Plans change, but God does not

God has been doing some crazy things in my life recently.  For those of you who know sketchy details of what I’m about to say, this post will hopefully fill in some blanks for you.  Let me say that it’s not as drastic as you may be thinking, but the process to get where I am right now was stretching and confusing.

This summer, I asked myself a couple of serious questions, some of which I had never asked myself before.  Among them were where do I want to be in 5 or 10 years?, how do I see myself getting where I’m going?, and am I on the best path right now to get where I’m going?

I concluded that there are two main banners flying over where I want to be vocationally in several years: teaching and Christian counseling.  That second banner raised itself more prominently in my mind over the past few weeks, even though I’d been thinking of it intermittently over the past several years.  I decided that what really gets me jazzed is the idea of teaching in a youth ministry context with some training in Christian counseling, so I could be involved in counseling on the side.  Then, after I transition out of youth ministry, I would get involved full-time in church-based or clinical Christian counseling.

So, being a junior in college, I began to wonder if my last two years in undergrad should be focused on one or the other of these two categories.  If so, I reasoned, Christian counseling should be a focus.  Not that I have mastered teaching by any means, but it’s something that I had been doing, and I thought that with the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and just good ol’ experience, I would become the teacher God has called me to be.  With Christian counseling, conversely, it seems that one needs to be formally trained to deal with all manner of complexity, whether it’s suicidal people, family conflict, mental challenges, sin, or spiritual warfare.

Well, that thought process led me to one crazy notion in particular: this might mean I need to pursue a new B.A.  So, I began researching Christian counseling B.A. programs across the country.  It was a little stressful to think of transferring colleges a few weeks before the semester started!  Anyway, in my research, I concluded that having only a B.A. in Christian counseling won’t get me very far.  I won’t be licensed upon completion of that degree, which would mean that I would be limited to church-based counseling.  Clinical counseling is basically out of the question until I’m licensed in the profession.

So that led me to think that if I’m going to pursue Christian counseling, I’ll need a masters at the very least so that I at least have the option of doing whatever I want with my degree once I have it.  Well, if I’m getting an M.A., it makes sense to have a B.A., and I’m already pursuing one in Biblical and Theological Studies at BCS.  That B.A. makes a whole lot of sense if I’m going to teach, which I feel that God has called me to do.

Sooo… the plan right now, as I understand it and as God has led, is that I’ll be continuing at BCS, finishing my B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies, and then looking to pursue an M.A. in Christian counseling.  I’ll probably be taking a few summer classes in preparation for the Masters program beginning next summer.  In the meantime, I’m content and joyful to be just where God wants me.  I have felt His hand on my thought process and searching, even though it’s been stressful at times.

The moral of the story: God will give you the grace and strength to be where He has called you to be.  Don’t stress if you don’t know exactly where you’ll be in ten years; chances are He’ll change your plans anyway.  But whether you understand it all or not, He’s got the best plan in mind for you, and He’ll lead you to it.

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About Joe Eaton

I praise God that my standing before Him has nothing to do with who I am or what I've done; it is found solely in the perfect life that Christ lived in my place, and His which atoned for my sin. "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that IN HIM we might become the righteousness of God"..."There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

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