I am a planning, organizing, list-making flexible person. Often people think I’m not flexible because I like things to be organized. But I have learned that be being inflexible leads to disappointment and sorrow. It can also make us unwilling to grow.
Do you remember the song called Hosea? One line from it says “Trees do bend though straight and tall, so must we to other’s call,” and it is true. We must bend in some ways or we will break.
Motherhood and marriage have taught me this in ways I would never have imagined. I suppose this bending, this trying to let go, this idea that all of life is a “Plan B” was brought home to me again in the events of the last few weeks.
The most glaringly obvious one was a day trip gone badly. My husband and I had planned to go to visit some gardens about two hours away. About halfway there, the rain began and it looked like there was no end in sight. My husband suggested the outlet mall since we were on the same road and so we turned around and headed east instead of west. I think the fact that my husband said, “Let’s go to the outlet mall,” was the first sign the day would be unusual. And he mentioned wanting—yes, wanting—to buy new shoes!
We shopped and then the rain showed up so we left to go to lunch. After lunch we decided to take the slow route home. While we were at a red light, a pickup truck hit us in the right rear end. I no longer have a trunk or rear window or bumper. I no longer have a car I can drive. Thankfully no one was hurt and I have a rental car through insurance. My car is at the body shop waiting to be looked at and it’s possible it will be totaled.
As we ever so slowly and carefully drove home in the rain after the accident I turned to my husband and said, “Why does it seem my entire life is a Plan B?”
When all is said and done though, the “Plan B” in which I can clearly see God’s hand when I look back is not all bad. It’s just not my plan.
That’s why I try not to be rigid. I like to be prepared and organized, but I also know how important it is to be ready to go a different way. My husband’s response to my query, “Man plans, God laughs” not his quote, but so very true!
Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini
About the Author
Deanna G. Bartalini, MEd, MPS, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. Her Bible study, invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life, is published by Our Sunday Visitor. Her website, DeannaBartalini.com, is for the Every Day Catholic. There you can find Deanna’s writing, free webinars on Catholicism, her podcast and social media services, and invite her to speak to your group, in person or virtually.