God’s plan exceeds expectations
Recently, I once again experienced the awesome peace that comes from trusting God with our needs. In this world, we’re bombarded by self-help books and under intense pressure to be “successful” and “make something” of ourselves. But knowing that we are cared for by a loving God who is governing every aspect of our lives gives a feeling of individual freedom.
I work as an actress in the theater industry in South Africa, and during the past few years it became clear to me that I needed to further my training, particularly in voice work. I spent many hours researching institutions and courses, but things seemed to keep coming to a dead end. Opportunities for voice training at the highest international standard of excellence appeared to be scarce in my country. I did work with some local facilitators but felt the training was not satisfactory, since it was not accredited and did not compare favorably to other programs I had researched.
I considered going back to university either in South Africa or abroad; however, all the courses I applied to and was accepted for involved much time and expense and didn’t address the voice training adequately. The search for viable options became increasingly frustrating and discouraging. But I had been praying about my next steps, and as my prayers deepened and I humbly listened for God’s guidance, I saw very clearly the need to let go of any stubbornness, self-will, or ambition.
I humbly listened for God’s guidance.
Rather than push ahead with my own agenda, I began to feel I could trust my Father-Mother God with my career and let it unfold according to His, Her good plan. The Bible tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). I know from my study of Christian Science that God is only good, and therefore has only good gifts for all. I knew that, as the spiritual creation of God, divine Life, I included those gifts and could expect to see them unfold in my experience. In this case, it seemed natural that the perfect gift would be the opportunity for growth and development in my career.
Instead of pursuing training opportunities and focusing on myself, I began to put my efforts into seeking the kingdom of God first, which Christ Jesus advised us to do (see Matthew 6:33), knowing that the things I needed would then “be added.” This seeking meant to me expressing more selflessness, grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and all the other qualities of God that Jesus emphasized in his Sermon on the Mount.
I especially loved something else Jesus said in that sermon: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:25, 26). I have thought about this wonderful counsel many times, and I continually return to it. It is so liberating and frees us from a false sense of responsibility and pressure.
God had a better path for me that worked out beautifully.
For a long time nothing happened, but I continued praying and trusting. Then one day I received an email from my agent about a course offered at a nearby university having to do with freeing the voice. I had never heard of this training and neither had anyone around me. But I felt God leading me to apply, and I was accepted.
When I arrived at the course venue the night of our first meeting, I was taken aback to find a hall full of actors from North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. Upon getting to know the other actors during the month-long intensive training, I learned that they had been to our country once or twice already to take this particular course because it had “some of the best facilitators” of this voice work in the world—and they were indeed outstanding. The course content was thorough, practical, at the highest international level of excellence, and had an internationally accredited pedagogy. It was also affordable.
As it turned out, my children were able to go on vacation with my husband and his family over the same period. This freed me up to focus on the course and its intense requirements, while my family holidayed in another province. Through the extended family accompanying them on their trip, the children received the mothering they needed, and it proved to be a lovely holiday for them all. I marveled at God’s perfect plan!
Everything worked out so beautifully, which was proof to me once again of God’s harmonious control of His creation—how He knows, loves, and cares for His own ideas, and how He always has a better path than the one we try to come up with ourselves. This relieves us of the weight of personal responsibility and the burden of thinking we have to somehow “make it” in the world on our own. What more do we need to know for self-help!