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Today’s Truth

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16, NIV).

Friend to Friend

We all want to be successful in our work. Many people never experience success in their work because they are in the wrong work to begin with. Not me. As a high school student, I knew exactly what I wanted to be – a nurse. My mother was a nurse and I wanted to be just like her, so I signed up to be a student volunteer at the hospital where my mother worked. When I told her the good news, she thought for a moment and then simply said, “That’s great, honey. You’ll make a wonderful nurse.”

On my first day, I eagerly donned the required red and white striped uniform and reported for duty. The head nurse welcomed me and explained that I would be checking each patient to make sure they had water to drink, magazines to read, and a listening ear. That sounded simple enough. “Oh, and one more thing,” she continued. “Since we are short-handed, I may ask you to do a few things to help the other nurses on duty.” “No problem” I assured her.

At that precise moment, a scream pierced the air! The head nurse calmly looked at me, smiled and said, “Could you check on that, please?” Taking a deep breath, I headed in the direction of the scream, praying that that it was nothing more than the celebratory cry of someone who had just won a million dollars.

As I neared the room in question, a bedpan flew through the doorway in front of me, landing at my feet. I decided right then and there that nursing was not for me. Fortunately, I had a wise and wonderful mother who knew me well and from that day on encouraged me to be the teacher God created me to be.

I truly believe many people are living stress-filled lives because they have never sought and discovered God’s plan. They are trapped in jobs that simply do not fit their gift set. Every day, they feel like the proverbial round peg being jammed into a square hole – a painful and frustrating experience.

What does fit is God’s plan.

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16, NIV).

Every day of our life is written down in God’s book. Think about that for a minute. Just how important and precious are our days that God would be mindful of each one. To “ordain” means “to confer holy orders on.” In other words, God’s plan is His loving process of guiding us in the best direction, conferring His holy orders on our life – not as a harsh master but as a loving Father.

God empowers His plan, but when we step into our own agenda, we are stepping into our frail limited strength. Don’t waste another day just doing the “next” thing. Take a long, hard look at your work, your job, and your agenda to make sure you are in the right place – doing what you were created to do in this world.

You have probably heard the statement, “I climbed the ladder of success, and when I reached the top, I realized it was leaning against the wrong wall.” Not long ago, I came to a crossroads in my life that made me question the path I was taking in ministry. I asked God to either change me and the way I was doing ministry or change my ministry. He did both! Once again, I realized God wants the highest and best things for my life. That really is His plan. Don’t settle for anything less.

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to follow Your plan for my life. Help me to walk in daily obedience so that Your perfect plan for my life will naturally unfold before me.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

God always reveals His plan to an obedient and seeking heart. Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do?

Read Jeremiah 29:11, “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” (NIV).

More from the Girlfriends

Our greatest opportunity for success is to live out God’s plan. That requires trust. Trust in God to saturate each part of our life with His purpose. Mary has a book, 10-Day Trust Adventure, that will help you trust God in every area of your life.

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

2 Responses to “Stepping into God’s Plan for Me”

  1. Beverley says:

    Thank you for this devotional, Mary. I always enjoy reading each day’s devotion here; I particularly enjoy yours because we are probably in the same age group (young-at-heart), and I feel that your thoughts many times are a mirror for me to see myself. I know, of course, that God is using your words in my life. I am really struck by these words:

    “Not long ago, I came to a crossroads in my life that made me question the path I was taking in ministry. I asked God to either change me and the way I was doing ministry or change my ministry. He did both! Once again, I realized God wants the highest and best things for my life. That really is His plan. Don’t settle for anything less.”

    Because of the pandemic and moving to a different part of my state with my husband after retirement for both of us, life has taken a completely new direction and has an entirely new look. The things and people I’ve known for the last thirty years and the ministry I was part of are no longer in my life. Talk about starting over! I’ve gone through depression and panic. It’s been necessary to have a good counselor and, in the beginning, medication for my panic attacks.

    God is healing me and has grown me in a number of ways. Now, I’m wondering what’s next. Thank You for reminding me that God’s plan is “the highest and best.” I’m waiting right now for Him to show me. I love Jeremiah 29:11; it has sustained and encouraged me so much over the years.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and life.

  2. Debbie says:

    Thank you Mary!
    I definitely needed this today.🙌🏻🙏🏻 I have been working as a medical assistant for the past 30 years. Jan. – Aug. of 2020 I stayed home to care for my mother in law full time. We moved to a new city and I had major surgery on 12/2/20. I am recovered, praise God and need to get back to work, but have no idea where to begin. I honestly felt burnt out in my last positions and wanted to try something new. However, I know that I have a heart for patients. I just don’t know where to start, other than prayer. Do I just step out in faith and see what doors God opens or closes?

    I would greatly appreciate your advice. 😊
    Debbie

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8