Yesterday, I set out to make breakfast for my husband before he left for work. I had the sausage browned and crumbled, added the flour to make a roux, and reached for the milk from the fridge. I didn’t realize until I had started to pour that the milk had soured. My whole plan for eggs with sausage gravy and toast was ruined.
On to Plan B. Steak that was to be used for supper later in the week with scrambled eggs and fried spuds. My husband, who is very much a “meat and potatoes” kinda guy was much pleased with the change in plan, and commented that next time, we should just skip plan A and start with plan B.
Funny, but it made me think. Plan A is often optimistic, and filled with good intentions. Much like our plan A to move to Canada and start a new life there. We were filled with anticipation, and grand plans of getting to know husband’s side of the family, and be available to assist in the care of his aging father. This plan also was handy for the purpose of removing our youngest daughter from dangerous surroundings and peers who were dragging her down. We were led to believe that there was work for my husband there, only to find once we arrived that we had been misled, or at least misinformed. The certification for the job that he had done for 25 years in the U.S. was not a valid certification in Canada. To obtain valid certification would require $700 to take a test, that was graded and judged by the same individuals who would then sell modules to bring him up to standard in areas that he may have not been up to par with, in their biased opinion. We simply did not have that kind of money to gamble away on a potential to have to pay more. It was a clear conflict of interest, and so, the search for different work ensued.
Long story short, we never did find work sufficient to supporting the four of us there. Our plan A had fallen flat. Added to that humiliation and disappointment was unexpected and fractured family dynamics, homelessness, and total dependence on strangers.
Our Plan A was the soured milk on the anticipation and good intended breakfast.
Fast forward a year…our Plan B has landed us in the deep south. With the help of some beautiful friends and family members, we are slowly but surely getting back on our feet. We find ourselves in a situation that calls for the same heart desire we had when heading to Canada. We are getting to know family members that had been distant, and are able to support them in their role of caring for a terminally ill family member. Our Plan B, right now is steak and potatoes! It’s not perfect, definitely not what we expected, but there are a lot of really good things coming out of our failed Plan A…things that require the same heart intentions we had when preparing for the move to Canada.
What if our Plan A was the means to bring about God’s Plan A in us?
What if God’s plans (being higher than our plans…his ways above our ways) are not labeled alphabetically or numbered according to importance.
What if the way we view “all things working together for good” is not about how pleasant and smooth the circumstances are, or how great we feel, or how we perceive “good” to be.
What if the good He’s bringing about is not about the tangible things at all…but in the hidden work He is doing in us, his workmanship.
What if it really is all about me!? Me becoming less, so that He can become more…me being pressed into the mold of Jesus, being conformed to His image.
What if knowing God’s will…His Plan A, if you will…is as simple as Micah 6:8.
He has shown you, Oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires. To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Your God.
If we were intent on fulfilling the most simply stated “will of God”, it wouldn’t matter if we were in Idaho, Canada, the deep south or Timbuktu.
If we are loving God with all of our heart soul and mind;
if we are behaving ourselves in a just, merciful, and humble way;
if we are loving our neighbor as ourselves, and doing all that we do for the glory of God; then we are accomplishing God’s Plan A for our lives, where ever we may find ourselves.
Thanks, Kat. Blessings!!!
This post really hits home with me very powerfully. Beautifully written. My own family’s Plan A led to crushing disappointment, marital fractures, pain and heartache for all. We, especially me, were so focused on the success of the plan that we lost sight of what was truly important. We thought we were in control, when truly the only control comes from surrendering yourself to God’s plan. Older now, hopefully wiser, we are in a rebirth of all that is good, and our plan b is succeeding because it is a plan to trust in God’s plan.
Thank you, Greg.
I am just like that.. “so focused on the success of the plan”…sigh.
I love the way you have with words. I will have to adopt your line “plan to trust in God’s plan”…that is perfect!
Greg, I was perusing my past posts, and “stumbled on” this one. Your words were so appropriate at the time this was written, and still appropriate where I find myself today, in the middle of another failed plan A. Thank you again for the reminder to “surrender” to God’s plan, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Your post made me smile and rejoice with you – you are exactly where God intends for you to be right now. Our blessing and grace is in the realization that we are NOT in control. Thank you for reminding me of that today – God bless you and your wonderful family. Our love to all – Cindy Ellis
Thank you so much Cindy! Your friendship and support have been a wonderful gift to me.
God bless you where you are.
This was just so excellent Lyn, I do not know if I can add one thing to it. This post truly made me think and you can see and feel the Holy Spirit all in it. A clear message for all of us, and you gave it without blemish. Well done my friend, well done! Simple and to the point, and what a lesson to learn from something we would often take as meaningless. God teaches us in so many ways! Love you and God Bless, SR
Thanks so much, SR. God has been and continues to be good…using even what was meant for evil to bring glory to Himself as He works ALL things out for good.
Love this post, my how I have experienced this over the years. Often plan A is simply a way to get me to plan B or C. He takes us in stages, slowly moving us. How merciful. the other way He does this in my life is by making me disillusioned with my circumstances. I begin to hate, what I once loved to feel restless… and by the time He finally reveals His plan I am READY to move in whatever direction He takes me.
Yes, Heidi…He does that with me too, sister. I am learning to just keep moving forward, and take whatever He sends as His gift of Providence for me, where I am, in the right now. My nature is to be told beforehand, so I can plan, and pine, and dream. His plan for me, is just the opposite, it seems. I am learning to trust Him and His ways…remembering and reminding myself that they are higher and better than mine.
Love you!!! Thanks for stopping in.
Fantastic post, Lyn! As human beings we sure do get frustrated when our plans don’t go the way we planned. In those times we need to ask ourselves, Is/Was this the will of God? Maybe He is calling me into a different direction? What is God’s will for us is usually different than what we think is good for us. We need to remember God loves us and wants what’s best for us. God Bless.
Thanks for the kind words, Teresa. I am the queen of second-guessing. My sister has a mantra of “as long as we are learning and growing, even the hard times are beneficial”…it’s all about learning and growing, isn’t it?
Don’t worry, Lyn, probably about half of the time I’m a second-guesser too. Mainly with my health and suffering. I ask “why?” even though I trust there is a reason why I am still in pain even after having a hysterectomy. I kinda go back and forth between trusting in God’s will to asking why have I gone through this or that during my life. Guess its all a part of human weakness. God Bless.
I don’t know that asking why is the same as second guessing. I think it’s in our nature to want to have a reason, and it makes it a little easier to bear if we know it is for a good cause…like Calvary…Jesus asked why? “Why have you forsaken me?” But He knew his mission, and He forgave, as He suffered and died.
My second guessing is about “did I really hear You right, Lord? I thought you were telling us to do thus and such, but from here it looks like that decision is a complete disaster…is this what your Plan A looks like? Help me to see your hand in this, so we have purpose and meaning in our trial.
I think He did that with my failed breakfast followed by a successful plan B. It was all good, even in the frustration.
Well done, Lyn! Your thoughtful observations about Plan A and Plan B apply to all of us. I especially appreciated your insight on Romans 8:28. God’s plan for good may be totally different than what we would like. And though we may be disappointed for a time, his “good” IS going to bring blessing.
Thank you also for becoming a follower of my blog. I’m honored that you find the posts meaningful.
Thanks so much, Nancy!!! Welcome to New Things, I hope you will be blessed here. Check in on me next month for a virtual ladies retreat. I’ll be sharing about prayer, and posting some of my favorite music, quotes, prayers, and links. I would love to have your company!
Sounds intriguing. Keep me posted! (No pun intended!)