Articles 16380796322_1acc471ce8_z

Published on August 31st, 2015 | by Rebecca Chapman

I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life (But God Does)





It was an ordinary day, and I was following my normal routine of browsing social media after I got out of school.

When I came across this quote, I stopped scrolling and simply took in the words.

“My heart swings back and forth between the need for routine and the urge to run.”

For my entire life, I’ve been anxious about the future.

The unknown of what will happen next has always been incredibly daunting to me. I don’t know what is coming next, and it has always bothered me.

This quote seems to sum up my current mindset just about perfectly. Part of me wants an average, seemingly ordinary life: a happy marriage, a few children, and a little house with a white picket fence.

I’ve pretty much described the life that my parents have built for themselves, the life that I’ve grown up with. For the most part, this life has been everything that I ever could have asked for.

The other part of me longs for something different, something bigger.

This part of me just wants to jump in my car with my favorite quilt and my laptop and see where the road takes me. This part of me wants to jump on the next plane to New York City and see what happens.

This part of me wants to give up everything I have in the United States and go help people in Haiti.

I’ve stayed awake so many nights pondering which path I should take. There is very little doubt in my mind that I could have a successful life on either path, but I’ve never understood how you choose the right path.

As my heart swings back and forth, I seem to lose all perspective.

I’m not alone, though.

From what I have gathered, this is a fairly common mindset for teenagers to have. When we get to high school, we suddenly have to make all of these decisions regarding our lives.

We’re presented with countless choices and paths to take, and it’s scary.

I’ve lost count over all of the hours I’ve spent stressed over my life, but I’m starting to realize that I’ve been looking at this all wrong for a long time.

It’s not about choosing a path.

It’s not about figuring out which path will result in me feeling the most fulfilled. It’s about figuring out where God wants me to go.

In the New Living Translation, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. See his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Like many human beings, I have a tendency to try and do everything on my own. I walk around and pretend that I don’t need God, or anyone else for that matter. This isn’t the case though.

The simple truth is that I need God. We all do.

Within the next year, I’ll be feeling pressure from counselors and teachers to start applying for colleges. It’s going to be scary, and it’s going to be stressful.

Instead of spending all my time in this cloud of fear and doubt, I’m going to turn to God. He’s going to show me the path that I need to walk, and I will have no need to be stressed or anxious.

When my heart starts to swing back and forth again, I will remember that it’s not about choosing either a life of routine or a life of running; it’s about following God’s will for my life.


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Photo courtesy of Khoi Tran and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the Author

is a junior at a public high school in a small town on the plains of Colorado. She loves her job as a barista at a local coffee shop, and she fully admits to being a coffee addict. In her free time, she plays piano and guitar and writes. Rebecca is a fairly ordinary girl, but she wants to do extraordinary things for God.



  • Laini Russell

    THanks so much Rebecca! I needed this!

  • Haylie

    Rebecca, thank you very much for this beautifully written reminder about trusting God. I was very much in need of hearing it. 😉 Well done!

    • Gabrielle

      HI @a_haylie:disqus !! Just wanted to say hi!! 😉

      • Haylie

        Hi Gabrielle!!! =D How are you doing these days?

        • Gabrielle

          Pretty good. Been havin’ lots of talks with God. Just trying to grow spiritually and get to a certain place in God where I’m walking by the Spirit, trusting God, and doing what He tells me when He tells me. Doing lots of thinking and such!! You know?

          I can hardly believe school starts this Monday. So crazy!! How was your summer? Started school yet? How have you been?

          Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!! Oh, and I just really read what your profile pic says – LOVE IT!! 😉

          • Haylie

            That’s really fantastic Gabrielle :) I pray that God makes your paths clear to you, and that you will be willing to follow. I hope you are having a great Saturday!
            Your sister in Christ,
            Haylie

          • Gabrielle

            Thanks. You too!! 😉

            In Christ’s Love,
            Gabrielle

  • Emily

    WOW this is great… as you said, it’s not about where we want to go or what makes us feel fulfilled (a biggie for me), but rather what God wants us to do. I’m a junior as well but I’m also taking classes at a community college, and while I’m excited I also feel the immense pressure to choose a career, path, major, college, etc., right now. Immediately. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we rely on God He WILL show us what we are supposed to do. Thanks for this article :)

    • Rebecca Chapman

      I’m taking classes through a local community college as well, and it’s been an interesting journey so far. The pressure to choose can be so overwhelming, and I pray that you are able to push through! Thank you for your sweet words!

  • tmselden

    I appreciate your honesty and desire to follow God. Unfortunately, your generation has been raised with so many demands and choices that anyone would be confused. Success is loving God, loving others, and obeying God completely in all ways. Since God has placed desires in your heart He will bring them to pass if you delight in Him. The worst time to make any decision is when we are anxious. Just focus on Him, follow Him, immerse yourself in His Word, and obey Him. He will direct your paths.

    Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.”

    Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    • Rebecca Chapman

      Thank you for posting these verses! These will stay close to my heart!

  • I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while now. You wrote it perfectly and better than I could. Thank you!!

