I couldn't believe my eyes when I received the email: there were two tickets to Paris, France in my inbox. I know my dad had talked about going, but I didn't think he was serious. At this time, I was living in Chicago, Illinois, a city known for its skyline. It seems like millions of skyscrapers line the Lake Michigan coast. For some reason, this was what I expected when I thought of Paris. I imagined old buildings mixed in with new skyscrapers, and of course, the Eiffel Tower rising above the city . . . this isn't what Paris is like. The "City of Love" was nothing like what I expected. When I landed, my family and I took a bus tour in an attempt to beat jet lag. There were no skyscrapers! Paris was not what I expected. Instead of a city of towering buildings, I felt like I had been transported back in time or had jumped into a painting. This city was so much more than I had imagined or hoped for. Life can be the same way. What if I told you that God has a plan for your life and it is not what you expect–– it's much better than you can imagine?
Paris' lack of skyscrapers has to do with a building height limit. Major cities sometimes create a limit on building height to allow a specific structure or building to stand out. In 1977, the construction of a 689-foot tall building was completed in Paris called the Tour Montparnasse. The building sticks out like a sore thumb, to quote Parisians. From that time on, there has been a building height limit of 121 feet on all new buildings. In 2010, there was a proposal to build up the skyline and allow building height to be 590 feet tall. Regardless, no building has been able to compete with the Eiffel Tower. This iconic tower is 1,063 feet and is the tallest structure in the city. I was mesmerized. The city gave me so many inspiring ideas and creativity . . . I felt like I was transported back in time. It truly is a unique city. I came home from the trip inspired. Just like Paris, we know that our lives sometimes will not look the way we expected. My job is not what I went to college for. I didn't end up marrying the person I thought I would, and my savings are not amounting to what I had planned for. This has been my experience. My life doesn't look like what I expected. I had dreams that didn't pan out. This is what I know ––– God's plan for our lives may not look like what we expected, but it will be much more than we can imagine. Just like Paris inspired me with creativity, God wants to use our lives to inspire others to draw them near to Him. He desires to inspire others through your ups, downs, and turns. God's plan for our life will be nothing like what we expected, but it will be much better than what we can imagine.
John 10:10 is my life verse because I have learned that living for Christ is always better than living for any other purpose. "I have come to give them life and life and have it to the fullest" (John 10:10). When we live for Christ, our lives become different from what we expected because we are living for a bigger purpose and not just ourselves. In John chapter 10, Jesus is talking to the Pharisees. Jesus is explaining that He is here to give generations upon generations life. I have come to give them life and have it to full. I never want to try and figure out what God is doing and miss His plan. The Pharisees were expecting the Messiah to save them from the Roman Empire. They wanted a physical kingdom but missed the spiritual kingdom. God had so much more planned, although it might not be what we expect. He wants to give us freedom from ourselves. Psalm 33:11 says, "But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations." His plans are not just for you, but also for all generations. In Ephesians 2:10, we see that each of us was created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God's plan for you is for you to have a full life and to inspire others- the lasting effects will be from generation to generation and He has planned for this in advance. Your life has a purpose to inspire others towards a blameless life with Christ. God's plan is nothing like you expected, and like Paris, it's much better than you can imagine.
Hannah Lynn hosts Moody Radio’s That’s Real and is an engineer for Karl and Crew mornings. She grew up as a homeschooler on a tree farm, plays the harp (ask her about harp camp), drives a Prius (don’t judge), and started a fashion blog while a student at Moody Bible Institute (yes, that’s possible). Hannah loves to tell people about Jesus—as a seven-year-old she witnessed to her ballet teacher, then she started a Young Life club while in high school. Now she mentors teens with her husband, John, who serves as a youth pastor.
That’s Real with Hannah Lynn gives a one-minute dose of encouragement and advice to young adults who want to love and live God’s Word. Her fast-paced mix of storytelling and Bible truth helps create understanding between young believers and anyone who wants to follow Jesus one day at a time.