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As I sit and think about God’s grace and His blessings in my life, I can remember during some of those times, the struggles and disappointments that accompanied them. What I have learned over the years is that all my worry and struggle was needless. One of the most common verses associated with God’s plan is 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 a hope and a future.’”

Keeping in mind the original context of this verse, it isn’t a light and fluffy verse that says, “whatever hardship you’re going through, the Lord will take you out of it.” The original audience of this verse was about to endure 70 years of Babylonian captivity. They heard this verse to know God had a plan for them, amidst the hardship, and we should keep this verse in mind when thinking about God’s plan for our own lives. While reading it through the lens of the original context, we can know God does have a plan for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to walk a path of carefree and painless events. That said, no matter what we go through, we know we have a God with a plan for our lives.

Psalm 9:10 says, “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” We trust in God because He does not forsake us. Even when we feel as though we are all alone, we know God is with us. He will not leave us in the middle of the hardest times of life. Instead, He carries us through them. My favorite poem, “Footprints,” hung in my granny’s living room. Although sometimes it seems like it is overstated, it also rings the most true in my life. When I look back at all the struggle, I wasn’t ever alone. Even before I came to know the Lord as my savior, He always carried me.

–Karina Ward