I won’t pretend I know all there is to know about life. I don’t and I’m not sure I ever will, which I think is the whole point. What I do know about life, is that things do not always go according to plan. Things don’t always pan out the way you would like them to. For those of us who live by plans, lists, and time frames, this is one of the most frustrating parts of living.
I planned my life from the time I was little, like maybe age 9. I had goals. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to be a teacher of some form. I wanted to write. I wanted to marry someone I truly loved, and I wanted an old house to live in. I wanted trees in my yard, and I wanted to travel.
Almost fifteen years later, I have a few of those things, but not all. I am married to someone I am truly, deeply in love with. I live in a fantastic old house, with a huge backyard (with like 5 trees!), and I went to college. I write, which I am not convinced that makes me a writer, but a girl can dream. I haven’t traveled, and I am not a teacher, but I did teach dance classes for several years.
If I had stuck to my plan, I would have graduated college two years ago, a newlywed, and I would be preparing a lesson plan right now. I would be writing a book on a fancy laptop, and I would have gone to London by now, for sure. I would have done a lot.
As it happens, I am doing none of those things. I am writing on my couch, in my fantastic old house, on my phone because my laptop won’t start. I work part-time at an office, full of some the funniest, sweetest people and this year I’ll celebrate my third wedding anniversary. I have not been to London, nor is that in the cards for the near future. Oh, and I didn’t finish college.
I didn’t follow my plan. I don’t make as much money as I thought I would, and I don’t have a degree. I don’t have a fancy house, and I don’t have a working computer. I don’t have a lot, and on days when I felt crappy, sometimes that gets to me. I wallow, and moan and groan about the broken garage, the money, the degree.
And then I walk outside. I sit in the middle of my huge yard, under my tree and I look up. I look around me and I remember how stupidly blessed I am. I grab some tea, take a deep breath, and make a list of the things I do have, the plans that did work out, the prayers that were answered. I am married to a man who loves me with a fierceness all stories try to capture. I have trees in my yard! I have a job I love and I have a place to live. I have a dog, who makes my days that much brighter. I have a family and friends, who are some of the most loving and beautiful people anywhere. I have a life that was given to me by the most amazing Creator. I have love and I have life.
Your life will not go as planned. You won’t always get that thing you want or pray for, and you will go through hard times. You will not always be happy and you won’t always feel great about your life. You won’t have it all figured out and your plan may fail.
But be confident, friend, because there are things that you do have. I don’t know what those precious things are for you. If that is family, travels, love, a career you love, a talent you have, whatever, you do have something. Something to be thankful for. And you also have something to learn from. Failed or changed plans can often teach us if we take the time to learn, and listen to what they have to teach us.
I’m thankful my plans didn’t turn out the way I wished. Because I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have the experience of learning to live with a change. Life is constantly changing, and I’m thankful that I’m learning how to change with it.
I’ll leave you with this brilliant piece of writing I found a couple of weeks ago:
“There are few sure bets in our lives. There’s no guarantee that our husbands will make it safely home from work or that our children will ever be truly safe at school. No one can promise that our deepest, longest-held dreams will come to fruition, or that next week’s schedule will look the way we think it will. Even financial security is a mirage, bringing new and unexpected uncertainty to the few who attain it. Planning and precautionary measures are well and good, but they do not save us.
When it comes to true certainty, our true living hope is our shared inheritance with Christ. It is the salvation of our souls and the eternal hope that is ours through faith in Jesus.” #SheReadsTruth
Here’s to changed plans.