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"This isn't what I planned" by Andrea Bear (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pexels.com", (2019), CC0/PD[/caption] Most of our lives we are planning. From an early age we are taught to make and have a plan. Phrases such as “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and “What type of person will you marry?” or even as simple as “What are your plans for the weekend?” loom in the background encouraging us to control our destiny. We believe that if we carry out all the plans we’ve made, we can move forward with security, safety and most importantly, happiness. We plan out everything from the clothes we wear to our retirement, we even plan things for others’ lives. Yet very rarely do many of us live in the present and just sit and be. I am guilty of this. Sometimes life has other plans for us and the way we imagined our life doesn’t turn out. Instances of being laid off from a secure job, getting pregnant when it wasn’t part of the plan, the death of a loved one when it wasn’t supposed to be “their time,” relatives illness requiring someone to step up, and the postponement of a trip that was scheduled months in advance don’t sit well for our agenda-oriented world. Life has so many levels of unpredictability, yet most of us try to keep going toward the plans we think are the key to our ultimate happiness. What happens if we never fulfill the things we strive for? The phrase “This isn’t the way my life was supposed to be” takes place. There’s also the other perspective. What happens when our plans are achieved, we earn the degree, we get the dream job, or win the award? Yet through all that accomplishment we achieve the goal, only to find that it’s not as fulfilling as originally anticipated. Then comes the phrase “This isn’t what I thought it would be.” What can make us truly happy? "This isn't what I planned" by Andrea Bear (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pexels.com (2019), CC0/PD[/caption] In times like this I have often asked myself, “Maybe my plan wasn’t really the plan I should’ve been chasing after all?” Sometimes “our plan” isn’t “God’s plan.” Yet in all the planning and mis-planning, God finds a way to turn something beautiful out of it.
Many are the plans of the human heart, but it is the decision of the LORD that endures. (Proverbs 19:21)
If you’re a control freak like me, having a plan is crucial. It seems illogical that God would say we can’t plan for a rainy day or that we should just throw a feather in the air and see where the wind takes us, but He does want for us to lean on Him for our plan-making.
The human heart plans the way, but the LORD directs the steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
It’s sometimes hard not knowing what’s in store. I struggle at times wondering the plans God has for me. I’m not very good at waiting and  I often expect His plans to be carried out the way I intend. I put conditions on my prayers or I ask God for things that foresee a specific outcome. When I fight it and try to make my own path, it’s in these moments, God will continue to nudge me and remind me (and sometimes I need multiple nudges) until I finally listen to His call. Being open to listening to His call is so rewarding.  It’s surprising how much better my life becomes under His plan. When I put my trust in Him there is much joy to know that “His plan” is the way and has a much better outlook instead of what I envisioned for myself. "This isn't what I planned" by Andrea Bear (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pexels.com (2019), CC0/PD[/caption]
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)
While I don’t want to speak about anything too personal in my own life, I will say recently I had a very specific plan of what I wanted to achieve. I prayed about this particular goal and truly thought it would work in the direction I had already made up in mind. But every sign, every clue, led me in a different direction and I realized that this was not what God was calling me to do. Had I not prayed and offered it up to God, I might have spent a lot of time doing something that wasn’t really worthy of my time and limited me in other areas of my life where I could have spent my time better AND for His glory. So if you ever feel like your life is different than what you had in mind or isn’t going a certain way, be patient and give thanks to God. Because in the end, His plan will be the greatest plan for you. Just know that you are in the best hands. "This isn't what I planned" by Andrea Bear (CatholicMom.com) Image credit: Pexels.com (2019), CC0/PD[/caption]  
Copyright 2019 Andrea Bear