Her pencil just kept scribbling on the paper. And my heart rate shot up a little bit more as she moved further down the paper.
“Your jokes are catching up to you.” I thought in my head.
For months, knowing I was a little behind in school because of changing my major and taking less credits every few semesters so I can give my body a breather or focus more on PT, I had been joking with my friends that I was actually a sophomore. Even though I really thought I was only a semester behind. No big deal.
But a few weeks ago, I sat across from my adviser’s desk as she wrote out a plan for the rest of my college career. By the time she finished, my graduation date was set for either Spring or Fall 2021. A full extra year to year and a half.
“I’m actually a sophomore.” I thought, walking out of the office. Feeling like I was living in a twilight zone.
I bee-lined it to Starbucks. Coffee fixes all my issues, right?
I got my coffee and waited to fix my coffee behind some random guy. As my cousins like to say, I like coffee with my cream.
“Sorry I’m taking so long,” random guy said.
“You’re fine, I’ll be here forever anyways. Spring 2021 to be exact.” Flustered me said.
“What…?”random guy questioned.
I internally face palmed. Any of my best friends know that I ramble when I’m either tired or stressed. In that moment, I was both of those things. I only had 5 hours of sleep a night all week. Thus, I had just informed a fellow coffee addict way too much about my life.
“Nothing. I’m so sorry. Rough morning. I didn’t mean for that to come out. Take your time, no worries.”
He gave me a confused smile and left quickly.
Once I sat down at a table, I literally just stared at the paper that had my future written out on it.
How did this happen?
I was literally sitting across from a friend a few weeks ago, at this exact table. I was telling her that college has made me no stranger to God wrecking my life plans.
Freshman Jordan’s plan: graduate in four years, land a dream job at ESPN and move right to Bristol, Connecticut.
Sophomore Jordan’s plan: realizing I love sports but probably don’t want to work in sports media, my plan turned to healthcare communications. Good. Set. Solid plan.
This year’s plan, thinking I was a Junior: I don’t know. Sports? Eh, maybe. Healthcare? A stronger maybe… can someone just pay me to write?
All I know is that I’m graduating in four years, buying a dog and finding somewhere where my horse can be in my backyard or right around the corner from me. Okay, ambitious I know. But a girl can dream, right?
As I sat at that table again a few weeks ago, clutching my coffee, I realized that my life’s plan just got wrecked. Again. At least the graduating in four years part.
I prayed nobody was watching me, because I definitely felt the tears coming.
“What am I doing? I don’t even have a “dream job” anymore. All I know is I love to write, and I think I’m okay at it. Do I just try to turn my blog into something? Do I finally write a book? I guess I have the time, now that I’m going to be here for two more years. Two more years? I honestly can’t even wrap my head around that.”
My mind was racing.
I started to make a list in my head of things I needed to try or do to attempt to figure out my life.
“Wait. That doesn’t even matter. Because God, you just seem to be a fan of knocking over all my plans. So why even try to plan?”
I stared at the paper some more. I let a few tears fall, not really caring at this point if anyone saw. My phone buzzed.
My brother, Hayden, replied to my frantic text: “Who doesn’t want to be in college longer?”
He’s right. College is fun. Adulthood sounds scary.
Wiping my tears, I thought: “So, what’s my problem?”
Most of your friends will be gone. You’ll be behind on life. You still don’t know what you want or what you’re doing. That’s your problem. One side of my brain said.
But then the probably more logical side of my brain jumped in:
You’re 21. Nobody really knows what they’re doing. This extra year isn’t something to be upset about. Because congrats, you get an extra year to year and a half of the most freedom you’ll ever have, to figure things out.
College is a really special time, and I know this.
It’s a time with some much freedom, so many people and opportunities.
With half a cup of coffee left, I decided to try and listen to the more logical side of my brain and shift my focus around this extra college year that was just plopped in my lap.
I know God has a plan, he must because mine constantly gets wrecked. But I’m learning that that’s something to be grateful for.
So, I’m telling myself that He has a reason for this extra year at UF.
I know that this is more time to invest in really solid people, relationships and community.
I know that it will be a really cool thing to be able to go a full four years with the sophomore girls I lead in bible study.
I know that it’s okay not to have my life and career figured out. But I know that this extra year is a blessing as I try to figure out what I can.
My prayer has become that God will do something special with my victory lap(s) and clearly show me His purpose and reason for keeping me at UF.
But I think the important thing here isn’t about how I get an extra year of college, it’s about plans. I think it’s okay and good to plan.
But where I have tripped up is when I lock in on my plan, with no openness or room for God’s plan for me.
Author Bob Goff is one of my biggest heroes. Fittingly, as I was writing this post, he tweeted this:
“God invites us to be part of His plans, not approve them.”
I’ve spent so much of my life mad because God surprised with something that didn’t fit in my plan. So, I was mad at Him because he didn’t run it by me first.
I’m learning that when your plans get wrecked for God’s plans, it’s one of the most beautiful things that can happen in life.
So today, I'm standing in the rubble of my wrecked plans, expectant and excited for what God has.