Maybe it’s just my girls, but I don’t think so. I bet it’s spreading like wildfire among not only teenage girls in general but among churchgoing girls in particular: the perfect path.
The perfect path is rooted in wisdom and forethought: these girls want to have quality education, good jobs, find a godly husband, prepare themselves to be mothers and household managers, all while seeking God. But somewhere along the way they’ve been told that, in God’s plan for their lives, there is ONE right thing:
One perfect college
One amazing guy
One job just for them
And our girls are crumbling under the pressure to find this one perfect thing. They painstakingly analyze every pro and con of every decision, and when no ONE thing seems like the perfect way, they freeze, unsure of what to do.
So I took it upon myself to survey some of my favorite books about God’s path for your life. I read them, took notes, and organized the information. And do you know what the recurring theme was concerning God’s path?
God’s path is broad and has many, many optional routes. YOU CAN’T MESS IT UP.
Oh, your girls need to hear that freedom! Walk with them through scripture and look at the lives of godly men and women: they all struggled to know what to do and how to do it. They sinned and the people around them sinned in such a way that they were violently thrown off course. They made terrible decisions and oftentimes thought they had ruined it. But God, who is almighty and all-knowing, makes it all work together. From sin to stupidity to silliness, God is weaving it all into a story that brings Him glory and moves us down the road to heaven.
How? Because God’s plan for our lives is HOLINESS, period. He is not worried about college choices or career paths or how you date because—let’s be real here—He is so much bigger than those things. He is God of choosing the wrong major and needing to add another year to college. He is God of calling off that wedding. He is God of gap years and debt and lost opportunities.
He is God.
And never in Scripture did I see God give one person a step-by-step, detailed plan for their lives at age 18. God’s primary instructions sounded like this:
Maybe we can speak these things to our girls. Maybe we can tell them, “Just take a step! Where are you seeing open doors? What makes your heart sing? Who is inviting you to do something amazing? DO THAT!”
I actually looked in the eyes of a sweet 19-year old yesterday in the hall at church and heard her whisper, “I am just feeling so much anxiety about school. I just don’t know if it’s God’s will for me to go there.” I grabbed her elbow, looked her in the eye, and said, “God wants you to be holy. He can handle this school or any other school or no school. You need to pursue the path that seems good right now. Trust Him.”
It’s not just my girls. And, I believe, it’s not just girls… it’s us, too. Maybe we as leaders need to tell ourselves the same thing: “Go. Love. Be Holy.” Maybe when we start walking in the freedom that God is Almighty, our girls will follow.
Leslie Hudson is a Renaissance woman, coffee roaster/connoisseur/addict, volunteer Girls Ministry leader, and teacher of God’s Word.