I’m a planner through and through. When I wake up in the morning, before my feet hit the floor, I’ve run through a mental list of every single thing the day holds. I think through it all while I get ready and by the time I’m dressed, the day is fully and completely planned. It’s in my control, it’s under my jurisdiction.
I’m not just this way with the small things like the Birthday party we’re attending or the doctor’s appointment we need to keep. I’m this way with the long term stuff too. I have it all envisioned, all planned. The time lines are set for when we’ll take a certain vacation or how much we want to start putting away for the kids’ college funds. When I want to start writing more or what I’ll do when we’re empty nesters. All of it, I think of and I plan for and never, ever, ever, is there any space for something to come in and derail it.
Well, that happened a few months back in the form of a positive pregnancy test.
Look at that perfect foot! God does all things well!
We had thought we were done having kids, told everyone we were done, but then God decided that that wasn’t the case and He took things into His own hands. As well he should.
We had begun to envision our future with just two kids and had started to plan for that but, in classic life happens fashion, that was thrown out the window. That was back in February and our lives since then have been a journey from freak-out to peace to complete joy and excitement for baby number three to enter our lives as we’ve learned some beautiful lessons in surrender and the unexpected blessings in God changing our plans.
It’s a funny thing this need we have to plan and feel a sense of control. It makes complete sense to us but really, it goes against everything we say we believe as Christians. We say that we’re totally surrendered to the Lord, that we trust and want his plans for our lives but then we fight tooth and nail against the actual surrendering of them.
We are so careful with and attentive to our plans all while we say that we want His plans and not ours.
It’s like this.
My four-year-old son, Judah, loves to build things right now. Legos are his favorite but blocks work, too. He’s very particular about how the pieces are arranged and he usually ends up with a very well planned out, completely cool structure by the end of it. The other day though, he invited his sister to build a tower with him. She’s two and “particular” is not even on her radar. She builds with complete and utter lack of planning. Where Judah wanted the tower to be steady and tall, straight and strategic, Annabelle wanted it to be wobbly and whimsical. Judah was completely frustrated by the end of it because the vision he had kept getting derailed.
He invited her to play with him though. He couldn’t be mad if the structure changed and the plan was different if he invited her to be a part of the process.
Sometimes, we’re the same. We invite God into our lives, tell Him he has control and we want his will and then we just can’t handle it when He actually builds the thing He has planned. Our perfect towers begin to protrude and lean and bend and cut the most creative and eye-catching figure and we push against it.
We are rigid when He is creative. We hold our building blocks tight when he just wants us to open our hands so He can see what we are willing to offer.
There are plenty of examples of women who do this whole “surrendering their plan” thing well in the Bible.
Look at Rebekah, wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob and in turn, the nation of Israel. She was presented with the possibility of a brand new life far from home with a man she had never met. The prospect of marriage based solely on the fact that she was the immediate answer to the prayer of a servant-stranger. When she was asked if she wanted to tarry at home or to jump at God’s new plan, this is what she said: “I will Go.” Genesis 24:58 NIV
Look at Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was in the midst of her engagement, of planning her whole life when an angel appeared and threw everything for a loop. Instead of clinging tightly to her plans, this was her response: “’I am the Lord’s servant.’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’” Luke 1: 38 NIV
Do you see? The women who do great things, who leave a legacy, who play a part in God’s plan are the women that are flexible. They are those that hold their blocks loosely and are willing and ready for the plan to change at any moment.
They are those that say, “Whatever you want Lord? It’s fine with me. It is well with my soul.”
“I’m your servant.”
“May your words to me be fulfilled.”
Why? Because they know the one in whom they trust. They know the master builder, the one who is guiding it all and they know that He is good and wise and sovereign and loving.
“But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 NIV
They know that whatever He comes up with will be far more beautiful and lasting than what they’re hands would have built anyway.
Let’s throw our plans to the wind. Let’s hold them loosely. Let’s mean what we say and say what we mean when we utter the words “I surrender” and let’s watch those twisty beautiful towers that rise high carry the name of Jesus. Let’s quit building what we had in mind and start taking orders from the one with the master plans.
May it be well with our souls.