I hope you’re having a great Sunday!
Let’s talk about plans, shall we.
Merriam Webster defines it as this:
Plan: A method for achieving an end; an often customary way of doing things; a detailed formulation of a program of action; an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective.
The term itself stems partly from the latin word planum meaning ‘level ground’ and from the french word planter meaning ‘to plant’ or ‘fix in place’.
Most of you already know that I am a planner. In fact, I think my middle name is Plan (along with ‘Danger’ of course). For as long as I can remember, I have been this way. I think I was the only sticky-fingered kindergardener who scheduled what they were going to do at recess before even setting foot on the playground. I collected Lisa Frank pocket planners not only because they were, like, the coolest things ever, but because I actually used them to keep track of my homework assignments and daily reminders (Tuesday: HUGE Spelling test–STUDY! Thursday: Eating lunch with Billy at the cool table–remember to bring extra pudding cup to share. Friday: Remember to bring cupcakes for Valentine’s Day party.) I guess I have always liked having a set direction, a course of action. Even though I still consider myself a planner, I have learned to be a bit more spontanious in how I go about my day to days. It’s important to be able to take things as they come and be open to anything and everything. After all, you can schedule and plan and follow everything to a tee, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be thrown a curve ball every now and then. You can only control so much and then you just have to leave the rest to the big guy upstairs (and I’m not talking about your unruly neighbor who finds it necessary to blast Queen at 3AM in the morning while dancing around in his underwear–Mr. Cashaw, I’m talking about you and please, at least consider boxers for the love of Pete.)
What’s that expression? You make plans, and God just laughs?
Speaking of God, he is another person who likes a good plan.
Recently, a couple of things have happened in my life that really got me thinking about the idea of God’s plan. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason; there is a purpose and a meaning behind every action and experience and situation that we are given. I also believe that God has a plan, an amazing and wonderful and exciting plan for each and every one of us. He may not always present this plan in the most blatant and obvious of ways, but it is there. It is most definitely there.
There was a time in my life when I was very angry with God. I didn’t understand why, if he loved me so much, did he allow me to suffer such pain and loneliness, such heartache and loss. For almost ten years, I battled with an eating disorder that took nearly everything from me; my hopes and dreams, my family and friends, my health and my life. How could the Lord allow such a thing to happen to one of his children? Where in the great plan of his did this disease fall? What purpose did it serve? Why? I prayed and prayed, seeking asnwers to these questions. Almost ten years.
We are faced sometimes with a lot of trials and tribulations that make us ask “Why?”
WHY did a soldier, just a boy really who had so much life left to live, die at the hands of war, bravely serving our country?
WHY did a hard-working and comendable father of four lose his job, leaving him and his family scared and homeless?
WHY do truly good and decent people always get handed the bad deck of cards in life?
God’s Plan. It’s not written in bold, flashing letters or is blasted through the earbuds of our i-Pods. Many times we are given obstacles and challenges. We may ask for hints, clues, or inklings as to what our plan is and may not be given absolute and direct answers. We suffer loses, get our hearts broken and have to brush off the dust. We may ask “why” and feel like there will never be an answer.
I guess that is what faith is.
You believe even though you may not hear it.
You believe even though you may not see it.
You believe even when there isn’t a clear answer.
You believe when believing seems impossible.
For almost ten years I prayed. And waited. And prayed. And waited some more. Even though I didn’t understand or knew what it was, I did know that there was a purpose behind everything that I had been through, a reason, a deeper meaning. I kept believing and kept praying and then one day, I finally got an answer. Sitting on the beachy shores of Alabama two months ago, God came to me and told me that it was time. I can’t really explain it to you; it was feeling, an overwhelming sense of hope and inspiration, of encouragement and direction. It was as if he said that I had learned what I needed to learn, that my lesson was up and it was time for me to move on, to heal and to help others.
As much as my eating disorder hindered me, it also changed me for the better, allowing me to grow and learn, shaping my life in ways I could never imagine. I found out how truly strong I am, how incredible my life is, how much I have to look forward to and that I could achieve anything I set my mind to. I built long-lasting and amazing new relationships, rekindled former ones and remembered how awesome my family and friends really are. More importantly, I was able to help, give support and guidance and inspire other people who are going through the same thing that I was. God may not have necessarily handed me a Lisa Frank notebook with an inscribed ‘plan’ on it; I may have had to do a little reading between the lines, but I think part of it was to turn around and use my recovery, my story, as a platform to help others. Maybe he knew that this was something that I could handle and would benefit from someway or somehow in the future. Whatever the details of his plan for me are, I know that I am well on my way to finding out and can’t wait until I do!
For those of your out there who are facing some difficulty in your life right now, who are scared or alone or are left with many unanswered “WHY’s”…
God presents us with opportunities, chances to grow, to learn and to change. He may not always be clear in his meaning and message, but he will always deliver, he will always be there just waiting for the right moment to text you his plan. Be ready for the call 🙂
As for me, I think I am going to leave all the major planning to the big guy upstairs (and no, I am not talking about you, Mr. Chashaw).
Have a great rest of your Sunday, whatever your plans may be 🙂