Wedding plans have come to an end, which means I have time to write again, thankfully!
Speaking of planning… I have been wrestling with the idea of plans over the past couple of days because I love it too much. Flipping to a new week on my hourly planner fills me with joy because all of the open space my eyes quickly greet on the pages. I soon realize how much space I have to fill up with coffee dates, meetings, and designated time for laundry, because now I have a husband and the loads have quite simply doubled 🙂
On top of the weekly planning, I try to plan out the rest of my life. What dream job can I pursue over the next couple of weeks? How many months will we wait until we bring a puppy into our Hochstedler Home? How many years will we wait until we welcome children into our family?
I know, I know. I am getting ahead of myself, but this is truly how my brain works.
I begin planning what the next years of my life will entail. But what I don’t plan for is the bumps that will surely come, the hills that will be climbed, and the fact that maybe all of my plans will not come to fruition.
I am realizing how dangerous planning out each hour and moment of life can be because it leaves no room for God to move.
What if I planned one hour of time to myself in black ink on my planner, so it cannot be removed easily? Time to sit on my front porch and sip on a steaming hot cup of coffee out of my favorite mug while reading the next chapter in my current book The Gospel Comes with a Housekey and my neighbor comes over with a loaf of freshly baked banana bread and a heart that needs cheering up?
What if I gave myself only five minutes to run into Aldi to pick up a pound of chicken and a bundle of sweet potatoes for dinner that night, and all the sudden, I turn a corner and see an old friend I hadn’t seen in years but realize her back is to me. Instead of stopping to hear how her heart is truly doing, I keep on walking because I have a schedule I need to stay on?
What is the rush? Why am I always in a hurry? If I know the people in my life are more important than the cup of coffee in my hand or the small grocery list and long to-do list sitting inside of my purse, why are the priorities in my heart unbalanced?
Honestly, it hurts my heart to see that sometimes my mind works like this, but it’s just the reality of my selfish, sinful flesh that causes me to be rooted in patterns like this.
But I don’t want to be rooted in patterns of my own plans, I want to be rooted in the plans of my unchanging, unshakable, loving and just God.
Sometimes, I think God loves to wreck the plans we have for ourselves because he tends to have far greater plans than any we could ask or think of (Eph. 3:20). After all, in Proverbs he says, “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9).
I serve a loving Father who is higher and stronger than I, who knows infinitely more about myself, my life, and all of life in general than to let his child run on her own meaningless schedule.
When my plans get “wrecked” by an awesome God,
Instead of impatience I pray for joy
Instead of frustration I pray for compassion
Instead of my schedule to persevere I pray for God’s schedule to take over.
And I know this will take time. Because a pattern of sin that has ruled my entire life does not just happen overnight. It might even take an entire lifetime to feel like these prayers are my reality, my go-to thoughts and emotions, my new pattern of life.
But please do not miss what I am saying here, planning and preparing for the future weeks and years is so good, and even biblical.
Think about it. When Jesus came to this broken world to bear all of humanity’s sin so that those who put their trust in Him could live in paradise with Him forever, there was a plan at hand. A plan to die on a bloody piece of wood for you and for me. A plan to reveal to everyone that He truly was God, by rising three days later victoriously (John 3:16, Luke 24:45-47).
But I think when our plans become the king of our lives, instead of God himself, as the King of our lives, we are in danger.
So instead of filling the empty white spaces in my planner with the ink of my own desires, I will choose to leave them blank and trust that God knows how to fill my time much greater than I ever will.
I will choose to ask the King of my heart what he might have planned for me in this day, instead of asking myself what me has planned for me.
And I hope that this only encourages you to do the same, to make Jesus’s promises the ultimate plan of your life and trust that He will allow all things to fall into place, just the way they are supposed to.
From my beating, joyful heart to yours… I pray that this can be the anthem of your heart too.