When I was 17 years old I thought I had it all figured out. I had a plan for life after high school and it was going to work. I was going to graduate and spend two years on scholarship at my local community college to save money. After that I was going to take a leap and finish my bachelors at my dream school, DePaul University. It was expensive, which I knew going into it, but I’d still have less debt than most of my friends. I’d get to live in the city surrounded by thousands of opportunities, my friends, my boyfriend, what else could I want? I had a plan and it seemed like it would work. But the the funny thing about plans is you aren’t the only one making them.
I’ve always been stubborn, when I set my mind to something I’m going to do it no matter what. “Everything seems impossible until it’s done! I’m a strong, independent woman! JUST DO IT!!!” So, of course stubborn me was stubborn for a long time when God first said “not now.” I’m not proud to admit it, but I ignored Him. I said, “God, this is MY plan! I’m going to make it work.” And I shut him up for a while. I stopped praying and started making decisions without Him. But that doesn’t work. Because His plan is going to win no matter what you do or how much you avoid Him. God has bigger plans than you can even imagine, and I know, that’s super cliche. But it’s true.
It can be easy to twist things around, convince yourself that “This is God’s plan. Why would He let me do it if it wasn’t?” But is He really letting you? Or is He just waiting for the perfect time to stop you in your tracks? Is the plan you are pursuing in life really His plan? Or is it yours? Sometimes it’s hard to figure out. But in our hearts I think we all know. When you hear God speaking to you and saying things like “not now” stop and listen. Don’t do what I did and shut him out because His plan is what’s best for you and it’s what’s meant to be.
When I told my family I decided not to attend DePaul they were sad for me, but the funny thing was I wasn’t sad. I was excited. I felt this fire ignited within my soul. I heard what God was telling me for the first time in a very long time. He was saying, “Shannon, this is where I need you now.” And that’s where I’m going to go. I’m excited and proud to announce that I will be attending Aurora University in the fall. I know it’s not Chicago, it’s not DePaul, it’s not far away from home. But it’s where God’s plan is leading me and therefore, it’s where I am meant to be.