What do you do when things don’t go according to plan? (According to your plan anyway) Yesterday (Sunday) I sat down to write my blog post for marriage Monday (today) and my website was down. It was an issue with my server and there was nothing I could do. I just had to wait. I’m not the best at waiting. When things don’t go according to plan I usually try to adjust the plan to get things going smoothly again. But that usually does not work either. The only thing that seems to produce is stress. And last time I checked I don’t think that was listed as a Fruit of the Spirit!?
Galatians 5:22-23. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I am a planner. God knows this. He challenges me in this daily. I am learning that I can’t really make plans if they don’t involve Him. I know that sounds simple but think about it… how often do we make plans throughout the day that don’t involve God? I do this with everything from what to cook for dinner to the more serious stuff like looking for a job. When God is not involved, in even the simple things, life is more complicated. When God is your focus and is at the center of your thoughts… peace flows like a river.
Several times over the past week God has brought the picture of a river to my mind. On my evening walk, at church, and even during a fun night with friends playing Catch Phrase! God wants to be involved in every detail of our lives because He Loves us so much. He absolutely wants to be involved in your marriage. Loving another person like Jesus Loves us is not possible without Jesus. Another thing that sounds so simple but if we are not letting Jesus Love on us every day how can we expect to be able to show Love to our Husbands (wives)?
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 13:15 “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
1 John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
When things don’t go according to plan I get uncomfortable.
The birth of our daughter did not go as planned. Not even close. She was born a month early after I was induced due to high liver enzymes. Basically my liver and the placenta were not getting along. My liver enzyme levels were over 1000 when they should have been in the 40-60 range. We were admitted to the hospital on a Friday afternoon after being called back with the test results from my blood work they had done that morning after my 36 week check up. The call woke me up from a nap. Talk about a “wake up call”. We were in the hospital 6 long days and 5 very uncomfortable nights. Those beds were made for delivering babies and not for sleeping. The bed was not the only uncomfortable thing. Things not going according to plan was uncomfortable too. But God was our comfort.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.
While in the Hospital I underwent about 6 or 7 unexplainably painful procedures. I say “about 6 or 7” because I am not sure. Those are the ones I can remember. As I have been attempting to write out my birth story to share here I am learning that I have blocked a lot of it out. It was the most painful week of my life. It was the most unplanned week of my life. It was the most blessed week of my life. It may not have felt that way then and it may have taken me over a year to notice it, but God blessed that week.
During that week I saw my husband Love me and care for me like he never had before. I saw family faces awaken with the joy of a new baby on the horizon. I saw our family step up in ways to help us that I never thought possible. I saw myself hold our new born baby girl after I was in labor for 70 hours and then pushed for 3. It felt like the baby would never come. But God’s timing is perfect and after being in a rotation of on call Doctors, for several days, our doctor was able to deliver our baby. God provided the right Doctors and nurses at the right time for us. God put the right people in the delivery room at the right time. God had people visit, text, and call at the right time. God is so good and so loving.
When we left the hospital with our new sweet teeny tiny bundle of joy I was certain I would never give birth again. The pain of those procedures, the labor, and the delivery had been too much. I was open to adoption but birth… nope. That was my plan, not God’s. No, for those of you jumping to conclusions, I am not pregnant. (haha) I am, however, open to the possibility. If I were pregnant right now I would be ok. If it had happened 6 months ago I would have been freaking out. And I don’t mean in a good way. Just ask any of my “Forever Sisters” that I have studied scripture with and worshiped with over the past 2 years. Their prayers (along with many others) carried me through. They were only able to carry me because I let them in. They have literally seen the fear on my face at the thought of being pregnant again. Now, if that is His plan, I’ll be ok.
I’ve been so worried about having to do it all again when I didn’t even do it the first time. He is the only reason I made it through all of what I went through. He is the reason I am still standing and enjoying motherhood now. God delivered more than a baby the day Sarah was born. We are still harvesting the fruit that was produced during that week in the Hospital. God is not done yet. If that is what happens when things don’t go according to (my) plan… I’m ok with that.
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8)
“the plans of the LORD stand firm forever” (Psalm 33:11)
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Prov. 16:9)
“many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Prov. 19:21)