Why is it that we don’t pursue the things we love? We seem to forget them. We ignore them. We hide our hearts’ desires—or maybe it’s that we are hiding from our hearts?
In college world (where I currently live)many conversations begin with future plans. What is your major? What do you ‘want’ to do with that after college? Grad school? Med School? Get a job? The funny thing is I have found that we rarely think of what we want to do. We don’t think about what we love. Instead, what is profitable. What is acceptable . All too often we come to believe a lie that we can’t or it isn’t possible. In the expectations that are set before us, we forget the dreams of our youth and the desires of our hearts. We forget who we are and leave that person far behind. Then, we don’t answer the question at all, but instead merely give a response—our plans.
I am no different… I never have been. I pride myself in avoiding questions. Seated on a deck in Mexico though, I was confronted with that seemingly awful question, and a mere response was not enough. Hanna, what do you want? What do you love? I had spent my whole life living up to expectations and being acceptable that I had not allowed God to show me who He had created me to be—I hadn’t really looked in the mirror through His eyes.
Have you ever asked someone what his plans are for the future… And then after receiving a feasible response asked him what he wants to do. Or have you ever asked someone what he would do with His life if He could do anything? Blank stares reflect an inability to answer. Eyes roll as the two don’t mesh. Sometimes smiles come and faces light up as they do.
I finally came up with an answer that night. (after an extended blank stare and much rolling of the eyes) Nevertheless, I had known it since I was little. Our Father had written it on my heart when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. And as I tutored Hispanic kids and did stuff with people with special needs, and went on mission trips I tried to make it all come together. I loved those people—those things. But in each activity another part of me was missing. So why didn’t I ask God for all of them? Ask and you will receive. Doubt. God isn’t big enough. FALSE. My God is the Lord of all Creation! And that June I began praying that God would “somehow” intertwine them all—I prayed for the opportunity to work at an orphanage for kids with special needs. I wasn’t even sure such a thing existed.
Sometimes I wonder what God thinks of us in those times—in our foolish lack of faith. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:11-13 From the first moment He had it all planned. And I called upon Him. And He listened. I sought Him and oh how I found Him.
And not two months later I mentioned the greatest desire of my heart in passing before leaving Ensenada to return to the States. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 I had been living not ten minutes away from Gabriel House for three months. Most of you know what has come of that in the last year. That’s not to say that there weren’t struggles or that I didn’t face opposition. It has been hard. But it has been and is ever so good as God is good. For when the Lord of all creation gives you the desires of your heart there are not words to express how beautiful it is. Now I have begun to genuinely believe that every struggle is worth it. Christ’s victory over Satan is obvious. Sin has lost its power and death has lost its sting. All perspectives change.
Now, God continues to grow my love for Him daily, giving me greater desires for His people and for His Kingdom. And as I am scared, I am humbled by my lack of faith in His promises. But the Bible is truth and Our God is faithful. He hears when we call and He knows us inside and out. Just look around at all that He has done and is doing in both your life and mine! He wove us together in our mothers’ wombs and knows the number of every hair on our head. We are each uniquely, yet fearfully and wonderfully made—with a specific purpose and plan in mind! Yours is wonderful—whether you are 15, 25, 45, or 85.
So now I pose what could be the most emotionally paradoxical question as it is utterly frightening yet amazingly freeing and so incredibly wonderful:
What do you want?
I would love to pray for you.