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Planning a Future You Won’t Regret

By: Kristen Clark

Conversation #1:

Me: “Hey Rachel! Since you’re a senior in high school now, what do you think you’ll do once you graduate?”

Rachel: “Oh…well, I’m not really sure. I applied for a bunch of colleges, so if I get accepted to one, I guess that’ll be God’s sign that I should go!”

Me: “I see…so have you prayed about which college you should go to?”

Rachel: “Not really…I mean, I don’t really need to. The college that accepts me will probably be God’s will for me.”

Conversation #2:

Me: “How ya doing Ashley? Congrats on graduating from high school last week! That’s super exciting. Do you have plans for next semester?”

Ashley: “Oh, thanks! Actually, I do. I’m planning on attending the community college for one year, then transferring to the state university. I’m getting a degree in biology and then I hope to pursue my masters after that. Possibly med school. We’ll see.”

Me: “Wow! Sounds like you have life all figured out! What led you to choose this path for your future?”

Ashley: “Well, my parents are education freaks and want me to have a super great start for my life. They want me to be successful and have a great career. That’s the main reason.”

Conversation #3:

Me: “Hey there Kaley! Looks like you’re having an awesome summer break. What are your plans for the fall?”

Kaley: “Ummm…well…I’m kinda still figuring that out. I’m taking some online classes…and working as a nanny…but I’m not sure what I’ll be doing this fall.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Sounds like you’re in a transitional stage…?

Kaley: “Yeah, I guess. I’m thinking about just getting a job at Starbucks or something and saving money for the next few years. I honestly don’t enjoy school…and I’m just not sure what to do.”

Conversation #4:

Me: “Hi Melissa! What are you doing now that you’re a fancy high school graduate?

Melissa: “Well my parents don’t really think a college degree is necessary for me…so I’m not going that route. I’m just staying home with my family right now.”

Me: “Okay, that’s great. What do you do all day at home?”

Melissa: “Well…I don’t do much right now. I watch a lot of movies and run errands for my mom when I have to. I read some books, mostly novels though. I just hope prince charming will come knocking on my door soon!”

These 4 girls represent the majority of Christian high school girls in America today.

Can you relate to any of them? Each one of these girls was approaching a huge fork in the road of life. They were all facing the what-do-I-do-after-high-school dilemma.

Each girl had a very different perspective and plan for her post high school life. Although each one called herself a Christian, they all had the same underlying problem in common.

Did you notice how none of the girls mentioned anything about prayer, seeking God, pursuing wise counsel, or studying God’s Word for direction? Not a single girl took the time to ask God what He thought she should do with the next four years of her life.

Sadly, this is the norm for Christian girls today.

The average Christian high school girl that I talk to seems to spend very little time praying and seeking God’s will for her future. Whether a girl is ambitious in her post high school plans or lazy, if Christ is not at the center of her plans they will not be spiritually significant.

We live in a culture that promotes a pattern like this: High school > College Degree > Masters Degree > Career > Retirement.

Many Christian girls jump into the college scene because it’s considered the “normal” next step to take in our society. They spend very little time praying about whether or not God would want them to spend four years of their life earning a degree.

On the flip side, many Christian girls who choose a different route make that choice without spending a lot of time in prayer either. They do it for various reasons and convictions that have little to do with seeking God’s will.

Very few young women have long-term, Christ-centered goals for their life.

They don’t look at their life 5, 10, or 20 years down the road and ask, “Is what I’m doing now going to help me serve Christ better in my future?”

They just follow the cookie cutter pattern of the culture, give in to social pressure, follow their peers, or are just plain lazy.

Up to this point, I have only met a small handful of Christian girls who have a Christ-centered focus for their future. Upon graduating from high school these girls pray fervently for God’s direction and guidance, seek wise counsel, and then pursue a plan that is thought out, intentional, Christ-focused and has lasting value.

Girls like this are rare and few and far between.

If you’re a girl between the ages of 13 and 21 this post is especially directed at you. If you fall into that age category and are reading my words right now, I am challenging you to gain a bigger vision for your future.

I am challenging you to break free from the cookie cutter pattern of our culture and do something way better with your life.

Before you make any plans for your post high school years, ask yourself these 5 questions:

  1. What is my long-term dream or goal for life?
  2. Is my long-term dream or goal Christ-focused or self-focused?
  3. Does my long-term goal conflict with God’s design for femininity?
  4. Do my future plans involve serving God and advancing His kingdom, or serving self and advancing my own kingdom?
  5. Will my future plans conflict with marriage and children if God blessed me to be a wife and mom someday?

Instead of plunging forward into your future with little thought to what God thinks, I encourage you to seriously ask yourself those 5 questions. In addition, pray every day for God’s wisdom and guidance to direct you in what you should do. Seek counsel from older, godlier women who share the same heart for serving God that you hope to have some day.

As Leslie Ludy puts it, “Stop trying to fit [Christ] into your life; instead, build your life around [Him].”

Planning a future you won’t regret.

By seeking God now about your future and choosing to make Christ the center of your plans, you will most likely never regret where God’s leads you.

You will look back on these young years with a smile knowing that God was in the center of your choices and that you didn’t waste any time. You will be a radiant example to the world around us of what Christianity and Biblical womanhood is all about.

For more encouragement and help in this area, I highly encourage you to download and read our FREE 30 Day Devotional called, Reaching Beyond Myself. You can download it here.

