Five Minute Friday scribblings, Plan, Trusting God

Plan: When Plans Change

Sunrise 1

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—PLAN. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

PLAN:

I’m a girl who makes her plan and sticks to it. To the bloody death, no matter how hard it is.

But what is a planner-girl to do when life refuses to cooperate with her plan? When it takes unexpected turns?

When we tried to have a baby, I had my timeline, my plan, of when to start, when we’d get pregnant and that I’d have my first baby by the time I turned thirty-one.

God had other plans.

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What is a mom to do when she has a plan of teaching her children responsibility? She trains them, encourages them, gives them opportunities to show they can be trusted. . .

. . . and they fall far short of the expectations.

Yes, this is my question now. Today has been a rough day in the Takenaka household. Both boys fell down badly in things I trusted them with. My plans for giving them more independence?

Just went out the window. At least for a little while.

When God allows plans to be thwarted, what is a planner-girl to do?

I’m learning that I need to work through my disappointment. Which sometimes looks a wee-bit like frustration and a short temper. Sorry, weak mom on board here.

But then, I’m learning to let go of my plan. Forgive these precious boys of mine. Forgive the people in my life whose plans contradicted mine, and were victorious.

I’m learning to look to the Lord once again, and relinquish my plans, and ask for His. When I’m still enough before Him, I can see that His plans really are the best plans. For me and for everyone.

If I surrender my will to His? That’s when the best plans can take place in my life and the lives of those around me. 

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When I’m surrendered to His plans, beauty, rather than bitterness, emerges from the disappointment. And I want others to see Jesus’ beauty in me. Not my bitter flesh. It’s an ugly sight.

What about you? How do you react when your plans go awry? How do you bend to manage the change in plans? 

Check out Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post on Plans.

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22 thoughts on “Plan: When Plans Change”

  1. Beautiful. And so true. I actually ended up writing something slightly similar for my FMF post! Funny how God does that sometimes! Thank you for sharing this, it’s really inspirational. 🙂

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  2. Well. yesterday was lived in the grip of a nightmare…Jeanne, you know some specifics, but for the benefit of others, I’ll leave it go.

    And then…I found out that I really should feel guilty for being ill, that I’m quite a burden to those in my immediate circle, and that it would not be a bad thing if I let go. Even the dogs would be better off.

    That sure wasn’t in the plan, and if that’s God’s plan…well, I am sure it isn’t. I’m sure He’s as…pardon me…PISSED as I am right now.

    And I am still in this fight. My plan?

    I’m gonna light up the world, and if I go down, I will leave a swath of wreckage so wide that no one concerned will EVER try to marginalize another human being.

    Ever.

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    1. Andrew, I was just thinking this morning about how much your dogs love you, and you them. That kind of love is not easily replaced. If ever.

      I am sorry you were marginalized. It’s never right to do that. I know you strive to live every day well. May God continue to strengthen you in doing that.

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  3. Jeanne, this move has taught me that I have to let go of my plans and visions for my future–I hated it at first because of the uncertainty and lack of control. But God is teaching me that the only certainty is Him and His Word. It’s hard for a control freak like me–but I’m learning and stretching my trust.
    Grace to you dear woman!
    Cindy

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    1. Cindy, I love the reminder you shared: Our only certainty is in God and His word. I’m like you. Letting go of control is hard, but it does stretch my trust in God. Thank goodness He is a trustworthy God! I’m so glad you stopped by my friend.

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  4. Beautiful pictures of the sunset. There is something so awe-inspiring when one stops and sees God’s sunsets. And like the sunsets, when we wait and see what God’s plans are for our lives, it’s also rewarding.

    I like the part where you said, “beauty, rather than bitterness, emerges from the disappointment.” What a great way to put it! Thanks for sharing today!

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    1. Joy, thanks so much for stopping by! Don’t laugh, but the pictures were actually this morning’s sunrise. 🙂 I agree though with what you said. When we wait to see what God’s plans are for our lives, it’s rewarding. Even when the waiting is hard. 🙂

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  5. What a beautiful reminder that I need to open my hands to let go of the plans and expectations I put on myself and others. It is hard when I don’t know or yet seen God’s plan and I feel time is running out. To just wait on Him is so hard but I know trusting in Him also means to trust in His timing.

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    1. Amy, time is such a pressure, isn’t it? In this type-A world we liv in, it’s hard to just wait for God’s timing. But when we do . . . oh the blessings that come in the waiting time. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

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  6. It’s funny – sometimes I react totally differently to God’s plans going awry as opposed to my plans. If mine don’t work out, I feel frustrated but a bit more “whatever.” When I feel that God has failed me, well…. How dare he?? Learning to trust and go with the flow. So unintuitive!! Love that we’re similar in that sense – your words hit home!

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    1. Annie, you made me stop with your words. When I feel like God’s failed me . . . I guess that means I was still looking for my plans to be fulfilled. Ouch. You’re so right, it is unintuitive to “go with the flow.” God’s flow, that is. We can continue to grow in that together. 🙂

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  7. I have learned to be flexible with my plans – mainly because when you work in full time ministry, you really don’t have an option. But, due to my introversion and my need to focus on energy management rather than time management, I find myself frustrated at my role in ministry when I am called upon in the evening hours – when it’s my time at home to recharge. It’s hard to find a balance. But the more I spend time doing ministry, the more I understand how God has called me into it. He meets me when my plans change, and even though it can sometime take hours for my mood to shift back into recharging mode, he reminds me why he has called me into this.

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    1. Liz, flexibility seems to be something most of have to learn, yes? I love what you said, “the more I find time doing ministry, the more I understand how God has called me into it.” And I love that when He calls us into something, He also meets us there and gives us what we need in the moment. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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  8. “Beauty rather than bitterness” – that is such a vital truth, Jeanne. I can think of many times I’ve crossed my arms and stomped my feet over the plans I thought I needed to see through. When we can surrender to His plans and receive them rather than grow bitter, the fruit is far reaching, isn’t it?! In His time, there is always beauty from ashes. Wise council here, friend…love it.

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    1. Surrender of our plans seems to be the key in following God’s best for us. And you’re right. when we receive and live out His plans, the fruit is far reaching, rather than stinted. So glad you stopped by my friend!

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  9. God’s plans. Trust. God has taught me trust through giving up my will for His. Even though I’d much prefer my timing, He has taught me in the waiting to trust Him. That’s the gold nugget in His timing for me.

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    1. Yea, it seems like learning to give up my will for God’s is a lesson I need to re-learn from time to time. But you’re right, Mom. when we do this, God does some surprising things. 🙂

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  10. I think God expects us to think ahead — Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” But we also have to be able to adjust to the unknown complications of the future. How we approach those adjustments makes all the difference. Considering the good choices you offer here, either “in beauty or in bitterness,” the best approach seems pretty apparent! Thanks Jeanne.

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    1. Gene, what you say makes a lot of sense. I agree. I don’t think God wants us to just walk through life without direction. I also agree that we should make plans—seeking wisdom in the planning—but be open to the tweaks God may add to our plans. And yes, how we approach those adjustments does make all the difference. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here! 🙂

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