Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Plan on God

You'd think a girl like me would learn. 

So many times I fall prey to the thought that if I plan everything just right, pick the perfect flowers, create a virtual oasis, that my plans will naturally fall into place just as beautifully as I pictured it in my mind. I so know better than that, and yet there I was with my grand ol' ideas, being a complete pain to my husband to help me get everything neat and rushing him out of the house because all my girls were coming over. 

I bet God was having a mighty laugh watching me run around the house knowing I was in for it big time. You know the saying "You make plans and God laughs", right? Yah well, I'm pretty sure whoever came up with that one was thinking of just my type. 

Spot on my friend. spot. on. 

It is absolutely true he laughs, and this time it must have been one of those good hearty ones that makes your stomach feel like you've done 100 crunches and you're basically crying.

First, let me briefly explain what I thought was going to happen and then we can get into what actually happened.

My plan was to have six of my friends over for the (in)RL virtual conference. We were going to watch the videos, bond over Q&A time and the craft project I went to 3 different stores to get all the supplies for, have tea and lots of chocolate, and it was going to be amazing!

Now here's what actually happened:

It was 5:30pm. I was rushing to slap on some makeup and then I hear my husband announce that someone was arriving. Immediately I switch into overdrive and settle for a little foundation, bronzer, and mascara. 

As I come out of my bedroom I see my first guest; the girl who
co-leads with me in our church's high school youth group. Her and I exchange hello's and I go into the office to make sure the site is up, ready to stream as soon as the rest of the ladies are all settled in. On my way back to the living room I give a quick look-see at the dining table a.k.a craft station; everything precise and orderly? Yes!

Time is passing, minute-after-minute goes by, and no one else is showing up. I check my Facebook and there it was; six confirmed. Frantically, I send texts to the ladies saying I can't wait to see them and if they're on their way.

Several more minutes pass- no response. Then I decide that maybe it's better I call them…so I did, and call after call I got "Oh, I'm so sorry I'm not going to make it." My eyes fell on the mason jars I'd reserved for each of them...one by one, they became extras, of no use anymore. 

I held it together and tried to say as confidently as I could, "It's okay, it's totally fine." Although, in my heart I didn't really feel okay. I felt heart broken. All my plans were falling apart!

After calling the last of my friends, my husband walks over and I break the news that everyone has canceled. He comes over and gives me a hug and asks if I'm okay. Holding back tears, I say I'm fine and I'm just going to go ahead with what I planned. I gather myself and head to the living room where my one guest was patiently waiting. I let her know it was just going to be us with the biggest smile I could muster.

My husband leaves as I head over to the office and start playing the first video. As I'm sitting down she looks over and says that it'd be so much more comfortable to have some sweats on. I agree, and we both change into our sweats and resume the video.

What happened next, there was absolutely no way I could have planned for. 

This girl and I were not close, we pretty much served together and not much else. I really didn't know her very much at all...but then, as each of the speakers shared their stories, slowly we began to laugh and make comments to one another about this and that that we thought was funny or relatable. Then we got to the questions, and suddenly we were crying, and I was sharing things not even my best girl friends know about. A girl I barely knew, I now looked across from me and saw as my sister. It's as if I had a new set of eyes and just saw her in a completely different light, full of beauty and through the eyes of Christ. 

Even now that moment brings tears to my eyes because I am still so in awe of the beautiful way in which God works. 

I had planned this big thing and God flipped it completely upside down to create a space for her and I to bond on a level I couldn't have prepared for. There are truly no words to describe how humbling and profound it was for me.

Through the course of the conference and doing the craft project, we got to learn more about each other through the stories of these women from all over and found our common threads. 

The focus of (in)RL is to gain perspective on community and find it for ourselves in real life{hope I got that right..lol}. 

I thought I knew what community was, that it meant having this huge group of women around me, and what I learned was that community can be forged even with just one person if you open your heart and let God do his thing. 

Truth is I was getting in the way by trying to make my own plans, but He had the last say in this one, and I'm so glad he did because I gained a new sister for whom I have grown to have such a heart for and all because of (in)RL. In Matthew 18:20 it says:

For where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.
I should have known this about community, this wasn't the first time I heard or read this verse, and yet I completely missed it. Plain as day, in black and white, right in front of my face.

So, for any of you out there that are chronic OCD "planners" like me, loosen up those reins, and just plan on God. Submit your plans to him, he will show up, no RSVP required. Allow it and witness for yourself his wonder, because that very person you think you have so little in common with could be the very one that you need more of in your life.

Let's be in the Spirit my friends, have an awesome rest of your week!




  1. Ah girl, you got it JUST right :) So glad God created that safe space for you to relax, to share, and to see Him in the midst of it all!

    1. He works in the most amazing ways, it blows my mind :) Your story was actually the beginning of us sparking an awesome talk, really opening ourselves to one another. Thank you for your courage in sharing your story and for your authenticity. God used you in our lives in such a special way. Bless you {sending you a huge hug`!}

  2. so awesome! I'm glad that God created a place for you and her to fellowship, get to one another more deeply, and in trying to hard for Him...He adjusts our perspective...I have that happen all the time. We strive. He loves. We plan. He shows purpose.

    1. Thank you :) it's so nice to hear "me too!" <-- the me-too's that @HolleyGerth talked about. You said it so right, I totally get invested..or in this case over-invested..but ever so gently he straightened my path and made something so beautiful bloom out of it.

  3. I'm really encouraged by the story you shared... God continually shows me that even when things seem to fall apart, they are often falling right into place!

    1. So glad it was encouraging to you too...and you're so right! His ways and his timing will always trump even our best efforts, this we know but when we're in the middle of it- man! What can I say but that I'm a work in progress :))

  4. :'(
    I feel bad about not being able to make it. But I'm glad it worked out so well. (Hanging my head and leaving now.)

    1. Oh no, please don't feel bad. I absolutely missed having you there but it wasn't your fault at all, plus it was a complete blessing in disguise. You were a part of His perfect plan :) I love you always! xxoo