• Kara Abernathy

Change of Plans

I surprised my husband Josh with a personalized bucket list book for our wedding. Inside was a gift certificate to take a romantic hot air balloon ride at sunset. This gift had all the best intentions – prioritizing something memorable, creating adventure, and tapping into Josh’s spontaneous side. I was so excited to give him this gift.

The downside? We have yet to take the hot air balloon ride almost eight months later.

Sometimes the things we are most excited about are the hardest to accomplish. Sometimes there are circumstances that are out of our control.

You see, we have had two different hot air balloon rides canceled due to weather. The first one we scheduled was for a couple of months after our wedding (July) and the heat was too extreme. The rest of the summer dates were booked when we tried to figure out a time to re-schedule. Since I’m a teacher and Josh is in residency, it was hard to find another date that would work with both of our work schedules during the school year.

We finally found an October weekend date to take our romantic sunset ride. We convinced ourselves the fall trees would be even more magical at sunset than the summer scenery. We were so excited! Then, the October date had high winds. It was unsafe. Our money was returned, and we will have to wait until next season. We are hopefully going to be able to go during this upcoming spring, almost a year after I gave Josh the present.

For my type-A personality, it bums me out when plans fall through. I grow impatient when waiting. I love making plans, especially adventurous ones, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how much I plan. I can’t control the weather or Josh’s work schedule or mine.

All of us are continually adjusting our plans. Unforeseen circumstances arise, and we must change our schedules. As a newlywed, I’ve figured out that trying to mesh two schedules together presents challenges. We both have commitments and priorities and expectations about downtime. It’s tough!

I now understand the benefit of sharing a Google calendar. When I check the calendar to plan more events for us, I have to remind myself that I need to find a balance between planning and going with the flow.

In the excitement of the new year, it’s also enticing to set resolutions. I’m all for it. If you want to set a goal or focus on a specific area of growth for 2019, more power to you! But when resolutions fail or plans change, where do we turn instead of feeling discouraged? Where do we go when we are stuck waiting? Where do run when we crave certainty?

If you’ve read anything I’ve posted before, you know I will say we should turn to God. We need to turn to the One who has ultimate authority over all of our plans – silly, spontaneous, or serious. Only He has the ability to transform our confusion into clarity.

While I’m all for creating adventure, I also need to be all for submitting whatever plan I’ve made for one that God intends. He establishes my steps. He works everything out for my good and His glory.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9).

So let’s hold our big plans loosely in our hands. I’m not just talking about our fun date ideas. I’m talking about our career paths, family decisions, and finances. God can handle even the toughest areas of our lives, and when we submit to His timing and His way, it leaves us with more peace and less anxiety.

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
when he delights in his way;
Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the LORD upholds his hand” (Ps. 37:23-24).

God will help us use our decisions for His glory. When we hold our own plans loosely and allow Him to take control, He upholds our hand. He guides those who delight in Him. Plus, even if we fall – even if circumstances are out of our control like hot heat or windy weather – we will not stay on the ground. Isn’t that reassuring?

To me, the idea that God upholds me brings comfort, support, and strength. It creates a sense of reassurance. The important thing to remember is that God upholds us to accomplish His purposes, not our own purposes.

When we have a heart that desires to accomplish His purposes, we are more likely to see failed resolutions or unmet plans in the proper light. God has our steps determined. He will take care of us.

Let’s remember that God has got us in 2019. He knows our plans, but even better, He has a greater plan – the best plan. He longs to grab our heart’s attention long enough for us to realize that submitting to His plan is the best way to live.

Set some dates in the calendar. Go for the big adventure! And in the meantime, in the waiting, remember that God has you.

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© 2019 Kara Abernathy

Disclaimer: my thoughts do not necessarily reflect the thoughts of my employer.

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