Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11 - " For I know the plans  I have for you,” declares the  Lord , “plans to prosper  you and not to harm you, plans t...

Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".

Many of you have already seen this bible verse. Probably seen it on every girl's bio on Instagram, Snap-chat, phone background. It's a popular verse, but I don't think we should just take it lightly and read it now and then because it sounds nice. 

God has a plan for you. Like the bible verse says, it's a plan not to harm you but to prosper you, give you a hope and a future. The word of God itself says "For I know the plans I have for you", what does that tell you? That there is a plan , and every individual has a story. Before you were formed in your mothers womb, he constructed a plan for you, constructed a purpose for you. God is intentional. He is not a God that does something 'half-finished' , halfheartedly. He doesn't start writing your plan, leave it for a couple years and come back to finish it. Why would he do that? Your story is not still being written, it has already been written. You are on the pathway to now making it happen. 

God is an awesome God, God is smart, he's not an ignorant God. When Jesus died on the cross for you and looked up-to heaven and declared "It is done", he actually meant it. Jesus had just finished doing his father's will , fulfilled his purpose on this earth. That means, there is a "It is done", to be said in our lives as well! 

God know's what you need, know's your potential and know's what's good for you in the end of the day. He wants you to be safe, so there's a plan A. 

Plan A is filled with the purpose he has for you, blessings upon blessings waiting for you, and divine opportunities only he can bring. 

Free will is a funny thing. 

Because of free will, we can get out of alignment and instead of walking on plan A for our lives, we start walking on plan B. Plan B is your choice. Because we have our own decisions, ideas, own dreams that may not align with what God had in mind for us. I'm not saying don't have any ideas, or dreams. God himself wants you to be creative and prosper in this life. 

"And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze." - Exodus 35:31-32

He didn't give you a mind for nothing. Use your imagination for good. But be careful because, the things you choose to do in this life, are they as fulfilling as you think? Or is it just going to lead you to a dead - end? 

Plan B is a journey that you are writing for yourself, whilst plan A, is a journey that has been awaiting you before you were even born. It's kind of like, choosing your own story book at a book store. The book has already been written before you buy it, some endings may be better than other's but your actions will decide which path you will follow and where you will end up. No matter what you choose, God still has a plan for you. 

Some people have it in their mind that it's too late. They have already lived their life, they have already made the decisions for themselves. Some people are stubborn about it, they have this plan that they obsess over and that's just it. That's their life, they have acted as God themselves and written their whole life. They know what they are going to do by the time they turn 20. This was me too, so I get it. Other's think that they have reached a certain age where this doesn't apply to them anymore. 

God is not an unfair God, he is all-loving and all-knowing. He will never take your gifts away from you, nor will he stop pursuing you. He will never take your purpose away from you, even if you think it's "too late". Which is what some people think. Your story is your story. Your purpose is your purpose. He crafted that for YOU. So he will never take that away, even if you drift away from him and into another plan.  It is never too late to follow him and the plan he has crafted for you. 

The promise still stands.
Due to free will, we like to do it our own way sometimes. Which is fine, it's good to be independent like that. What I have found is that sometimes your own decisions have dead-ends. I've found that out the hard way, but God's way has always been the best way, the more fulfilling way, for me. 

*Story time*

"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." - Exodus 9:16

God is intentional

We all have a specific purpose. It's our responsibility to find out what that is. So how did I find the degree, International Management?

I'm not going to lie... I didn't even know what International Management was until I was introduced to it during a university open day. I'd never heard of it! Truthfully that also wasn't the path I had planned for myself. International Management for those who don't know is - the practice of managing businesses but on a global spectrum. It requires knowledge and skills above and beyond normal business expertise. The degree includes modules such as, business, marketing, economics, psychology, sociology, entrepreneurship, management ,etc. You also gain experience of different cultures which is crucial for a firm in business, through a year abroad!

For those who know me would tell you that this degree was a complete surprise. To everyone, but especially for me! For the past three years I was obsessed with fashion, I still am. I wanted to go into the fashion industry so badly and work for a designer. I wanted to specifically be a 'fashion buyer'. Buyers are the people that work backstage, closely with designers and choose what clothes should be put out to sell in the shops, for this price, this design and this quality. They not only travel for their job but also have a say in designing.

