Friday, March 29, 2013

My Plans Are Not My Own

©Allison Rushing

Over the years I have learned to hold plans loosely, but sometimes God still has to beat it into my head that my plans are not mine at all.
"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
 This is one of those times where my plans changed, but I know that God is so much bigger than my plans. I'm not saying I handled it well...I bawled me eyes out in front of people I barely knew.

I never know quite where to start when I'm telling people about my plans to head to S. Asia because this has been a slow chipping away process over many years. It started when I went to Greece in 2008. I realized on that trip that I could use my skills in media to share my faith overseas. Through a series of events, this lead to me applying for and getting into seminary...Southwestern Seminary. If you know me, then you know that's not where I wound up. I'm in Louisville at Southern Seminary and loving it here.

My change in seminary plans is the first time I had big plans completely pulled out from under me. SWBTS used to have a media program. I was planning on doing this program and moving there right after working at camp in TX summer of '09. It was on my last 24 hr period off that my mom called me and told me she couldn't find that emphasis on their website anymore. She woke me up with a call that morning to inform me that she talked to the school and they no longer offered that emphasis.

Getting this type of news right as you wake up is not pleasant...and your emotions aren't very rational when you're awoken like that. I started questioning what I was doing with my life. Was I supposed to go to seminary? I've graduated college. I'm working at a summer camp. I don't have a backup plan. WHAT AM I DOING?! Those were the thoughts going through my mind. Thankfully a friend of mine calmed me down, we continued with our plans for the day, and my parents and I started contacting anyone we knew who might be able to help.

My former pastor, Dr. Sills, was one of the people my parents contacted, and he responded with a long email about the M.Div. Great Commission emphasis at SBTS. I was told I could get in on special student status. I don't really remember my thought process that day, but I decided to go for it. The next day I was in at SBTS and had housing available in the dorms. I drove the 10 hrs home from camp at the end of the week, got in at 1 in the morning, then headed to Louisville early the next morning. I was the last girl to move into the dorms, and classes started the day after I got to Southern. I'm pretty sure I was in seminary culture shock for at least my first month. I have fallen in love with this city and my church here. Leaving will be incredibly hard, but this experience is one I can look back on and see firsthand how God has been faithful. His plans are so much better than my own. (Side note: I came to seminary with the idea of doing some sort of media ministry.)

Fast-forward to this past summer when I went to Nepal. I fell in love with the people there, and with the vision of Sojourn. This renewed my interest in heading overseas and I began the application process. I was accepted and thought another girl from Sojourn would be going to the same conference as me, but that fell through. Just days after that fell through, I was contacted by someone asking if I was interested in doing media since they saw I had a background in it.

Of course I was interested. There were emails back and forth until right before I went to the conference where I would be putting job/location preferences. I thought the job I wanted was a sure thing. I love photography and was excited to get to combine my passions. The conference was from a Wed. evening to a Sat. morning. Friday I was told that I needed to meet with the head photographer. I had no clue that I would be meeting with him while at this conference, and it didn't go well. Once again, my plans were suddenly changing. I walked out of the room and started sobbing and asking God why. I knew though. I knew I was too set on my own plans, and that he had better plans for me. I was still upset, but I knew that plans were out of my hands at this point. I had a night to figure out which jobs to put down as my top three choices when everyone else had been figuring this out for the past few days. Whatever happened was exactly what God had planned for me. I had my past experience with my seminary plans to show me that.

I believe God used the possibility of that media job to open me up to the location. I don't know if I would have considered this particular city if it weren't for those emails and some friends of mine also moving to this same city. I wasn't surprised at all when I got the phone call letting me know I had been matched to a job in S. Asia. It hasn't been an easy journey, but I'm truly excited about the future. I'm also quite nervous, and there are many days I don't feel adequate. And you know what, I'm not adequate. But with His strength I am.

Specific ways you can pray for me:
• That I don't let the busyness of my last semester keep me from being in the Word.
• That my various transitions from Louisville to MS to VA to S. Asia go smoothly.
• That I don't let goodbyes keep me from being present wherever I'm currently located.
• That I don't let emotions (about my adequacy, goodbyes, learning a new culture, etc.) overrule what I know to be true.

Sorry this post was so long, but it's hard to tell my story in an abbreviated manner...and this was somewhat abbreviated! ha


  1. This is a fantastic story. Thank you for telling it.

  2. Thanks, Chuck! It's pretty cool to see, in hindsight, how God has worked in my life. I never would have imagined I would be moving to a huge city in S. Asia, but I'm excited because I know it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.


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