My Plans

February 16, 2024

By: Lauren Maloney 

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

Growing up I went to church, but God was never a part of my plans. He was always there in a way, but I never thought, “what’s God's plan for me?” Looking back now I wish I had asked that question and had those prayers. In high school I loved my cooking class and I started to only watch the Food Network Channel. That’s when I started planning my future as a restaurant manager and then one day as a restaurant owner. After high school I went to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh for Restaurant and Hotel Management. I spent years working in different restaurants as a server, host and cook. My plan was in motion. Eventually, I struggled to find the joy I once knew in the beginning of my journey and struggled being a good mom for my little girls.

As a single mom of two and working as a restaurant manager, I hardly had any free time and on my days off my girls were in school. I eventually met my husband so then I came to juggle being a restaurant manager, a mom and a new wife, but I was still focused on my plan of owning a restaurant. My husband missed me, my kids missed me, and I missed out. We made the decision for me to step down from my role as restaurant manager and I went back to serving. I would spend my days being overly nice to restaurant guests, and it quickly became hard to come home and keep a smile on my face. I got pregnant with our son Luke, and I planned to go back to work after my maternity leave, however this time I did something different, I prayed about it.

We started going back to church in January 2021 and my son was born that April. Now with three kids and summer break quickly approaching, going back to work no longer excited me. I prayed and talked to God about what I should do and what He saw for my future? Wouldn’t it make me less important to be home with my kids all day if no one saw how hard I can work? The answer I got; God sees me, and I am already important. My presence is important to my kids. My presence is important to my husband who enjoys coming home to his wife, his kids and dinner. Friends at church tell me my first ministry is to my kids. The bible reminds me how important it is to raise children who walk the path of our Lord and to put Him first. He also reminded me that who I am won’t be found in a menu, but in the bible. 

There's a story in the bible about a woman named Rahab who put the cord in her window and helped the spies of Joshua. That was such an important task for her, she did an important thing that helped the Israelites. The part of her story that stuck out to me was who her family line ended up leading to. Matthew 1:1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham. Followed by Matthew 1:5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and continues to Matthew 1:16 and Jacob father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. It is not always our story that makes us important, it is our legacy that we leave behind through our children. Do I really want to be remembered as an excellent restaurant owner or do I want to be remembered as a loving and present mother, a wonderful wife and most importantly a faithful follower of Christ.

My path was tiring, long and lonely at times and even though I didn’t look to God in the beginning I know now he was always looking towards me. I am where I am now because of Him, and I’ll never stop giving thanks to Him. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”. There are many things I would change from my past, but my life is full of lessons that I now can teach my children. Life is full of many opportunities but not all of them are for us. I still struggle some days with who I am but then I’m reminded, I am a child of God and that makes me very important to the ones who matter most. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.”

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