Okay, so what about you?

  • Are you more like girl number 1, 2, 3, or 4? Or maybe another type of girl?
  • What are your personal goals and dreams for your future? Are they Christ-focused or self-focused?
  • How do you measure up to those 5 questions from above?

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Nathmart

Girl journaling on sand

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  • Bethany

    Great post, thanks!!!!

  • CT

    My goal of life is to share the Gospel and live for Christ wherever God uses me 🙂 As far as college is concerned, I’ve applied to all my schools (and I’ve been praying) and I’ll see where God leads me, but part of me wants to go straight to the mission field in a third world country and teach music orphans and other underprivileged children. “What’s the use of getting a music degree if I have the skills to teach children now?” part of me says. But if I do go to college, I’ll be more than happy to see how God leads me to use that for His glory. P.s. do you have any insights on whether going to the Ellerslie training program is a good idea?

    • Hey CT,

      Sounds like you have some big decisions ahead of you! Choosing what to do with the next four+ years of your life is a big deal. It sounds like you are praying and seeking God’s will which is exactly what you should be doing. College can be very helpful for some, but it can also be a hindrance for others. Depending on what God is calling you to do in your future, college can help you gain the skills you need to serve Him, or it could be a big waist of time (and potential debt). Keep praying! I have head many good reports about the Ellerslie Training program and have visited there myself. They have a beautiful little campus. For any young adult who wants to grow closer to God, gain a passion for the Gospel, and equip yourself for missions work…Ellerslie seems like a fantastic option!!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I love that Leslie Ludy quote! And yeah, there are so many girls who aren’t looking to God for guidance for their future. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with college, but if it’s not where God wants you, then it is!

    • I agree Elizabeth! As long as God is calling a person to college and they have a specific plan and vision for what they will use their degree for, there is nothing wrong with gaining a higher education degree. However, it all comes down to what your long term vision is and how you want to serve God with your life. 🙂 There are also many opportunities to learn and become educated that don’t take you on the traditional degree path. Seeking God’s will is the key.

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks so much for these great thoughts. I think God is gently telling me to pray more about my future. I’ve felt God calling me in a certain direction for over a year now. I’m was uncertain about how to proceed because I still have two years of high school left. Then I realized that I do not need to worry or feel like I have two looong years to wait. I have made it a goal to use these years to grow closer to God and all those around me. I’m really leaning towards college and am praying for God’s direction, but for now I’m using home and the life I have now as “training” ground. God has put me exactly where He wants me and with his love, He will lead me each step of the way! Thanks again for the great blog post…it’s great to hear advice that applies directly to me!

    • Hey Elizabeth, spending more time praying about your future is a great idea. What you do with your post high school years will set the stage for your young adult years. Using your home as a training ground is exactly what God intends it to be. Check out Bethany’s blog called, “3 Amazing Benefits of Living at Home” for some more encouragement: http://www.girldefined.com/3-benefits-living-home

      • Elizabeth

        Thanks! That WAS an encouraging post. (:

  • A.A.

    Today I finished the Reaching Beyond Myself devotional! Thank you so much for writing that. I was challenged by so many things y’all wrote.

    • Yay!! Way to go A.A! That is so exciting that you completed the entire devotional. I am so grateful you were challenged and encouraged by doing it. Keep seeking truth and never get tired of growing closer to God. 🙂

  • Abby

    I’m 13, and I’m glad you wrote this post. 🙂 It is so important to plan ahead and pray continually to God regarding your future. It links together with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 when it says: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Thanks. 🙂

  • thehappygirl

    When I graduated high school almost three years ago (times flies!), I was definitely girl #2 on this list. I was so worried about an education and getting an edge early on that I pretty much forgot to ask God what His will was. Then, later on when it occurred to me that maybe I should seek HIs guidance, I didn’t because I was sooo afraid He would “mess up” my plans in life. I did graduate college, but honestly, it did more harm than good for me. I didn’t do anything “shocking” but I was really exposed to things I had no idea existed before and influenced by things like popularity and attention from guys. Worst of all, I was taught to trust in myself rather than God. Thankfully, since then, I realized how toxic this was and have surrendered to God and His will for my life. It’s not always fun and easy, but it’s way better than what the world has to offer.

    My goals/dreams in life have went from wanting a career, money, a nice home, an expensive car (very materialistic wants) to desiring whatever His will is for my life. I’m hoping and praying His will includes me being a wife, mother and homemaker (that is the ultimate dream for me!) but if not I’ll always have the joy of living for Him. 🙂

  • Althea

    I really like this blog. I am in my senior year and I am attending college in the fall. Throughout high school, my college major choices have changed from Pastry Arts to Chemistry to now Nutrition. I also felt God changing my heart because at first I wanted to be a pastry chef or chemist to earn a lot of money and pursue childhood dreams (very selfish). My goal is to use my career (as a registered dietitian) for God’s ultimate plans for me in the future, not for my gain.

    Thank you for this blog, Kristen. 😀

  • Shepherd’s Handmaiden

    This is so great! Right now I have my eyes on a college in the Philippines. Newlife International School of Midwifery. When I get a certificate or go for credentials I can go anywhere and use it for ministry and helping other people. If I don’t stay in the mission field, I want to invest my time in young girls and their walks with God.


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