I don’t know about you, but I strive for the illusion of control. I have always had my life planned out years and years in advance. To be honest, I always had my whole life planned out: I was going to go to a secular university, study music education, get a well-paying job, make my name known in the music world, marry a handsome and financially well off guy, have a couple kids; I planned to live the “American Dream.” My senior year of high school is when God changed my life dramatically. I had rededicated my life to Christ, but it wasn’t enough just to follow Him. He wants my hopes, dreams, ambitions and plans for the future. Nowhere in my plan was there room for student loans, REACH projects, cross cultural missions (long or short term), becoming a student leader, and certainly not going into full-time vocational ministry in the United States—or in a third world country for that matter. I had my life planned out; there was no room for God and His “crazy” plans. After surrendering my life to Christ, He began to break down my illusion of control. My roots back home began to shrivel. The life I knew was falling apart, but I would not turn to Christ. Instead, I acted like everything was fine, like I had it all together, like I was not feeling alone, or that I was struggling with self-worth, depression and anxiety. I was tripping and falling over the need for control when it was impossible in the first place.
Jessica Snook is a worship leader for chapel.

Jessica Snook is a worship leader for chapel.

My mom left our family, taking my sister with her, and that was my breaking point. I accepted that I had no control, and finally cried out to God. I accepted that I was broken and that I had lost the illusion of control. My life since then has never been so blessed. Allowing God control over our lives (without fighting Him) releases so much stress, worry, and anxiety. It is not ours to deal with. We crave the illusion of control in our lives, but it is just that; an illusion. There is nothing we can do to change God’s will in our lives. Yes, we have free will. One of the pastors at my church describes it like this: “God’s will is like a ship and we are the crew. We can do whatever we want to on the boat, but at the end we will still reach our destination.” God’s will is going to be accomplished. Are we going to go the easy way or the hard way? Speaking from experience, I sometimes wish I had gone the easy way. At the same time, I am grateful for my experiences and plan to use them to help others I come into contact with. God has His way of working things. He mended my heart as well as my family. I am not yet married or even dating; I am not a music education major; I have a couple of student loans; I moved 6 hours away from my family instead of just one hour; I am going into full time vocational ministry after college, possibly even in another country for a while. The new direction for my life is far from the “American Dream” or what I had planned or imagined, but my life is filled with a crazy and unreal amount of blessings that would never have happened if my plans had taken place. I’m excited to see where God leads me and am working on being okay with not knowing what all that encompasses. God’s will for our lives is more perfect than we could ever imagine. Letting go of the illusion of control in our lives opens the door to God’s blessing in our lives.