 My master plan was to get a degree in 'fashion buying and merchandising' from an Art university. Work for a top designer in London as a buyer and have the opportunity to travel as part of my job. Then SOMEHOW start my own business, whilst being a blogger at the same time. This was my dream. This wasn't just a random wish of mine, it was an actual goal! I had invested so much into this, and was genuinely working towards making this dream a reality. I was stubborn about it, no one could tell me I couldn't and shouldn't do it because I had already written the plan for my life. I searched up all the universities that I could apply to for this degree, checked the requirements, was about to start my own portfolio. 

That same year I traveled all around London giving out my CV to several, almost all the designers there was in central London. All dressed up and ready. For beginners who recently started reading my blog, I had initially created this blog for purely just fashion because that's the industry I hoped to get into. As a way to show my interest into the industry as a blogger, and a way to network with people. Now my blog is evolving, and i'm honestly glad. 

I was doing all the right things! Making connections in the industry, going to fashion and art workshops. Got invited to London Fashion Week, making my way up in the blogging world, reading books and articles about the industry, reviewing products for new brands. I was doing anything and everything on screen and in my personal life to show my interest in this subject, because I was getting myself ready for the fashion degree I was hoping for. Not only was I invested in this industry but everyone in school knew as well. 

"May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the GOD of Jacob protect you," - Psalms 20:1

Last year was a personal year of growth for me. Many challenges, ups and downs, opportunities I hoped for were no where to be found. It was disappointment after disappointment, constantly. I was getting discouraged in all directions. I wasn't excited about anything anymore, I was just kind of fed up in following a plan that had no energy. I wasn't giving up on my dreams, I just didn't know what I wanted. My family didn't understand my vision, and if i'm being honest, I wasn't feeling that optimistic about my own vision anymore. It's like an image that is slowly but literally drifting away from you, out of your hands. 

I was laying in bed, just casually talking to God, not in deep prayer or anything. Just simple conversation. 

I was telling God how I felt, how I felt tired and sort of fed-up. There was something about what I was doing that just wasn't fulfilling me anymore. I wasn't excited about the dream, and I genuinely in my heart used to believe that this was what God wanted me to do. I was so invested in my own dream that I believed God blessed my dream and paved a way for me to do it. 

I cannot be the only one who has done this! We start something, we start a relationship, we start a business, we try to follow through with it, thinking that this is something God ordained. We put so much effort and time and our feelings get attached to this idea, or relationship, and some of us use God as an excuse to continue that plan. 

God saw my tears, he know's I wasn't doing something worth my potential, he heard me talking to him , and he answered. Just not in the way I'd hoped. 

My mum invited me to attend this prayer service, I didn't think anything of it so I just went. This man of God, start's praying with my family and I ask him to give me a blessing for my future. Now in my mind, when I said that, I had already made up my mind that Fashion buying was still for me, so I didn't need him to tell me anything different because I knew what I wanted to do, or at least I thought. When I asked him for a blessing, I was basically asking him to bless MY plan that I had constructed, not God's. We pray and this man of God, start's telling me that 

"This is not what your going to be doing in the future, it's something else". 

I'm sorry, what. Ha. You are so funny.

He continues to tell me that there is potential for me in this area, but it's not the main thing I will be doing in the future. That I will eventually reach a dead-end, because the path was not clear for me personally and financially. 

This man had crushed my dreams, the one thing I had built up for the last 3 years, in a matter of moments. I burst out crying and almost got into an argument with this guy. I was telling him how he is wrong and how he does not even know me, therefore he's making all this up. Telling him all the reasons why God did actually want me to do this! Why I should do this! Telling him all my achievements (don't know why that mattered). 
I was being stubborn and we were just going back and forth on our own opinions. I was frustrated and they told me to leave the room. 

I started to resent this guy and what he said. But that wasn't right because I was holding him accountable for something that he said, and what he said wasn't even his own words. He was a vessel of God, and what he said was God's word for me. "Don't hate the messenger". That week sucked. 

I prayed deeply that week and literally cried out to God like "what do you actually want from me?"  I was telling God how I thought this industry is best suited for me, because I'm more of an arts person, always have been. I started telling him how I don't have any other skills, I'm not good at anything else. ( As If I know my own potential) If I was gifted in science, I would have done that. 

