This isn’t what I had planned…

For weeks I planned this photo of my grandkids in their new, matching Mickey and Minnie jammies we were giving them for Christmas. I envisioned them sitting in order from 8-year-old Bauer down to 1-year-old Mathis, but knew that wasn’t realistic. So I opted for girls on one side (the three of them are definitely “besties”) and boys on the other (with the two older brothers keeping track of their little brothers).

It seemed like a good plan. Who would have thought that asking 4-year-old Callie to put on her Minnie socks would be so traumatic? Or that 6-year-old Benjamin would be exhausted waiting two minutes for us to take the shot? Or that 2-year-old Jack couldn’t face forward for ten seconds?

Oh well, I gave you something to smile about today, right?

This is a humorous example of plans gone awry, but it’s not particularly funny when life plans get sidetracked by health crises, financial struggles, marriage difficulties or other stresses. Believe me, I haven’t been laughing for the past eight months as my husband and I have faced one health ordeal after another.

For him: A failed knee replacement, which led to more surgeries, a long stint in residential rehab,  weeks of daily I.V. antibiotics and another round of PT.  For me: Lyme disease, then a broken wrist requiring surgery and complicated by a nerve injury leading to many months of therapy–still not completed! Oh, and just for good measure, all the “traumas” I’ve faced caused cardiac issues necessitating weeks of heart tests and monitoring (so far everything looks good and it’s “just” supra ventricular tachycardia).

Plans for summer vacation were thrown out the window. Fly fishing outings were shelved. Fall speaking engagements were put on hold and then spring ones, too. Invites to host new friends for dinner were postponed. Desires to start a women’s Bible study were forgotten.

And instead, a new plan was made…trust God even when life isn’t going the way we had planned. My author-friend Carol Kent understands how I feel as she writes in her wonderful new devotional, He Holds My Hand:

“You have an agenda that seems right, and your natural inclination is to develop a strategy that seems practical, predictable, and timely. It’s easier for you to trust Him when everything makes sense and you can foresee a positive outcome. However, there are times when He will interrupt your carefully made plans and ask you to do something that makes no sense.

“Always remember God’s great love for you and His desire to give you opportunities to minister to others along the way. Often, the most important appointment in your day will come disguised as an unwanted disruption. Some people around you need to learn from you, and He will bring others into your life to help you find renewed hope and fresh faith.” #HeHoldsMyHand

OK, Carol, I’m looking forward to my occupational therapy appointment today as a chance to continue talking about spiritual things with my hand specialist while he tries to ease my chronic pain and swelling. And I’m thanking God for dear friends who call and cheer me up just when I need it most.

Has God allowed your plans to be interrupted? Perhaps, you’ll join me in trusting Him while looking for new opportunities to share and receive His great love. The Message paraphrase of Proverbs 3:5,6 makes it clear: Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’S voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

P.S. We never got a good shot of all seven grands together, but here’s a couple pretty sweet ones separately.

Please open the music video below in your browser to enjoy: “Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle

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