I’m a planner. I like to know what the plan is, and if there isn’t one, then I can come up with a plan. For as long as I can remember, I always had a plan. Some of those plans were short-term, like what I was going to do that day. I also had long-term plans. What I was going to study in college (engineering), what my career would look like (designing cars), how many kids I would have (four – two boys and two girls).
While I started as an engineering major in college, I ended up with a BS in Accounting and an MS in Entrepreneurial Accounting. I spent twenty years working in public accounting, never having anything to do with designing cars. I had the privilege of raising three incredible daughters and no sons. Basically, the last thirty years of my life have been nothing like I planned them to be.
God has plans
God is a planner as well. But He doesn’t always share His plans with me. Certainly not with as much detail as I would like to have. He commonly asks me to follow without even telling me any of the plan beyond maybe the next step.
In 2015, I was working on plans for developing my CPA firm. I had expectations of bringing in a young up-and-comer that would one day allow me to minister more and work in accounting less. After spending devoted time fasting and praying, God said to sell the firm and go into full-time ministry. That was not in my plans, or even a consideration, up to that point.
We said “yes” to God without knowing the details of the plan. We had thoughts about what it may look like. We had hopes and dreams. Almost five years later, we have experienced a life that is so very different from our expectations.
Things don’t go as planned
We thought we would be in an RV, traveling around North America ministering; speaking, teaching, leading worship, and meeting with ministers one-on-one. Living life in a couple hundred square feet on the road.
In January 2016, He provided property for a retreat center (Legacy Heights) that we thought would serve as our home base as we traveled in the RV. Our expectation was that He would provide for the first building quickly. That was over four years ago. There is still no building on the property nor a lot of money in the building fund to start construction.
Instead of providing a building on Legacy Heights quickly, He has provided host homes in the area. These have been a great blessing for those ministers that have traveled to meet with us for weeklong intensives. The way in which He has matched up the hosts with the ministers has been incredible to watch. We certainly couldn’t have done as good of a job with those connections.
He provided a house for us in 2017 (1300 square feet instead of about 300 in an RV). We have done some traveling, but for the most part, we work from our kitchen table via video calls counseling with ministers and their families from a distance. Some weeks we have ministers come to Colorado, and we shift about 15 feet to meet in the living room.
I could go on detailing what we thought the last five years would look like compared to reality. So little, if any, has been as we thought that I’ve pretty much given up on trying to plan most things. Instead, I’m learning how to walk one next step at a time with the Lord.
God had plans for Israel. Plans for good, not harm.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
He also has plans for you and me. Good plans.
His plans may not be easy. In fact, they likely will be very hard. But hard does not equal bad. Some of the hardest things I’ve faced in life have brought incredible good; mostly through my personal growth. And that is a part of His plan, for us to grow in Him.
What happens when your plans take an unexpected turn? In the past I would get upset, throw a fit, jump in it, and then figure out a new plan. Now, I look for the unexpected. I find joy in seeing the Lord take what I thought and do something better.
How is that possible? It’s because I’m learning to trust Him more and more. I know His character. I believe He has good for us. His plans are good because He is good, and in that, I can trust Him with all of life.
I get to journey with Him, detouring from my plans to His, one next step at a time. How about you? Are you willing to lay your plans at the altar and trust Him?
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