25 years ago my “perfect” plan was interrupted, and I started the life that was perfect for me instead.
You see I was the girl with the five-year-plan. Always. I joked about it out loud, but in my heart I carried a list of all I wanted to achieve … experience … accomplish. It. Was. No. Joke.
When I was 20, my five year plan included finishing my education degree, teaching for a year, going to Bible college for a year, and then heading to the mission field. It seemed logical to me. When I was 8 or so, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. At 12, a missionary who spoke at my church planted a seed of growing passion for the nations. All my plans were designed to jump into these dreams the millisecond I left college. After all, God planted those dreams. It was my job to fulfill them, right?
Sounded right to me. Perfect!
Just six months after graduation, I met a tall, blue-eyed man who wasn’t part of the plan. I told my mom he wasn’t my type before our first date.
And then I married him.
That might seem like an odd juxtaposition, and it was. Nine months after I declared Barry Carroll “not my type”, I walked down an isle towards him, so choked with love and the overwhelming solemnity and weight of the occasion that I could barely gasp out my vows. It was no wonder at the end of my wedding video, filmed by my uncle, my aunt whispered, “We’ll see if it lasts six months.” (Don’t be offended for me. My aunt is also known affectionately as “My Crazy Aunt LeaAnna”. She was just kidding. I think.)
Today we’ve proved her wrong! 🙂 It’s our Silver Anniversary, and my bridegroom is the best interruption to my plans that ever happened to me.
It’s turns out God’s Word is true. 🙂 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov. 19:21)
[Tweet “Sometimes it takes an interruption of our perfect plan to start the life that’s perfect for us.”]
When I was young, I thought plans were revealed, but it turns out life unfolds. Those dreams God planted in my heart as a girl? They’ve come to pass one by one over the past 25 years, and I’m living some things I never would have dreamed of.
Are you a planner? Good for you! Plan away, but hold those plans with open hands and a heart ready to wait. Just this morning as I worked through II Peter 3, I found plans that all of us should hold tightly while we leave the unfolding of our circumstances to the Lord. “What kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” (II Peter 3: 11a-12b) We can all plan who we’re going to be rather than what we’re going to do.
Are you frustrated by a lack of plans? It’s ok. Really. God is no less in control of your life than the planners’. Wait. Watch for Him, and let His plan unfold. You are probably better off than we planners who are constantly struggling to let go and recalibrate as God works. You can help your planner friends to relax and go with God’s flow.
I’ve given up my five-year-plans, and I’m learning to wake up each day determined to synch my calendar to God’s. He’s the faithful unfolder of my days.