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Smart Girls Think Ahead and Plan for a Thriving Future

By: Bethany Beal

The prayer requests were shared as Lindsey’s Bible Study leader made her way around the circle.

“I’m up to my ears in school loans. I feel like I’ll never be able to pay them off.”

“I’ve been struggling with depression ever since I got my divorce.”

“Work is overwhelming me. I wish I had more time for family.”

“I wish I could pursue a job in the ministry, but I can’t afford the lesser pay.”

When Lindsey and I met up for coffee, she told me about the struggles these girls were going through. As I listened these three thoughts came to mind:

  1. The struggles shared by these girls aren’t the exception these days, they are the norm.
  2. Most of their struggles could have been avoided if they had planned differently in their post high school years.
  3. These girls did not appear to be thriving and enjoying life to the fullest in the way God intended.

Life doesn’t just work out. 

When I was in high school I lived in a naive mindset. I assumed most everything in a Christian girl’s life would always (somehow) work itself out.

Now that I’m in my late twenties, I’m realizing that life doesn’t just work itself out in our favor.

The choices that me and my girlfriends made in our college age years have totally impacted our lives today for the better or worse.

Like the quotes above implied:

School loans don’t disappear with time. They take real hard earned money that, either you or someone who really loves you, is going to pay off.

Rushed marriages to so-so guys don’t just last. Real life kicks in and infatuation wears off. Without a serious commitment to the marriage covenant and devotion to Christ the marriage won’t make it.

Hard jobs to pay the bills and school loans can’t be traded for a better (but less paying) opportunity. Money doesn’t grow on trees and bad planning may require a girl to stay in a job she hates just for the pay.

I would go on but I think you get the point.

The decisions we as girls make in our post high school years have a HUGE impact on our futures.

Where will your choices take you?

My prayer is that you will think ahead and plan for a better and smarter future. Don’t make the same stupid mistakes that so many of us older girls (me included) have made.

Don’t believe the lie that everything will just work itself out.

I want to encourage you to rethink 3 of the biggest areas where many girls go wrong. These 3 areas can cause a girl great joy or great turmoil.

You can choose to be a smart girl and think through these now, or, you can be an unwise girl and just hope your decisions will work themselves out.

3 Ways Girls Can Plan for a Thriving Future:

1. Avoid Debt

The Bible says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender” (Proverbs 32:7).

Now that I’m grown up (or at least older than many of you) I’ve realized how true this verse is. The stress caused by school loans and car payments have taught me that the borrower truly is a slave to the lender. Don’t borrow money just because it seems like the normal option or the only option.

Think long and hard about how that borrowed money could affect your future and then plan smart. Like I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, there are so many post high school options outside of the typical brick and mortar schools. Don’t follow the crowd and get into a bunch of debt just because it’s expected. Be a smart girl and plan for a future that will help you thrive.

2. More Than a Job

Remember that you are worth more than your career or your job. The culture places HUGE pressure on girls to get the job, climb the ladder, and define success in a career. That is so bogus and not helpful at all. Your worth has nothing to do with your job, but everything to with what Christ did for you on the cross. Remember that your career can’t add a single ounce of worth to your value!  

I want to challenge you to live for something greater than just a job. When it comes time to decide what you will do with your future, make sure that you keep your ultimate purpose as a Christian on the forefront of your mind. Your job is to make disciples, glorify Christ and make His Name known.

3. Marry Smart

Outside of becoming a Christian, marriage is the most serious decision you will ever make. It truly will alter the course of your life either for good or for bad depending on who you marry. Don’t make this decision lightly and don’t assume everything will just work out. Marriage is hard and takes hard work.

I can’t encourage you enough to wait patiently on God’s timing and seek wisdom and counsel when the time comes. Don’t rush into marriage and don’t marry a guy against the will of the wise people around you. Be smart and marry a guy that will bless your future self, not curse it.

Let’s wrap it up…

The bottom line of this blog post comes down to this one sentence: Smart girls think ahead and plan for a thriving future.

Think of yourself in 10 years, 20 years, 30 years or even 60 years down the road. Plan your life in a way that will be a blessing and not a burden to you at that time.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What are you doing now that will help your future self thrive? Are you thinking ahead and planning smart?

Photo Credit

Smart Girls Think Ahead and Plan for a Thriving Future Girl Defined

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18 Responses to Smart Girls Think Ahead and Plan for a Thriving Future

  1. Hailey says:

    This was really good! I use to worry so much that I DIDN’T have a plan for the future, but throughout this year God has been revealing things to me and now it is as clear as day.

