“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is the question I got asked the most as a child.

I read the story of Joseph in the bible when I was very young, and I saw how he had dreamed of his life at the age of 17. So, I prayed and began a deep soul search for my dreams.

As a gift for my 14th birthday, my mother bought me a little book with a lock to write my secrets. But, since I did not have any at the time, I wrote down my life plans instead. It was very detailed, what I was going to study in university, what year I planned to graduate, what year I wanted to get married and what age I would stop having kids.

When I got to university, I planned where I wanted to do my industrial training with the future in mind. Although ‘date- wise’ everything did not go according to plan due to some setbacks, I did my best to follow that little book to the letter.

With the perfect plan for my life in mind- after all, I sought God before I wrote it- I felt like my life was on a roll. That little book determined the friends I made, the curricular activities I partook in, even the places I went.

For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about various aspects of media. The plan was simple: study it in university, start a career in radio, crossover to television and dabble into production with writing as a ‘side- dish’.

 One day, I got a call:

“Sweetie, I have been posted to one of the ministry’s churches overseas. I do not want to pastor in a foreign country as a single man. I would like us to get married as soon as possible.” What?!!!!

Apart from being terrified of moving to a new country, far from all I knew and loved, I would also be giving up my best laid plans. My only comfort was that this was God’s work and where he leads, he would always make a way. I had always prayed for God to give me grace to follow whatever plans he laid for me, even if it meant losing what seemed important to me. My mind accepted the wedding but struggled with what was to come.

I remember during a youth conference I attended the preacher spoke about the true significance of the cross of Jesus in modern times and how it affects us. The cross is a like a ‘T’, it ‘crosses our lives and sometimes our best laid plans. He said sometimes our lives are well thought and planned out and on purpose God would ‘cross’ it with his own plans. Here I was, with God ‘crossing’ my plans- and I did not like it one bit.

With 12months to the wedding, I had time to think and decide if I was ready to risk it all and walk on the proverbial waters without the boldness or faith of Apostle Peter.

 Six months to the wedding, I got a job offer, which at the time would have been the dream for me. I had tried to get a job at several radio stations, but I had not been lucky. There was an opening to be an On-Air-Presenter at a prestigious radio station and I had the opportunity to audition.

Here I was thinking I would have to work as a studio ‘rat’ for years, but the station manager called me after the auditions and said those precious words “you start on air with me tomorrow”.

 I got home and with tears in my eyes called back to say, “I am sorry, but I cannot take the job”.

I told everyone that I was too loyal to my current boss at the company where I was working at the time, as she had been very good to me and had given me multiple opportunities, but that was only half of the truth.

The universe had smiled on me, placing my dream in my hands, and I turned it down. Why? Because deep down I knew that if I took the job, I may resent having to leave it all behind after the wedding. This was my final battle on the inside, to let my dreams go and trust God to take the reins once again.

Years down the line, I am glad I did not take the job. I am living the life of my dreams, it may not be the dreams in that little book, but it is ten times better. I have been given the honour and privilege of being a blessing to countless people alongside my husband through what I do, and it has given me more joy than I could imagine.

Did I throw my dreams away? No. They simply took a turn that is different from what I had planned. I am still on the path, but I am also ready to be flexible and resilient when challenges come, and life happens.

It is dangerous to go through life without plans, vision, and focus; you will be headed for regrets, insignificance, and a slow-paced life. Life throws so many things our way, and planning is our little way of being prepared for it.

However, it is more dangerous to plan your life without God’s approval, because you may achieve success, but never experience true peace or lasting fulfilment. Do not get depressed, discouraged, or angry when your plans do not work out the way or at the time you hoped, life in partnership with God will always end in bliss. It is important that at the beginning of every season in our lives, we ask God ‘what’s the plan?’ and even if it ‘crosses’ out OUR dreams, we would be happier and better off in the end.

No matter what, dream with all your heart, plan carefully and thoughtfully. But in your life journey, do not forget to be happy along the way, even when there is a need for a detour, or a total rethink. Do not have a defeatist mentality or quit at every curve ball. Plan, pray, re-plan, review and always grow and evolve no matter what.

 To dreamers who are brave enough to lay down their best laid plans at the master’s feet for his master plan; I salute you!