What’s the Plan?
Let’s talk about plans. We all have them. The five-year plan, the 15-year plan. Whether written down or just dreamed about in our heads, we have an expectation of what will happen in our future.
For the past 15 years, I have felt the dissonance that comes from dreaming about a plan, praying for it, trusting, and weeping over it. Mine is Husband and Family. You may have other plans. A new career, to see a family member saved, have a child, be healed, get into your dream school, write a book. Endless possibilities and dreams.
When I was young, I had a life-verse. You probably know it.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Surely this meant that his plan for my future would align with my hope and desires. Hmmm. That’s not quite how it’s played out for me. How about you?
As you would expect, I became immune, even a bit cynical, to these scriptures over time. My experience didn’t match up with what I thought the words meant. I have spent the better part of two years fighting in an all-out battle to not lose hope for my plan, my desires, my timetable. The last eight months have been intense.
Change the Emphasis
One morning a month ago, as I was waking up, I heard my life verse. But it was different because I heard and felt God speak it to me this time in a new way. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
All these years, I have had the emphasis wrong. Hope and future were my focus, yet this day, he said the emphasis was “I know the plans…” As in… “Not you, Leanna.”
To say I was shocked was an understatement. Had I really spent all these years praying for my plan in this one area of my life? I’ve prayed for his will and plan in many other areas, but having a husband and family felt like a given, that’s my desire, that’s my hope for the future. Certainly a good Father would give that to me ASAP. Right?
Do you remember when I told you a few weeks ago that journaling can help you see themes about what the Lord is speaking to you? (Check it out here if you missed it.) The day I woke up to Jeremiah 29:11, I decided to reread parts in my journal. Do you know what God had said just one night previous, after I was asking him about my future? Here’s what I wrote down. “You cannot know everything I know, all I have planned.”
Do you think it’s a coincidence that Jeremiah 29:11 was how he chose to wake me up the following morning? Later that same day, as I was reading the last page of a fiction novel, wouldn’t you know it? That’s right, Jeremiah 29:11 on the last page. It stole my breath away. A few days later at Cracker Barrel with my parents, I walked by a journal. What was on the cover? Yep, same verse. I’ve been doing a Bible reading plan for a year. Where did the plan take me in a few days time? Jeremiah 29.
Over and over my Father repeating to me “For I know the plans…Leanna.”
I’d be kind of dense if I didn’t start suspecting that maybe his plan for me was different than what I expected. In the past few weeks I’ve been asking him, what’s your plan for me, Abba? Here are a few of his answers:
“You’ve been living a half-life. Waiting for your plan to unfold. I’ve been waiting for you to set down your plan. Take up your cross and my plan. Follow me.”
“Leave the fear behind you when you step out, and Go!”
This next adventure in my life, his plan, requires a great deal of trust that he is good and his plan is for my good.
I pray that today you will take a moment to hold your desires and plan in open hands before him, and ask, “Abba, is my plan aligned with yours? And if not, help me to surrender to your will for my life.”
We all know that Papa knows best. Let’s trust that his plan for our future is good!
I would love to hear your thoughts about what God is telling you or how you think he might have a new plan in mind for you. Feel free to post a comment below. 😀
Next week, I’d like to dig deeper into the desires of our heart. Sneak peak – I do think God wants to give us the desires of our heart, AND I think that can look differently or be on a different timeline than we want. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about that, too!
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