Whether we realize it or not, we all plan ahead of time. Making plans keeps us organized and focused on the objective ahead, whether it’s determining what to make for dinner, organizing a family vacation, or achieving goals.
I keep track of everything in my personal planner; I’ll forget something if I do not write it down, and I also need to know what to expect from the rest of my day. Any interruptions beyond what’s written in my planner annoy me because they take me away from what I need or want to do.
But our plans are not promises. What happens if they don’t pan out?
For me, the past year has been a roller coaster. In the spring, I graduated from college and was eagerly awaiting job interviews to begin my career. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start my master’s degree in the fall or if my husband and I would relocate if I couldn’t find work nearby. I despised the fact that I had no idea what my future held.
I finally got a job with a marketing firm after doing some research. A week after my interview, I was phoned and offered a job. I hastily accepted the post without thinking about whether or not this was the right place for me to work. Within the first week, I knew the company was not a good fit for me. I made the decision to leave and pursue other opportunities.
Because I had no leads or plans, I was worried about finding work. In total, I applied to about 80 positions. I assumed that by now, I would have a fantastic job and would not be concerned about where my career would begin.
Then Came Something Unexpected
During that time of worry and anxiety, something else happened that I hadn’t planned for: I miscarried.
My husband and I had only been married for a little over a year when we realized that neither of us was ready to start a family. We both agreed to hold off until we had our financial ducks in a row, so we were taken aback by the news of my miscarriage.
I did not know I was pregnant, and we were not trying to get pregnant. I was only a few weeks along without a single clue.
My heart was devastated, and I felt like a piece of me had vanished. Crying and remorse were two emotions that I experienced. I hated myself for what happened because I thought it was my fault.
This sent me to a dark place, and for a time, I wasn’t myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and I felt like a failure because I didn’t plan ahead or work hard enough.
Our Plans Are Not Promises
To work through my ideas and feelings, I decided to begin counseling. I’m so glad I did. My counselor once told me something that has resonated with me: Plans are not promises. They’re just that: Plans. Tentative and not set in stone.
I can plan every minute of my day, but it will never go exactly as planned. Unexpected things happen in our lives, and we cannot always control them. I wish certain things did not happen, but I can’t change the past. I can only focus on what I can do, which is lean on God.
At church, I’d hear folks claim that God has a purpose for all of us, and I’d dismiss it. I didn’t believe God was concerned enough about me to develop a plan. I was wrong. He does this because He adores us more than we can comprehend. Our lives glorify Him because of how good He is.
A month later, He provided me with a job as a social media coordinator for our local healthcare system. I was overjoyed, and I truly enjoy what I do. I never expected to find something that combined my love of writing with my desire to share meaningful stories with my community. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to be concerned with finding work, but I know it’s not possible. Instead, I can look back on this blessing every time I feel anxious and know that God has everything under control.
I was crushed by the miscarriage and am still baffled as to why it had to happen. Because I was embarrassed and ashamed, I didn’t tell many others about it. I relied on my faith and my relationship with God throughout this period of uncertainty, and He has placed a desire on my heart to share my story.
I wish I knew the answers to difficult questions. I wish I knew what my life’s plans were. However, that is not a realistic outcome. God has a much greater picture in mind than we do. It’s difficult to believe in something we can’t see, but I promise you that His intentions are far superior to our own.
Today, I encourage you to let go of your plans for the future. Allow God to guide you. Accept that His plans may differ from yours, and they are so much better.
Learning to trust God requires exercises in growing our faith. Listen to this podcast episode for steps on building your bond with God: