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Genesis Acosta: “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” That’s a loaded question. When I was sixteen, I had a friend who made a detailed and elegant looking 10-year plan. I asked her what’s that? And she said, “It’s a plan for my life in the next ten years, what, do you not have one?” No, I didn’t have one. But it got me thinking, I couldn’t really make one. See, being a daughter of a minister in the Church Of Christ meant that my dad could get sent anywhere at any time and my whole life would change. So, even if I wanted to make a 10-year plan, it’s not like my plans could go as I wanted.
So, I went home that night and I made one anyway. Here’s how it went: I was sixteen. Over the next two years, I could move at any time but hopefully not. So, graduate high school, then start college, graduate college, start working, get married, have a kid, have another kid, then at 26, have another kid and/or start my master’s degree. That was my 10 year plan.
I told my parents my plan and I knew what they were thinking: we don’t get to choose when and where we go next. But they didn’t want to crush my hopes so they said, “We’ll see but for now just pray that all goes well and to accept whatever God wills.” Okay so I prayed. I prayed for that.
The next year, I was seventeen. I made it to senior year without having to move schools. My prayers were being heard. So, in those early months of 12th grade, I applied to at least 10 colleges. Come January, I was excited to get acceptance letters! I was thinking “In a few months I’ll graduate high school, start college, and pray that I may stay behind when it’s time to move.”
In just a matter of days, all of that changed when my parents said, “we’re moving.” “But it’s my senior year! We’re moving?” I don’t know why I was surprised, this is the life of a minister’s family in the Church Of Christ and It wasn’t our first relocation and wasn’t going to be our last.
My parents reminded me that we don’t get to choose when and where God will send us to next….so, just pray. For what? What do I pray for, because I did pray and all of this was happening, and it felt like bad timing? They told me I can pray for anything and everything, but without God’s guidance, it’s all meaningless. So I should pray that whatever is next, God places His will in my heart. So I prayed. Praying was the easy part. The hard part was letting go of what I wanted to fully trust and accept whatever God wills.
That prayer was answered when we finally got word of where we were moving to — a local congregation just thirty minutes away from my target school, at the University of California, Davis! It’s where I really wanted to go anyway! I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t pray to get sent near that school. God knew what was in my heart, but it wasn’t until I let go of my own will, and accepted and trusted God’s will, that this blessing came. This was my first lesson in knowing that God’s plan is the best plan, and in God’s time is the best time.
Over the next few years, I let go of my ideal 10-year plan. I prayed that even if I don’t know what’s next, that I have God’s guidance. We moved around to different local congregations. I continued my duties or took on new ones. I went on to work many different jobs, I attended six different college campuses, and then I received my bachelor’s degree.
So, I ended up accomplishing almost everything in my 10-year plan but instead of kids, I got my master’s degree within a year, I got a condo, and I got married. Once again, note to self: God’s plan is the best plan. In God’s time is the best time.
After all that, I didn’t think about making another 10-year plan but I knew some of the things I wanted next in life, like being a great partner as a wife to my husband, being good in my career, keeping up with Church duties… Basically, I wanted to be an exemplary role model to my one-day, some-day children.
But adulting is so hard. It didn’t feel right complaining and struggling despite being so blessed with getting everything that I prayed for. Not to mention being so blessed in a world that just keeps getting darker with all the things going on. It’s no wonder many think this world is too hectic and crazy to bring a child into. So I started to think that way… until I got pregnant.
The night before my first sonogram, in my usual personal devotional prayer, I took time to ask for a healthy heartbeat to appear because I knew there are chances of complications like how my own mom had two miscarriages. So I prayed and pleaded for a healthy heart beat … and … maybe two for twins if it isn’t against God’s will. So the next day when the doctor said “hmmm that’s a surprise” I thought “oh no, surprise could be a bad thing…” I waited for more words to come out of the doctor’s mouth. She turned the screen and said, “Look, there are two of them!” Gasp, I yelped for joy! But Oliver, my husband, dropped his jaw. The doctor said, “Good thing you brought him because he’s not believing any of this. Are twins unexpected?” I replied, “well, sort of—I kinda prayed for it last night.” And Oliver said “You did what?!?! Who prays for that?” We were not exactly in the best financial position for this curveball. The doctor responded saying, “Well keep praying because someone upstairs is listening.”
Oh, and pray we did. During those sleepless nights with the twins, I would often remind myself, “God’s plan is the best plan. In God’s time is the best time. God’s plan is the best plan. In God’s time is the best time.”, especially during those newborn nights when I’d ask Oliver to take over, or come home early from work, and he’d say “Uh ah honey you prayed for this, you stick it out!” So I prayed because I felt like I just could not do it on my own. Soon, shutdowns due to the pandemic happened and Oliver was home more. We also spent time with family in different states while we were able to work remotely, saving us both thousands in childcare costs. And the best part, the twins brought us joy at a time that the whole world was overcome with so much sadness. Once again, say it with me! “God’s plan is the best plan and in God’s time is the best time.”
Now, I still face many challenges and continue to pray for God’s guidance. I’ve just learned that even if I get what I pray for, it doesn’t mean problems go away, but it does mean God can provide a way to make things work out if I put my trust in Him. I’ve had so many prayers answered especially in those times when I really didn’t know what would be next in life. And that’s just it, we will never know exactly what’s next. That feeling was scary as a young person and feels even scarier now as I’m a parent to young persons whose future I cannot control.
So, whether you’re young, or not… ask yourselves, “Where do you see yourself
in ten years?” I hope you will say, “In God’s will.”, because when you live in God’s will, you put your full trust in Him… and trust that whatever happens, God’s plan is the best plan and in God’s time is the best time. Thank you.
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