Carpe Diem

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

College is a crazy time. Sometimes you eat dinner at 11:00 pm and sometimes you realize it’s 3:00 am and you forgot to eat. Other times your Mac decides that the hard drive’s not going to work three weeks before finals and other times you get a call for an interview or a job offer and you’re soaring. It’s an emotional ride–a roller coaster at times—full of highs and lows and plenty of fall out in between.

In the midst of all the craziness, sometimes people will say things like, “well this is all a part of God’s plan…” and it’s confusing. I was always confused in high school why I couldn’t have different things I wanted (not material things). I wondered why I couldn’t get the job I wanted, make the friends I wanted, and make the grades I wanted, and so on. I wondered the same thing at the beginning of college. I thought I had a plan. I thought I knew what I wanted for my life and what could make my life better and I knew the best way for things to go. I wasn’t focused on the fact that despite my plans, God establishes my way (Proverbs 16:9–The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps).

Since starting college I’ve had highs and I’ve had lows. I’ve had moments on top of the world and moments where I thought I was never going to make it out alive and one lesson I’ve learned from all of this is to answer fate when she knocks at the door because you never know what the result might be. Fate strikes in weird and unexpected places. Fate might strike with a friendship that ends too soon, it might strike with a friend you meet at orientation, it might be the professor you meet on a field trip, or it might be a speaker who convinces you to consider a different major. But the only thing about fate is she doesn’t wait long, you must open the door and make a decision—the window of opportunity is slim. Will you transfer to a different college? Will you change your major even though that wasn’t a part of your plan?

Looking back, I could have not imagined a more perfect college experience for myself than the one I have now. I’m in a major I never expected to have, I’m attending a university I never thought I would be lucky enough to attend, and I have the greatest friends I could have ever hoped to have. Sometimes you don’t do well in a major for a reason, even though it’s what your big plan was, maybe it’s just not for you and that’s okay. Maybe you go to a university and had high expectations of it and although everyone around you enjoys it, you feel it’s not the right place for you and that’s okay too. But be bold and be courageous (Joshua 1:9) and when you are thrown opportunity, SEIZE IT.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way” (Proverbs 37:23)

“Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

I know that time and chance happen to us all and that God is establishing my steps as well. With this in mind, there will be valleys where you think everything is going wrong and every choice was a bad one and there will be peaks where you think you can’t feel any greater than you do in this moment and God will be beside you every time. I’m so thankful for a loving God who directs my steps, whose ways are higher than my own, and who—in this season of life—has given me more than I could have ever asked for, more than I deserve, and more happiness than I could have received in any other “plan” I thought I had for myself.

Holly Beth Pannell
About Holly Beth Pannell 11 Articles
Holly Pannell is a Management Information Systems major at the University of Oklahoma. She attends church at the Penn South Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, OK. She works at the University of Oklahoma in the admissions office and likes being in the middle of the action at her college. She is the oldest of three—all girl—and live in Norman, OK. She enjoys dinner with friends, Sooner football, John Green books, following politics, late night bowls of cereal, and The Office reruns.

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