HUGE disclaimer - I'm 100% confident I will be regarded as a theological fiasco after this post. No, my theological ducks aren't in a row, and I'm ok with that. And no, I'm not really looking to be corrected.
In light of our nice little 3 year journey of wandering in circles going no where fast, I've had 3 nice little years to contemplate the unexpected turns life seems to take. And as we are approaching job loss number 2 - coming this next month - the reiterations of "God has a perfect plan for your life" and " God just has something better for you" have resurfaced in never ending waves. And I wish I could just say, "Nope, I don't really believe that's true." But in practicing the art of graciousness and not creating awkward moments for others, I choose to refrain.
It's not that I believe God isn't in control; I just don't believe Brian and I's world are at the center of His. I don't believe He has a perfect plan for OUR lives; I think He has a perfect plan for His kingdom, and we're always welcome to join Him in that - wherever that might be.
Quite honestly I think the Christian world has taken a little (or a lot) too much stock in the whole "me" focused school of thought stemming from psychology. Life, and the Christian life in particular, has become all about "my story", "my journey", "God's perfect plan for my life", "why did this happen to ME"....and on and on it goes. On and on WE go. The theory sells because we're naturally self consumed, but it's completely flawed. And it has become such an accepted way of thinking that it affects our view of life and our view of God.
The truth is, I'm not the center of God's universe. And I don't believe He's dependent on how my life goes or every little turn my path takes."God has the perfect plan for your life" really only is said when things aren't going well, and it's really just a pat answer that attempts to be comforting when really it isn't. I think we live in a fallen world, and when things go wrong, it should be totally expected. Perfection was ruined way back in the beginning - did we forget?
The truth is, we aren't ever really asked to focus on our little lives and the plans we secretly hope God has for us. "Seek first the kingdom of God" - right? Because that's what really matters. He's preparing for an eternity where perfection is restored, and our time on earth directly affects that. Our time on earth affects who else will be there to finally share in that perfect life. God's perfect plan is for us to build His kingdom. Regardless of what might happen in our lives, or what might go "awry", God's kingdom can always be found in every place, and we are always welcomed to join in and help build it. And life's other "issues" will kind of just fade away. God is big enough to be able to use anyone anywhere and in any situation. He doesn't need things to fall into place perfectly, He just needs His people to "perfectly" follow His will. His kingdom is everywhere, He is moving everywhere, and should we choose to join Him, wherever that might be, we will always end up finding something beautiful - something that seemed perfectly planned.
We tend to think of things as clear cut - this happened so that this could happen. We need a reason or cause or blame for everything. We need to understand and we need things to have meaning. If only we could see life's great chess board from above and know why every move was made and how it affected other moves. Instead, maybe we can come to realize that certain things happen because some people chose to seek God's kingdom and it made a huge difference; and sometimes certain things happen because some people chose not to seek God's kingdom and it also made a huge difference.
So, no, I'm not confident God has a perfect plan for our lives here on earth, and I'm not convinced God allows "bad" things to happen so that better things can come. I think God's perfect plan for our lives is something we like to believe because WE have perfect plans for our lives. Instead, we need to realize that wherever we end up the plan is to join His kingdom's work - the plan is that one day as many people as possible can share in that perfect life we seem to be so desperately wanting.