Facing 2017 With NO 10-Year Plans

It’s a first.

No really, it’s a first! Okay, maybe when I wanted to be an ice-cream seller I didn’t have any real plan. No, I mean the plan was to eat ice cream whenever I liked. Ah, so I did have a plan. Interesting.

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Anyway, the desired careers of army doctor, medical jurisprudence, and ambassador (first female ambassador to Japan!) followed in slow succession. It took me, literally, years to change my mind from one career to another. I graduated high school thinking medical jurisprudence, let go of law somewhere in 4th year, and held to diplomat/ambassador until about a year after graduation.

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Each time, I was more than certain that THIS WAS IT, I had FOUND MY CALLING, there was nothing else on earth that I could possibly be doing. “Communication” found its way into my heart some months before graduation, and I decided freelance writing was the plan for me, until it was time for all those foreign service exams.

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I had a beautiful plan all laid out, 1-3 years (short-term), 3-5 years (medium-term), and 5-10 years (long-term). (No, really, it’s written down somewhere. I’m afraid to re-read it.)

And then, in March of 2015, all my lovely plans shivered, splintered, and fell apart with much drama and wailing. Through my choice (which makes it worse. Better? Something). I’d never thought the word “Communication” would put me into a literal Communications (and Technology) department.

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God must’ve laughed His head off the day I found out. Well, I was laughing too. But that was months later, after the crying part.

What happened from March until June, July, and even the months past that, was that I was being asked to surrender something to God I hadn’t realized I’d kept back. I am a 10 year-plan person, my twin says I’m a 30 year-plan person. I’d never thought it was control-freakiness, to me it was just normal.

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What happens, though, is that we who plan so extremely sometimes substitute it for faith, which is what I was doing. Maybe not with absolute confidence, but definitely with a certain amount of stubbornness. And that was just it. How could God lead me to His blessing if I clung so tight to my own plans?

That being the case, God took to me with a sledgehammer (well that’s frankly how it felt because I was fighting back so hard).

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I yelled quite a bit. But now here I am, facing 2017 without a 10-year plan for the first time in my life. Without one my ears and will are attuned to God’s plan (whatever it is).

Most importantly, I’m facing the New Year with joy and excitement, which is a delightful change. Instead of stressing about what to do next, about what I can do with my limited capability, I am in a place of peace, relaxed and ready to follow orders. It won’t last forever, of course.

There will be times of fear and doubt, and only when I get my marching orders I will know a little more and I will go. But with all my heart I am looking forward to LISTENING this year to God and FOLLOWING Him with all the excitement in the world.

Esther Elizabeth Suson

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