I’m a planner….a serious and dedicated planner.
I planned the birth of my first child. I planned my role on the PTA before that child was born. I planned my career path. I planned my type of husband. I planned where I would live. (Hey, go hard or go home! Right?)
Fortunately, none of these events unfolded the way I planned. My first child was scheduled for five years after I got married. She was born the year after I was married. My husband’s daily life is not what I anticipated. I have lived in some interesting places, and on and on. If my life unfolded the way I planned, I would miss/lose sooo much. It took many years of my planning however, to come to this conclusion.
Instead, while dealing with the periodic deviations to my plans, I questioned God. I wondered if He loved me. I wondered if He heard my prayers. I wondered if I should even keep praying. At times I felt upset, discouraged, and helpless. Thankfully, I discovered that when I stopped focusing on myself (i.e. why not me, why not now, why aren’t things progressing according to my plans), and instead focused on God, things made sense, life was worth living, I felt better, and I experienced joy and peace.
You see, I believe in the sovereignty of God. That is, God is in control and rules over all things; that nothing happens without his permission, His authority. My beliefs and my actions however, were not in sync. You see, not only was I a planner, I also appointed myself as God’s helper, his project manager for my life. God was (and still is), sovereign but in my actions I decided that God needed help in fulfilling my life timeline. Yes, I know, a tad presumptuous. (Clearly God is merciful…y’all keep praying for me 😀). So I finally decided to resign my self appointment and surrender my plans in light of God’s plans. I finally believed and trusted that I am God’s masterpiece and that He has good things planned for me (Ephesians 2:10)
Today, standing in a place of repentance, reflection, prayer, joy, and peace, here are three things I learned.
(1) In my obsessive planning and subsequent disappointment, questioning, and depressive state, I was denying the sovereignty of God.
(2) God will wait for you to come to yourself and return to the path where He is the leader, (picture a tour guide leading a group).
(3) He really has this (my life, your life, this world), all figured out.
Prayer: Today, I encourage you to trust God. Trust that He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Trust that he really has good plans for you, plans for a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Trust that He knows you (Psalm 139:1). Trust that everything in your life will work together for good (Romans 8:28). Lastly, maybe today you can take a break from planning your life. Stop trying to control it all. Maybe today you can let God be God in your life. Friends, today let’s be still and reflect on the fact that He is God (Psalm 46:10a). And when you have reflected and meditated on His promises try to move to a place of thanksgiving and worship (Psalm 136).
Lord, help us to trust you and to believe that you love us and take delight in us. Today, we surrender our lives to you. We thank you for your everlasting love.
Dr. Reneé A. Foyou
Reneé loves to listen to, document, and share individual life stories. She is also very passionate about journeying with couples and individuals to relational wellness. Intercessory prayer is an integral part of her work. She enjoys teaching, speaking, counseling, coaching, mentoring, conducting research, and writing.
You can learn more about Reneé’s work here.