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Letting Go of Plans in 2020

Letting Go of Plans in 2020

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. — Proverbs 19:21

My husband still teases me about my huge wedding notebook from 23 years ago.

I’m a planner, you see, and during our engagement I kicked into overdrive. I organized every detail, and as my wedding notebook thickened, my husband began to search for the biggest 3-ring binder possible.

He found one at Office Depot – a notebook so large that it cost $25 and grew insanely heavy as I filled it with plans inside.

It sounds ridiculous, but truthfully, being a planner has served me well. It served all of us well in the past, especially here in America – the land of overachievers – where planning enables success. Planning lets us juggle 10,000 demands. It makes our homes and lives run smoother. It gives us a track to run on – and offers a false sense of control.

Because, as 2020 has proven, our plans can be ripped out from under us. Our plans are subject to God’s will and timing. Even the best laid tracks don’t guarantee success.

Life is far more unpredictable than we like to believe.

It is unsettling, isn’t it? We have countless decisions to make, yet we can’t even plan on a normal school year or a simple trip to the store. We can’t look beyond next week. We feel stuck, worried, and scared. Even if we acclimate to uncertainty and brace for more change, we can still have a pit in our stomach that comes from not knowing what curve ball might be next.

Will the pandemic get worse? Will my family stay healthy? Are we destined for doom and gloom as the media predicts? Will the chaos and hostility compound as the presidential election approaches?

The gravity of the unknown is overwhelming.

And thankfully we have God and the unshakeable hope of Christ.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says,

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

There is no plan or road map to navigate the challenges of 2020, but God is with us. He isn’t surprised or caught off-guard. He has a plan for humanity and each one of us – a plan that can’t be thwarted by even the strangest twist of events.

As a planner I am learning to make fewer plans. I add a “God willing” to the plans I do make. I’ve been humbled into a state of surrender and trusting God to work out the details. I’m finding peace in the security of Christ.

It feels odd, yet relieving. I have more energy to enjoy the present because I’m not consumed by plans for the future. I feel lighter without the burden of assuming it all depends on me. I’ve seen God at work in me and my family and so much bonding that has come from our extra time together.

At the same time, I crave normalcy. I wish my high school senior daughter could have a traditional senior year. I want all the milestones for her, yet disappointments are likely. There will probably be heartache and tears, yet my plan is to celebrate her no matter what the school year brings. This is her last year at home, and rather than waste it being angry and sad, I want to enjoy her and finish strong.

Thankfully, Jesus can bring peace even in chaotic times. He tells us in John 16:33,

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

His peace transcends all understanding. It brings comfort when there is no plan.

My wedding day notebook symbolized my need to control. It was physically heavy, but more often, it’s the plans we build in our mind that are mentally and emotionally heavy. They snowball into expectations of what we think our lives should look like. Sometimes the healthiest choice is to set our plans aside and open our hands to God’s present grace. He gives us what we need, and as we rest and trust in that, as we give thanks for our blessings today, we find a peace that transpires circumstances and an intimacy with God that isn’t subject to change.

Written for Devotionals Daily by Kari Kampakis, author of Love Her Well.

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Your Turn

We have to learn to let go of our plans. Especially now. God’s got it all in His capable hands anyway, right? Even if things don’t go as we expected or wanted, He still has a beautiful plan! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily