“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
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” ~ Proverbs 19:21
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” ~ Ephesians 2:10
We all make plans don’t we? We map out trips… or college career paths… or the menu for the week. Then, we go about the work necessary to make the plans come together like we want them to. In our minds, once we make the plans that’s it. There is no further discussion about what the actual plan itself will be. From that point on we only focus on the things necessary to make our plans happen. Right?
I’ve been guilty of doing this too. January is always a time of goal setting and plan making for me. I’ve made plans and went to great lengths to make sure they happened…only 99% of the time they never do come to fruition. I can remember Greg and I talking about our five year goals last January. That discussion is so clear in my head today. We had made some big goals and we had planned to reach several milestones…together. And that’s what I have struggled with so much lately. There is no ‘together’ anymore. There isn’t a family plan or dreams that we want to reach together. All those plans and ideas we talked about are only memories now.
This month I have asked myself what goals and plans I have for the year 2016. Just being able to ask myself this is HUGE. Please realize how huge this is…for anyone who is drowning in grief. Just the mere fact that any of us are willing to admit that plans still do exist is enormous. You need to get that…completely, totally, and fully. Why? Because it influences what you do or don’t say to a person who is grieving. Guard your TONGUE and be extremely cautious with your words. They can’t be taken back…and they won’t be easily forgotten.
Anyway, setting new goals and making new plans for the girls and myself has taken on a whole new meaning this year. Greg and I always prayed for God’s will to be done in our lives, but I don’t know if we really entrusted the actual plans to Him. I guess we were kinda selfish about what WE wanted. We asked God to bless the plans WE made, but did we ask God what HIS plans for us were? No, I can honestly say we didn’t. We just went with what we felt was right and hoped that it worked out.
So much for that kind of thinking! This year I can see that it doesn’t matter what kind of plans we make for ourselves…if we don’t ask God what His plans are for our lives it doesn’t matter. I never saw me sitting here without Greg this time last year. I never entertained the thought that the plans Greg and I made would be shattered to pieces that day in September. I also never saw me writing so freely for all of the world to see.
This whole writing thing is from God. I am just as surprised as everyone else by the words I read on my screen after I sit down and start typing. I am equally blown away by how much He is speaking to me through the words He is giving me to say. I stand in awe of His goodness and mercy…and I am terrified. I don’t know what dreams are inside of me. I don’t know where God is taking me and I don’t know what His plans are for me. The only thing I am absolutely certain of is this: He knows the plans He has for me. Jeremiah 29:11 promises me that the Lord has plans laid out just for me. Ephesians 2:10 tells me that He had those plans made before I was ever formed in my mother’s womb. Guess what? That’s awesome!
Allowing myself to write…seeking out the time to write…and then hitting the Publish button is forcing me to step out of my comfort zone. I pray that God uses me to fulfill His plans and by doing so I will find hope and a future that will be exactly what God wanted when he created me. I won’t even lie…I still do not understand why I had to give Greg up. The soul searing sadness I feel daily almost makes my knees buckle at times. I can’t see how any of this could possibly be for my good, but His word tells me that His ways are not my ways and His thoughts are not my thoughts. I have to be content with that knowledge. I also have to be brave…and patient…and obedient. None of which is easy!
I am sure that God will let me know what I need to know when the time comes. For now, I am just willing to let him lead me where He wants me to go. I don’t have a plan. I don’t know nor do I foresee where He will take this new adventure. All I can do is trust Him and do what He has called me to do with the gifts He has given me. We are all called to this purpose. I hope you will join me in asking God what His plans are for your life this year. It’s a crazy wild ride, but the peace that comes with just doing what He wants us to do is worth facing every fear we must face to get here. Trust me…if I can do it…so can you!
Your words inspire me daily! I am constantly waiting for the next post and can’t take my eyes away until I am done reading it and I don’t even like to read! I recently just lost my mother and I am grieving and trying to find a way to “move on” however reading your posts makes me realize just how very blessed I am that I still have my wonderful husband of 18 years and my 2 daughters. He is my best friend I couldn’t imagine the pain you feel. I pray for you and your girls often and although personally I don’t know yall I feel like I have known yall forever through reading about your life and I love Yall very much. I pray God blesses yall and comforts yall like only he can.
Thank you Jessica ! Please know we pray for y’all as well. No matter who it was that died….our grief is still a lot to bear at times. And, thanks for being so encouraging!