The future can be exciting or scary. It can be big and unknown, or you can have every detail accounted for. One lesson that I learned as a senior in high school was to surrender my life and all of my plans to God. It is an active, everyday decision to surrender my future to God and trust that He wants what is best for me.If you are a small group leader, girl’s minister, or parent of an upperclassman, you know that this is the season for decisions. Some of our girls may feel like they have to make decisions right now. Some may feel like all of these decisions will determine the rest of their lives, as they decide whether to go to college, a trade school, or to take another path. They have to decide what and who they want to be. All of the decisions they have to make can easily become overwhelming. When I was a senior in high school, I felt like all of the decisions were endless. There were so many paths and so many options, and I didn’t even know where to start. What made it even more overwhelming? I was in charge of making the final decision. I had to trust that I made the right decision that determined the rest of my life. A lot of my family members and friends would tell me to pray about it, which was great advice, but in the back of my mind I always wondered “how?” One Sunday morning, my small group leader informed us that she had been praying for us and wanted to start something new. She told us that she wanted us to be intentional about praying for our futures, so she would help guide us through that process. First, she handed us each a piece of cute paper and a pen. At the top, we wrote out “Future Fridays.”I remember as she started to explain the process, I could physically feel myself exhale. I knew that I didn’t have to trust myself to make every decision and just hope that it was the right one. Instead, I was trusting God to show me His will, plan, and purpose for my life. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” –Proverbs 3:5-6As we started writing, she asked us five questions to help us think of things in our future that we wanted to pray about:
1. What do you want to be?
My answer: Something to do with women’s ministry and something that makes a tangible and spiritual impact
2. How will you get to your dream job?
My answer: College
3. What will make you feel more comfortable pursuing your dream job?
My answer: A small school and being surrounded by other Christians that help me to grow in my faith
4. Do you want to be married?
My answer: Yes! Yes! Yes!
5. Do you want a family?
My answer: Yes! Yes! Yes!
Slowly, with our small group leader prompting us, we wrote out the goals we had for our future. Some of the girls at my table had super specific answers. They had known what college they wanted to go to since they could walk and they knew what career they wanted to pursue since they could speak. Which was great! That wasn’t my story. All of my answers were more vague. Both ways of answering are completely correct! Regardless of their answers, we simply want our girls to feel comfortable with setting goals and thinking of ways to obtain those goals. When they start to feel overwhelmed, point them back to God, because ultimately He is the only one that knows our futures.After that day, our small group leader would text us every Friday and tell us that she was praying over one of the points that we put on our “Future Fridays” list. When I heard that she was praying for me, it prompted me to start praying for myself. Then, when I noticed my friends at school becoming overwhelmed, I encouraged them to start to praying with me for our lists. Soon my small group leader and small group were all praying for our futures on Fridays.I will never forget these sweet moments because when I didn’t know how to pray, my small group leader prayed over me. When I felt overwhelmed, she pointed me back to Christ. Future Fridays were not just about finding out our next steps in life, but praying for God’s will and direction in our lives.I still participate in Future Fridays, because it reminds me to be intentional about praying for the future. It is a great time to pray over next steps. I pray about both the small things and the big things like my upcoming wedding, college graduation, and graduate school. I pray that the Lord gives me direction and that all of my desires for my future are God’s desires for my life.Start “Future Fridays” with your small group, girls ministry, or family. It only takes a few minutes to start, but you are teaching your girls to trust their futures in the One who created all of us. Their futures are safe in the hands of Heavenly Father. Help them to pray on their own even when they feel like they can’t, and commit to pray over their futures even when they aren’t. They will see the power of prayer as God starts to direct their paths towards His purpose for their lives. Happy Future Fridays!
Jillian Murphy usually introduces herself as “Just Jillian.”Not to minimize who God has made her to be, but because she realizes how blessed she is to be used as a vessel. Jillian is a college student, speaker, and writer. She is the author of Powerfully Weak, This is Why, The Four Seasons of Hope, as well as the co-author of A Bigger Purpose. She is passionate about sharing God’s Word with students and women of all ages! She believes no matter who you are or where you’ve been the Word of God is relevant to your life as you strive to live with authentic faith in Christ. Connect with Jillian: Instagram // Website