God replied with simple words,

 "That was your idea Lourdes, not mine." 

I was laid out, I put my hands up and said "You know what, God have your way, because I know that your will is greater than mine. I'm confused right now but you will make my path great and give me answers as I follow you. These tears endure only for a night, but your plan for me is much greater and will last forever." 

I took what he said, and tried to keep my options open because there clearly must be something else out there for me. I just got to find it now. But It was hard, because a part of me was still clinging onto my initial dream. 

 When visiting an open day, my sister had pointed out to me how there was this particular degree and she insisted that we check it out because it seemed like the type of field that I would be interested in and had a desire to go into. We went to the seminar, listened to the lecturer talking and I was just consumed with doubt. I was insecure with myself and my own studies, for I didn't think I could live up to the standards of this course. Everyone else wanted to do this except me. 

It was on the car journey back home that a sudden well of joy started to increase in my chest. All of a sudden I got excited! Interested even; and there was a knowing in my heart that this is most probably the degree I was meant to do. Ironically, the bible quote for that specific day was, 

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:21

 This feeling is called "the inward witness". It isn't a voice, but a consciousness of guidance from your spirit. How the inward witness works is that a consciousness of joy wells up in your heart within the direction that God wants you to go. Sometimes your head or mind may not agree, but the inward witness just bears witness within you that this is the direction. If you consider going in the opposite direction, you will find a dampening of your spirit, not your mind. The witness will come as through with hesitance and reluctance, that mean's it's a "no."

I finally accepted God's plan for me, and I ran with it.

 The real transformation and blessing comes through being obedient to God's promise.

That second half of the year was the best! I didn't get the opportunities I wanted, so I made my own. God sent me to certain places; where even without my own knowledge, I was networking and gaining knowledge of what management was really like. 
As the year went on, I was blessed with more countless opportunities, to the point that I don't have enough fingers to list them all. One of the opportunities he sent my way was to create a short video for Cambridge University, which not only glorified his name but ALSO was in connection with a module in my degree. This was further experience that I needed for my course. Even in the process of making this video, he sent the right people into my life to help me with this project. 

You see God is smart. All thing's will always work for our good in the end. 

Some people take advantage of the fact that God has a plan for everyone, so they use this as an excuse to do bad things. They say "But God already knew I was going to do this, that means it was already in my plan, so it's all okay". 

Yes, God is all-knowing and all-loving. However, don't twist God's plan with your plan. God did not plan for you to partake in unfulfilling situations that does not produce good fruit. Nor did he tell you to murder that guy who lives down your road. 

God's plan is a journey filled with success, hope and righteousness. Why would he want to put you in danger? We start blaming God for all types of bad situations. A common example is when we get our heart broken and relationships don't go our way,  we blame God for that. When in fact, he never told you to get into that relationship in the first place. That was your own heart's desire. Been there, done that!

The decisions we make, do matter.

If I had been disobedient to God in the beginning, and continued with my initial degree, Fashion buying and merchandising. The only skill/profession I would be able to do after graduating is 'fashion buying'. I limited myself so much, because I didn't know my own potential; but God knew all along and wanted to put me on the right path. Through international management, I am able to travel around the world! Become an executive, entrepreneur, marketing manager or even consultant if I wanted too, and so much more. Imagine If I had never obeyed his calling and ignored the Lord. Truth be told, sooner or later I would have ended up at a dead-end. From fashion buying to International management. From having no opportunities at the beginning of the year, to now having countless. The Lord saw my potential and he see's your's too.

You see, the Lord does not do things small. 
He is the architect of this universe and so many other's, after all. 
He is absolutely concerned with every minute detail of your life, 
but make no mistake ... when he gives you a vision or job , 
it's going to be B-I-G.

Grace and Peace
Lourdes xo

My story is not to offend anyone who want's to do Fashion. If that's what you are called to do, that's beautiful. I personally still have dreams of diving into that industry myself and having my own brand. I believe I will one day. However, right now that is not my priority and it's not where God is directly taking me. I don't have all the answer's, but I don't need to have it all figured out right now either. We shall see! 

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