Okay, let’s be real for a moment. As moms, we all tend to plan.
I’m not just talking about you hyper-organized, color-coded, “everything has its place” Type A personalities. I’m also speaking to you scatter-brained, live in the moment, fly by the seat of your pants Type B personalities (like yours truly). As people, and especially as mothers, we naturally like to have an idea (be it a carefully plotted blueprint or a loosely structured game plan) of where this ship called life is being steered. I suspect very few of us have given no consideration to what the future holds ten years from now, or even next weekend.
My Own Plan
I’m going to share one of my plans with you. It may sound silly, but it was important to me. I planned to have two children very close in age. No, I am not crazy (well, not in the way you are thinking). My younger sister and I grew up being less than two years apart and only one school grade apart. Since my earliest memories of toddler existence, we have been inseparable. She was my playmate, my partner in crime, my middle school and high school teammate, my college roommate, my maid of honor, etc. To this day, she remains my closest friend. Naturally, I wanted my firstborn daughter to experience this same beautiful friendship with a sibling of her own.
After I gave birth to my first child in the spring of 2013, it wasn’t long before I was eager to pursue “stage 2” of my plan: Operation Little Sibling. Even though we saw several months of failed cycles, I pressed on. When we finally saw a positive pregnancy test in 2014, I knew my plan was still on track. That is, until the gynecologist failed to detect our baby’s heartbeat at 8.5 weeks. Suddenly, all my dreams and expectations came crashing down, and I was left empty-handed.
Those of you who have lost a baby before know that a miscarriage often brings with it a truckload of complex emotions, issues, and heartaches. I was devastated over losing this child. As several weeks passed, though, I began to struggle with overwhelming frustration and bitterness. Instead of healing, my heartache grew worse. Meanwhile, I was unfocused and exhausted from sleep loss. It was about this time that God began to reveal to me a much deeper issue of the heart: I had not surrendered my plan to Him. I was still clinging to the dream that I believed was best for my family, and I was bitter that God had gotten in the way of it.
At the time, I consoled myself by planning to get pregnant again as soon as possible. I thought that I would feel better if I could just go back to being pregnant. I spent every free moment scheming, plotting, and scheduling in order to salvage what was left of my plan.
I thirsted for a sense of control over my body and my family, and I believed that control would bring me peace.
I still remember the moment it hit me. I teach middle school for a living, and we were right in the middle of standardized testing. While I watched my students test for hours in silence, I suddenly found myself alone with my thoughts and with God. There was nowhere to hide and no way to distract myself from His voice.
I was digging around in my desk drawer when I found a little card with a picture of a cat on it. The cat was sitting peacefully and looking out the window. The bottom of the card read “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him,” Psalm 37:7. The back of the card read “God’s timing is always perfect.”
My eyes began to blur with tears as I read these words. I then heard God’s gentle yet unmistakable voice: “Brianne, I know you had a plan, but it was not my plan. Do you really believe your plan is better? Do you still not trust me? Have I not proven faithful to you again and again?”
I tried not to sob as I repented right there of my unbelief and distrust. God had shown me that He had a new plan, a better plan, and that He could be trusted.
And I finally believed Him.
I cannot tell you how freeing this breakthrough was for me. Suddenly the emotional anvil I’d been bearing on my shoulders broke off, and I finally began to heal.
God’s Plans Are Greater
Dear friend, do you have a plan you are clinging to? Are you angry with God for not blessing the path or timeline of your preference? I strongly encourage you to search your heart for any issues of distrust or unbelief. There is nothing on earth sweeter than the freedom and peace you will enjoy when you fully surrender your plans, your future, and your family to the Lord who is forever faithful.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
*What plans of your own have been redirected by God? Have you found His plan to be best in your life? Have you surrendered to His plan above your own? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!