my desires are the same. My heart so often longs for acceptance, approval, and security in the world, not in the eyes of a loving God. Looking at my schedule, it is easy to see that my plans are much the same – coffee dates with friends, meetings for organizations I choose to get involved with, medical school applications, and class, class, and more class. My plans are somewhat wimpy and uninspired as they are born from a selfish desire to enjoy life for myself, not for the glory of a loving God.

Yet, in my selfishness and brokenness, I am redeemed.

I found such great conviction in this verse because I realized I didn’t want the desires of my heart fulfilled. Any plans that do not make more of Him and less of me are fleeting, and I do not want to see them succeed. Yet, there is beauty in this verse in Psalms.

At the core of my being through the grace of salvation, I long for an intimate relationship with God. My soul cries out to Him and I find great worth in building His kingdom. As much as the superficial aspects and desires of my life get in the way – focus on appearance, making senior year count, and passing anatomy – I pray that the pure and intentional desires of my heart are those that God grants. I pray that He take my plans and orchestrates them for His glory, taking my uninspired thoughts and breathing life and worth into them. After all, isn’t He the ultimate story teller?

I want my life to be something unpredictable. I want to continue to discover new convictions. I want my desire to know God and know Him well to be displayed as a powerful witness to those in my sphere of influence. I want all my plans that bring due glory to His name to meet success. God’s plans and desires are not predictable. They constantly surprise me, challenge me, convict me, and encourage me. God is the best source of desire, and He is the best story teller.

 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9, NLT



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