Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When Your Plans Don't Turn Out

This picture was at a women's retreat in 2011. Read below and it will make more sense. ;)

Lately my mind has been full of things to do for Restore, we’re about two and a half weeks away! Sometimes when I get in this planning mode, I can easily get fixated on details and how I want things to go. I’m a planner through and through and when things start to deviate from my plan, I have a hard time. Can you relate?

Yet God often has plans that are different than ours. How open are we to dropping our own ideas and plans for His?  

Today while driving, I remembered how God stepped into one of these times in my life and it made me laugh. I wanted to share it with you:

Six years ago I was on the planning team for my church’s women’s retreat. I also happened to be the speaker, so my mind was very occupied with details. I had also volunteered to coordinate our book table. We thought it would be fun and very professional to have a book table with resources our ladies could purchase. And since books are my thing, I offered to do it.

Three or so weeks ahead of the retreat, I went to and ordered the books. I selected the cheapest shipping option, USPS, which would take one to two weeks to arrive. I figured the timing would be perfect and I’d be saving money through using regular mail, helping to stretch our meager budget. I prayed that God would make sure the books would arrive on time.

I received notice from the book company that they shipped the order in three separate boxes. The first box arrived a week before retreat on a Saturday. The second box arrived on Tuesday. I felt confident that when I’d check my mail Wednesday, the package would be waiting for me. No luck.

Thursday rolls around and I'm fervently praying that the third box is in the mail because the retreat was Friday. It didn’t come! 

I became so upset and worried. I had prayed all week that God would allow the books to arrive on time—He knew I needed them!

In the middle of the night, it occurred to me: go to the post office first thing in the morning and see if it’s there to go out for Friday delivery! 

I was at the post office when it opened and was elated when they handed me my box! Except…I found it odd that it weighed less than a pound and was supposed to have 30 books inside.

Puzzled, I took the box to my car and opened it. There were no books.

Instead, there were two pieces of Tupperware—an orange cereal bowl and a green serving tray.

I’m not joking.

I called and they had no idea what happened, as they don’t sell Tupperware. There was no way they could ship the books to arrive that day.

So my brilliant plan of having books to sell didn’t pan out. I got so caught up in this minor detail and let it turn into a huge disappointment.

But then God spoke to my heart and said, "You're talking this weekend about seeking me and finding me despite life's circumstances. Are you going to seek me in this situation?" 

How I needed that dose of truth—and the humor!

In the moment, I had allowed my circumstances to block my ability to see God and what He wanted to show me—to trust Him. So as He often does, God put my perspective back on Him. I realized that He had arranged this entire mystery so that I'd learn this valuable lesson: to seek Him when things don’t turn out as planned. To choose His plans instead of my own.

I laugh about it now because truly, it was such a small detail and I allowed myself to get so worked up about it. I love how God sent me some Tupperware, instead of the books I had planned on, because He knew I needed the lesson. And it’s a lesson I still need to be reminded of from time to time.

God has spoken that same question to my heart over and over when my plans don’t turn out: “Are you going to seek me in this?” He shows me that He’s in control of every situation we encounter in this life, that nothing is too big for Him. We can choose to let our circumstances overwhelm us or we can choose to seek Him and go along with His plans. Let's choose the latter.

Be sure to let me know if He ever sends you some Tupperware too!

Tickets to Restore: Soul Care for Moms are on sale until May 15th! Get yours here.

I also launched my online shop over the weekend! You can check it out here.

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