Do I Have to Know My Life Plans by 18?


Life is a journey and a growing experience, and thankfully it doesn’t happen all at once.

If you’re heading into your junior or senior year this fall, then chances are, you’ve already been about your future plans. Maybe you even have a few goals in mind and can’t wait to embark on your new adventure!

But maybe you’re not sure what happens after you receive your diploma and send your cap sailing through the air. I certainly didn’t know. In fact, I didn’t even know to throw my cap. (Tells you how much I was prepared for graduation!)

Life is a journey, a growing experience, and thankfully it doesn’t all happen at once.

This might come as a surprise, but even if you were to pass every test with flying colors and become the class valedictorian you don’t have to have it all figured out! And you know what else? That’s perfectly okay!

Life is a journey, a growing experience, and it doesn’t all happen at once—thank goodness! A newborn isn’t expected to walk five minutes after being welcomed into this world. A high schooler shouldn’t feel pressured to have her whole life planned out by her junior or senior year.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”

This is not an excuse to put off decisions, goof off, or be lazy. It’s wise to diligently plan ahead and set goals, as Scripture also teaches, but we should always hold those plans with open palms. When we trust in the Lord, He will make the path for us clear (Prov. 3:5-6).

When I was fresh out of high school, I had no idea what I’d be doing or where God would take me. Some days I still feel that way. I make mistakes, and I get frustrated when my plans take a backseat to God’s. And though I may be disappointed at first, when I surrender my dreams and ideals to the Lord, afterward there is true joy and peace from knowing the God of love is in control of all things and truly does what’s best for me.

You may not know God’s plans for your future, but there are some lifelong goals you can set for yourself beginning today. Here are three to get you started:

1. Spend time in God’s Word.

This is where you will find life’s answers. And don’t think you have to wait ’til after graduation to begin. Start today!

2. Surround yourself with mature, godly mentors who will speak truth into your life.

Look at it this way: If you’re studying for the SAT, would you ask help from a preschooler or a trained tutor?

3. Look for opportunities to serve.

Perhaps you can serve in your church, a local ministry or Christian organization, or within your own home. Remember to take your focus off yourself and seek to meet the needs of others for the sake of the gospel.

Written by Leanna Shepard

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