by Taylor Harper
“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 hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11
My story began when I was in the NICU for the first month of my life. Not everything seemed like it was going to work out at the time, but God had a plan for me.
One day as my dad left the NICU to go home, he prayed that I would be ok and that I would heal; that I too would be able to come home. While my dad was praying, he felt God speaking to him using the words of Jeremiah 29:11, a verse he had never heard or read before. The words he heard were quite unique to my situation, and hearing them was very special. The words my dad heard promised him that no matter what, God had a plan for me and that He would prosper me and give me hope and a future. My dad shared what he felt and heard with the rest of our family and that changed their perspective about my situation. My family was more at ease knowing that God was watching out for me and even though it was not always visible, God promised a good plan for me, too. Soon after that, I was released from the hospital and went home. From there, I got to grow up knowing God was with me every step of the way. My parents shared the story with me when I was about five years old, so I understood what it was like to have such a big miracle take place in my life. I feel so blessed when I realize how God healed me and how He continues to take good care of me.
Over time I saw again and again how God was showing me that He will continue to get me through my toughest challenges and be there no matter what. He will be with me on every mountain and hill I must climb. Even though school, friends, family, sports and many other things come up as challenges in my life, God pushes me and helps me keep going no matter how hard I want to give up, quit, and just be done.
One day, after coming home from volleyball practice, I realized that I still had an essay to write and three tests to prepare for the next day. No matter how much I felt like giving up, God pushed me to keep going, stuck by my side, and reminded me to never give up! God continues to push me because that’s His overall plan for me. So even if I get super stressed out, I still see God’s love for me every day and realize that He is right there by my side. Jeremiah 29:11 is one way God speaks to me, letting me know that He loves me so incredibly much and will always be with me.
Dear God, thank You for always being there and showing Your love to each and every one of us. Thank You for always helping us through all the challenges we have to face and all the obstacles that we have to overcome. In Jesus’ name, Amen.