Kimberly is an international world traveler who grew up overseas in Eastern Europe. She loves skiing, reading, and most of all, coffee! Having worked as a teacher, Kimberly loves children of all ages and hopes to teach the Bible one day. As she continues in her creative writing, she hopes to encourage young women and teenagers to develope a deeper walk with the Lord.
“May he give you all the desires of your heart
and make all your plans succeed”
Psalm 20:4 (NIV)
One of the many things I love about God is that he always surprises me by blessing me in ways that I could never have asked or imagined. For those of you reading this that have been privileged to understand and know the grace of God and what he has done for us in the Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t He absolutely amazing?
Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us; plans to give us a hope and a future. We all know that verse, but do we really believe it? Do we really know, down to the very depth of our souls, that God sees the big picture? He has it all mapped out, down to the very last detail. God even cares about the things of your heart. He sees those deep places that you hide from everyone else. He loves those parts of you!
The story I’m about to tell you is mine. It happened ages and ages ago…when I was in high school. Just kidding, it wasn’t so long ago. I struggled though many of the same things I’m sure you struggle through. Being a Christian girl in a public high school wasn’t always easy. Everyone knew I was a Christian, which was good, but basically meant that all the boys pretty much completely avoided me. Or so it felt like. Later I would come to see that God did this to protect me, but I remember feeling unworthy, ugly and, well, alone. It came to a head my senior year as I started thinking about what’s on the mind of every senior even today: prom.
If the guys ignore me… will any of them ask me to prom? Am I supposed to ask someone? I can’t do that…Can I? Who in the world would I ask? What if I’m the only one without a date?
These were just a few of the questions I wrestled with as I pondered what in the world I was going to do. I remember being pretty shy around cute guys. You know the feeling. When you see him and your heart starts pounding. You start twirling your hair, trying to find something clever to say, but you end up feeling like you were your worst self in that moment that mattered the most.
Well that was definitely me…The problem was, and still is to some extent, that all my emotions show on my face! It used to be almost impossible for me to hide when I liked a guy or thought he was cute. Now I’ve gotten a bit better at it, but still! There really wasn’t anyone in my school I wanted to go to prom with anyway.
I was one of the older girls in my youth group and kept trying to join the college and career group, but was still considered too young. They finally decided to let me go to some of the events. As I looked around at the guys in my youth group, I slowly checked them off the list. None of them liked me and I just couldn’t bring myself to ask any of them anyway.
Next, I decided to think about some friends that I knew from other places outside of my town. I was even willing to fly a friend of mine in from Mexico!
Finally, when nothing worked, I did what I should have done in the first place: I asked God for help. I don’t really even remember specifically praying, but still God knew what was in my heart and, more amazingly to me, he cared! God knew me. He saw that I felt so confused and awkward. God knew that my heart was hurting because I was feeling rejected. The next thing he did surprised me more than I can say.
Every year my youth group had what we called a “progressive dinner.” We picked a theme and all dressed up. Several families from the church would host in their homes. We went from house to house and ate courses of a meal that went along with the theme. Finally, we came back to the church for dessert. The theme that year was, “Countries of the World.” I remember trying to dress like an African woman, but failing miserably with an assortment of random items that made me look pretty silly. I didn’t care, though. I had a blast!
When we got back to the church at the end of the night, I got in line to wait for desert. There was this guy in front of me. I had seen him around before and assumed he was new to the church. I would later find out that he had been there many years before with his family. He opened his mouth, and girls, let me tell, you my heart did a little flip-flop. Out came the most charming Australian accent I had ever heard. I don’t remember much about what happened during that conversation. All I remember is that I must not have hung out with him much that night because I was too busy having fun, dancing the “Macarena” with my friends.
A short time went by—I think it was the next week—and my sister came home from college. I was so excited to see her and couldn’t wait to spend time with her. One day, as I was checking Facebook, I noticed a new friend request. When I clicked on it I saw it was the guy I had met at the church event. I started to get excited. The cute Australian guy added me on Facebook! We started chatting, and at some point during the conversation, he asked me if I wanted to go get coffee before college group.
Did he just ask me on a date? Is it a date? I’ve never been on a date before. What do I do?
My sister was there so I talked to her and decided that I really wanted to hang with her, so I asked the guy for a rain check. The next time I went with my sister to college group, he was there, and I remember talking to this other guy that I had planned on asking to prom. He told me he couldn’t take me, but Australian Guy was there. To my horror, the other guy said loudly: “You should ask him to take you!” I got red to the roots and avoided looking either of them in the eye.
In the end, we did go to coffee together on another day. I was so nervous! We met at Starbucks and as I usually do when I get nervous, or really just in general, I chatted up a storm. He and I were sitting outside, and I must have been telling him a story or something, because as I was hand gesturing wildly, I knocked his hot coffee right in his lap. I was mortified! To this day, he still hasn’t let me forget that moment.
The more we hung out after that date, the more I started to like him. As the school year came to a close, I did end up asking him to prom. He was so happy to go with me! I remember feeling so special when he showed up at my house with a beautiful wrist corsage. His mom had helped him pick out a tie and corsage to match perfectly with my dress. My hair was all styled and curly, and I was wearing the most beautiful sparkly purple dress. It felt magical. We went to prom in his old van and I loved it! His dad had even made sure he knew the way by driving it with him before.
That night with him by my side, I felt so special. It ended up that there really wasn’t a need to worry about not having a date at prom. Plenty of girls went by themselves and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. What I loved, though, was that God cared about something that in the big scheme of things is silly: having a date to prom. My God used someone special to remind me that He thinks I am beautiful.
“Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him for he is your lord.” (NIV)
God decided to answer the unspoken prayer of a desperate teenager who was struggling. He cared enough to hear a prayer that meant so much to my heart. The Father knows me inside and out and his plan for me is greater than I can even imagine. Psalm 139 talks about how deeply God knows us because he created us in our mother’s womb. It says that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
So why do I tell you this story today? I want to encourage you if you’re struggling with feeling like God just doesn’t care, or even with wondering why sometimes it seems that God couldn’t care about the details. He definitely does! So when you are tempted to worry, I want to challenge you to instead look to the one who made you and trust in the fact that he’s got you and cares deeply about whatever circumstance you are facing. Not only does he care, God is the only one who understands the deepest parts of your heart and knows exactly how you feel.
Trust him with you heart and your life today. God cares about the details.
(P.S. to read previous posts in this series, click here)