    • GirlDefined says:

      @disqus_8Tzn08gHi3:disqus God is so good to guide us exactly where He wants us to be. So glad He’s made His will known in your life 🙂 -Bethany

  2. Meredith says:

    Well, right now I’m in the midst of a “fiery trial” with my health. I was planning to apply to college in spring, but if things are still bad at that point (which is, unfortunately, very likely), then I won’t be. It’s really hard, watching all my friends start families and go to college, and I’m just stuck at home, unable to finish high school, or even learn to drive.
    Life really didn’t work out how I thought it would when I was sixteen. About a month after I turned 17, I contracted Influenza, and from that, now have a chronic migraine condition that may or may not go away. That’s not how I planned for things to go at all. One thing though that my small group talked about at church though, is that it is exactly how God planned it to go.
    The way I’m preparing for my future now, even on days when I’m isolated in my dark, quiet room, is by learning as much as I can about God, and spending time in His presence. A few lessons I’ve learned through this that truly will help me in the future are 1) God really is in control over every aspect of my life, 2) One thing I have control over is my attitude, and complaining and worry don’t change the situation or help, 3) Feelings don’t change the truth. Even when I ‘feel’ alone, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t with me, 4) God will work everything together for my good, even things like this. Life isn’t hopeless. God can bring me through it, and if He doesn’t, I can know that His reason and His plans are perfect. And with hard work and trust in Him, I can learn to be joyful and content through it.

    So yeah… my planning and preparing for the future is much different from other girls my age (I’m 19). But I know that going through this difficult situation and learning all of these truths will really really help me.

    • Elizabeth Williams says:

      I hear you! I’m 23 and have had a chronic illness for several years so I haven’t even been able to go to college, work, drive, etc. It’s REALLY hard feeling left out! But God is so faithful! I can’t really “plan” for my future either, or at least not in the way everyone else does. But I can still seek Him with my whole heart!

    • GirlDefined says:

      Meredith, Thanks so much for opening up and sharing your story with me and the other readers. Your 4 points in your comment were filled with wisdom and biblical truth. Praying you can keep those at the forefront of your mind as you work through this difficult season of life. -Bethany

    • Double Dukes says:

      You might have already tried this, but get your eyes checked – not just your vision but your actual eyes – checked for abnormalities. It could answer some questions as to why you have migraines. When I was about 19 I developed a condition called Keratoconus, where the corneas start changing shape from dome to cone shape. It started with migraines.

      Eventually the disease ravaged my eyes to the point that my corneas were thinning out and I had to have corneal transplants. My point is, there could be a medical avenue to your migraine troubles that have not yet been explored.

      Now I have two donor corneas. It was a learning experience, and the pictures I took of my eyes after each operation are very interesting.

      • Meredith says:

        Thanks for your comment. I’ve already been diagnosed though. I have NDPH, a sub condition of chronic migraine. I was pretty much a textbook case. It’s where the nerves in your head get irritated from a viral infection, and begin a pain cycle.
        Thanks though. ^^

        • Chelsea says:

          Just wanted to say that I, too deal with NDPH and it altered the course of my life as well. You make some great points and it was encouraging to read your post.

          • Meredith says:

            I rarely get the chance to meet anyone else who has it. o.o but it’s very nice to her a from you. ^^ I’m glad I could encourage you. If you’d like to talk more, I have Twitter (@KnitzandPearls), and instagram (Meredith.anne19). (:

  3. Merci says:

    I just started my first day of work today, and this was such an encouragement ! Will definitely be thinking on these 3 points and how to apply them. Thank you!

  4. Haley says:

    Im very thankful God gave me decisive direction my junior year of high school. Though the path before me is going to be more expensive, He has provided in amazing ways. I don’t know for sure if I’ll get through school 100% debt free (though that is my prayer), but I do know I am where God wants me and I know He will continue to provide even if I do have to take out loans.

  5. Elisa says:

    Don’t just plan it yourself, but surrender it to God. That doesn’t mean you do nothing. But first make sure what your doing lines up with what God wants for you. Sometimes (most times) that requires patience. Never plan your own future apart from God. It will never satisfy. Even if you did a good thing, was it a God thing. Something (as a Senior) I’ve been thinking about.

  6. Mary says:

    Good post!!! I really like this article! Its so true, Things don’t just work out…ESPECIALLY MARRIAGES!!! I’m 32 and still single, a lot of my friends that got married when we were younger have either had failed marriages or great struggles their marriage that they had to do some serious work to get through. Only a few of my friends have I seen have completely thriving marriages, and I know that all marriages have hard times but nothing so serious that their marriage is falling a part due to lack of wisdom beforehand! I’m working on number one right now, number two I got and number three I am waiting for! I like how you said that “Marry Smart” that’s good!!! I recommended a few of your blog posts to my readers on my last blog post round up, I am going to save the link for this one to post for my next one!

    • Mary says:

      Oh one more thing, perhaps you’ve already done it and I’ve missed the post, buuuuuut I would LOVE to hear more posts from your college experiences!

  7. Maria Wilson says:

    I never really thought about this! Thanks for the heads up!

  8. Miriam Lagomarsino says:

    The part about the career stuff really stuck with me.. i mean i do not know if i am even going to pass highschool, with all the important things to get into college. I want to do ministry but I am so scared for my future. How will I make it in the future without graduating? Im trying so hard to graduate, I just need to make it to graduation, but if I dont go above and beyond, highschool will not prepare me for any sort of college. It wont really prepare me for the future. I dont know what Im going to do. I think I just need to Trust God and tell myself that this world is not my home, and if it doesnt go as planned, thats fine, its still all in Gods plan. Where I spend eternity is more important

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