How to Help Someone Taking That Next Big Step in Life
It's that time of year. The anticipation of it all can be a little overwhelming. The constant circle of butterflies in the pit of your stomach threatens to nauseate. Yet you can't help but smile. You can't help but beam at the excitement that lies ahead. You've even dreamed about it. Imagined what it would be like. In fact, at one point it seemed a whole lifetime away. Dodging all those questions that you don't have answers for just yet has become a sort of norm. You're well versed these days at smiling and faking your way through an answer. Maybe even just admitting, "I just don't know yet."
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Graduation. The word holds many imaginations. Many memories. And a boatload of emotions. Fear. Excitement. Hope. Relief. On and on it goes. And so those questions nip at your heals. Maybe even bringing on anxiety because the rest of the world is demanding an answer. Pressuring you to have it figured out. Mapped out. But even those of us who graduated, ahem, a while ago don't have it all figured out. So why do we pressure those that are taking that very first step into their futures to have it all figured out? I absolutely believe God has a plan for each of us.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psalm 138:8
I believe He had that plan when He was forming each of us together with His own hands in our momma's wombs.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13,16
I also know from sheer experience that He doesn't map it all out for us. We aren't born holding a scroll of His plan neatly time lined and wrapped in a pretty bow.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17
What if we took a different approach to anyone facing that next step whether it be a graduation or a marriage or becoming a parent or whatever it is that their next step is?
What if we ask them about their hopes and dreams?
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
What if we encouraged them to seek God about what He has in mind?
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25
What if we came along side them and prayed with them? For them?
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 1 Timothy 2:1
Remind them that the most important answer to all the questions is Jesus? Yep, Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
He's got this. He's got a plan. He just hasn't shared the whole thing with us yet. But He's there, meeting us with each new step we take.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10