Remember those memes from the later half of 2020? My favorite one was “I’m not buying a 2021 planner until I’ve seen the trailer.”
And we all laugh then sigh because for many of us, this year has felt like a continuation of 2020.
At least, that’s how I felt as I pushed my son’s stroller while on a mid-afternoon stroll around the neighborhood.
The breeze had gotten cooler, and the leaves were changing colors, and here I was. Walking up and down the same streets I’ve been walking now for a year and a half, and I found myself lamenting. All the traditions we couldn’t honor, the vacations we couldn’t take, the loved ones we were barely seeing…all because of the various disruptions we’ve faced since 2020 and then some. It’s so easy to go down the rabbit hole of shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Til a leaf fell right in front of me. The Chicken Little inside of me wanted to scream, “the sky is falling!” But the truth is, I was. I had been so entrenched in my own thoughts and the disappointment of not getting to see my plans through. My plans. Unchecked boxes.
“God, didn’t you say you had a plan for me?” I began my prayer.
“I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Isn’t it funny how we can have multiple plans for ourselves, but limit God to having only one plan for us? That when things don’t go our way, we think He’s failed us, and then doubt anything good can come from this? As if the creator of grace and mercy weren’t allowed the same grace and mercy for….not following our plans. The first Conviction.
God spoke again. “For I know the plans I have for you.”
The second conviction. HE has plans for us. The Author of Life wrote out plans. Not back-up plans, not plan A, plan B, and plan C. But plans that He can work through all of our situations to prosper us and give us a hope and a future.
The questions we get to ask ourselves now are:
- Are we willing to surrender the pen?
- Do we trust Him to see His plans through?
- Do we trust that His plans are good?
- Do we trust that His plans are better than our own?
Be honest, and then after pondering those questions, meditate with me on this: If our Good Father wrote those plans, then He is also the owner of those plans. He is the investor, the architect, the supplier, the builder, the owner, and the resident….inviting us to join Him.
As I made the trek back home on an uphill climb, I noticed how much harder I had to work to not only push myself, but to push my son’s stroller, just to get home. Meanwhile, my little boy was giggling as each breeze kissed his cheek, enjoying the journey, and trusting that the path Mommy put him on would lead him to the comforts of his home.
What if that’s how our Father meant it? For us to live in confidence in the vehicles of our lives and our bodies, living joyfully, and knowing that He’s going to get us there. He doesn’t mind the uphill climb. He’s already conquered it.
Yes, there’s no shame in grieving the lives we miss or the lives we thought we should’ve or could’ve had. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned since our lives changed in March 2020, it’s that I wouldn’t want to live a life where He wasn’t in it.