Lately, the husband and I have been tossed around by plans. Together we’ve encountered a number of job prospects, rejection emails, injuries, delays and flat out times of waiting. Much is unknown.
I think often about what I want to be true of our lives, for certain. Like traveling on big trips, pursuing our dream jobs, creating a family, teaching that family what it means to live life for God, taking risks and genuinely enjoying where we are at each stage.
But I’ve noticed, when I think about these things, that there’s one particular barrier that gets in the way of having confidence to move on decisions, or taking steps in a definitive direction: the idea of “correct” timing.
Like wondering when the right time is to sponsor a child. Or have our own kids. Or go on an extended trip. Or get my hair cut.
I tend to exaggerate the importance of “perfect” timing because I believe, far too frequently, that my plans are my own. That everything is on my (and the husband’s) shoulders.
Sometimes I talk myself out of whimsical ideas or doubt a decision not because I fear whatever it is I want to pursue, but because I’m more afraid of screwing up the timing of the decision. Or missing out on something because my timing was selfish or too rushed. Can you relate?
Interestingly enough, I just started reading a book by Sarah Cunningham called The Well-Balanced World Changer. In the very first chapter, she talks about how we maintain this fear that if we miss God’s promptings, our life no longer has a chance at being completely meaningful. She writes, so lovely:
Even if we miss some sort of cue along the way, I firmly believe God maintains an uninterrupted desire to bless us just as much as he would’ve had we been more attentive or responsive.
In our human economy, if we don’t execute the ideal, the backup plan is usually lesser. It’s the best and least taxing secondhand way to get something accomplished, given that we already missed the absolute best path. It’s more work, less rewarding, and may not produce an equally good outcome. But it’s the best we’ve got.
Not God though. God can insert the backup plan right over the original and weld them together. He can make this draft of the plan – forged from your successes and failures – so productive, so enriching, that it’s as if the first plan never existed.
My eyes were a little glossed over from staring at my Nook so intently. I read and re-read this, staying on that page and letting these words sink in.
Our plans B, C, and Z (or lack of plans altogether) could turn out to be just what He intended all along.
So take heart. God can redeem anything that we happen to mess up.
Or maybe we just need to get out of our own way in the first place.
Living Outside of Me Update — For those of you following my Living Outside of Me series, bless you. I haven’t written in a while. But I did want to let you know that as of this week, we have sponsored a young girl from South Africa named Mbasa through World Vision after much consideration. She’s beautiful and we can’t wait to hear from her in a few months. Click here to learn more about World Vision’s child sponsorship program.