  • Gabrielle

    Beautifully written Rebecca! Thanks for sharing!

  • Gabrielle

    One thing I admire about some of the seniors that I’ve met is that they are just waiting on direction from God instead of rushing to choose a college and major. God’s plans for us are so much more greater and fulfilling than our plans for ourselves. Not to stay that we can’t have passions, interests, and aspirations, ’cause God uses those things, but we’re open to whatever it is that God has for us, despite having something that we might really want to do. Just wanted to share that thought real quick!! 😉

    • Rebecca Chapman

      Thank you so much for your kind words! Being completely open to what God has for us is difficult sometimes, but I believe that it will always be worth it!

      • Gabrielle

        Definitely!!

    • Melody Brocke

      Yes! I must admit, I’ve kind of sketched out a rough plan of what my life is going to be like, but I’m trying to let go enough to follow God’s plans :)

      • Gabrielle

        I totally understand. You’re not the only one. 😉

  • Do you know how perfect this is for me right now? Just tonight, I was in tears, talking with my mom about all the people in other tribes who have never heard of Jesus, and yet who want to know about Jesus. About those who know there’s a God, but they don’t know His name. You have described it perfectly. I want a routine, but I want to get out there and DO SOMETHING *NOW*. My mom just reminded me that I need to take it one step at a time and pray and trust God. My grandma tonight told me that it’s a whole trust thing and I have to remember that. Thank you so much, Rebecca, for writing this article. It could not have come at a more opportune time. God is so good!

  • Cassie

    Rebecca, I’m feeling just like this. What am I supposed to do next? Do I do this… or this? So this post was a great reassurance again – God has my future in His almighty hands.
    However, I do think there are many circumstances when the two (or more) options are all equally valid, and I don’t think God minds what you choose. Even when wholeheartedly seeking His will and guidance, I think there are times where we will be faced with multiple options that are all Godly, righteous, and God would bless us whichever path we go down. As for God ‘showing me the path,’ I do agree that there are times where God supernaturally directs us, but I think those are the exceptions, not the rules. Take my situation for just one example. At the moment, I am tossing up between two colleges to go to. They both have different pros and cons. I’m asking God to direct me, and I’m seeking His heart. Now, it may be the case that God speaks to my heart and tells me specifically which Uni to go to. But this, to be frank, is unlikely. God doesn’t often work like that (though I know full well He can). The two options in front of me are both equally valid. I am convinced that no matter which I choose, God will bless me and make me fruitful. So now it’s my task – as I hold close to and seek God and read His Word – to, using the wisdom and discernment He gives to all who ask, and seeking Godly counsel, weigh the options and make a choice. Does that make sense? Feel free to question anything, I don’t mind being challenged.
    Thank you again for this post, Rebecca!

    • Rebecca Chapman

      I completely understand what you are saying. And yes, I agree that rarely does God supernaturally tell us which path to take. As for your decision about colleges, it’s so hard, and I’m completely confident that God will bless you at either one. If one of the colleges will give you better opportunities to serve Jesus, then by all means, attend that college. If neither will seriously alter or change your relationship with God, then choose which ever college you think will be best for you. God already knows what your choice will be, and he is going to bless you matter what. I wish you the best of luck in this next chapter of your life!

      • Cassie

        Yeh, true. Thanks so much Rebecca, I really appreciate that. 😊

    • Melody Brocke

      This reminds me of two quotes! :)

      1 Corinthians 7:36-37 (ESV)

      “If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[a] if his[b] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well.”

      Right here is an example of when there are two right choices. The other quote is from the book Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis:

      “I can miss the will of God. The rich young ruler certainly did. He didn’t fall dead, as Ananias and Sapphira did; and maybe he went on to live a great life, but it wasn’t the life he could have lived had he said yes to what Jesus was asking of him.”

      In the context of the book, she is saying we can have a “good” life, and still be saved by God, but we can miss out on the great plans God has for us here on earth. I think often times there is a good choice, then there is the better choice, and God will love us either way. (And of course, there is also the “bad choices”, but I’m talking about the good ones right now!)

      Those are my thoughts 😀

      • Cassie

        Yes, absolutely! Thanks for your thoughts!

  • BR!ANNAH

    Amen!!

  • Emily

    I was just recently discussing this exact thing with a good friend a few days ago…amazing how God works, huh? Thanks for this article!

  • Thank you! I needed to hear this. This has been bugging me for the past year or so. I feel panicked and rushed to find the right degree after I finish my associates. I just need to be trusting, and know that God will show me what I’m supposed to do when the time is right.

  • Abby

    Thanks, Rebecca! I really needed this reminder. I’ve just started thinking about college and the aftermath. I guess I need to put my future in God’s hands and trust that he knows what’s best for me.

  • Chris T.

    This is awesome! Thanks so much for the reminder.

  • Ashley

    I love this. Instead of being stressed about the future. You let him guide you and help you along the way.

  • Ashley

    What if you cant read the signs? I have no idea if god even wants to guide me. I need god in my life. I’ve been going about life blindly.

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