God's Plan Is the Best Plan

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I’m a planner. I have always been a planner. I love to put pen to paper and create my life over the next few months. I love big events and small events, and I love the anticipation of all the pieces coming together. As an enneagram 7, having things to look forward to in my life is one of my greatest joys. So, like so many of us, I have just assumed that I would achieve and receive all the things I had planned for in my life. And we all know what comes next, right? “Man can make plans in his heart, but God determines his steps...” (Prov 16:9)

I always wanted to be a mom, and I planned to be a mom, but when Brian and I got married pretty young, we decided to wait a few years to start our family. We traveled, got two dogs, established our careers, and then decided that kids were what we wanted.

Then we waited. And waited. We saw doctors, I quit eating sugar, dairy, and gluten, I lost weight, I gained weight, I quit a stressful job, I did yoga, I got acupuncture, and then we saw more doctors for five more years.

At some point during this season, I was attending Women’s Bible Study at IBC when the teacher that evening, Sara Taylor, taught us about breath prayers. She explained that it was like taking a verse and making it the song for a moment in your life. The leaders then handed out blank CDs and asked us to write our verses in our own words on that cd. Well, since I wasn’t feeling really great about God those days, I just chose the first verse I could think of, Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

That was the verse that my Dad challenged me with when I graduated high school. Funny thing — I always thought it was so convenient that the verse he gave me was so readily available on t shirts and mugs, but I also had enough Bible knowledge to know this verse was not the promise of an easy life or of the life that you planned for yourself. It was God’s promise of HIS plans and HIS hope — both of which were for my good.

And y’all. I needed some hope in my life. I was watching all my dreams and plans for my future disappear with every single negative pregnancy test. So, I took my CD and wrote “God has a plan for me, and it is BEST for me” on my CD. I was armed with the head knowledge of this verse and now it was time to learn it in my heart. But as we so often do, I got in my car that night and put the CD in my visor and I forgot about it, continuing in my self-pity and hopelessness.

One day when I was running late to a meeting, I pulled down the visor to put on my makeup and the CD fell out and into my lap. I stopped and read the promise from God that I had written. Please note, I didn’t pray it, I just read it. I stuck it back up there, but on the outside of the visor this time. I began to read that verse every morning and something so strange started happening. I started actually believing the words!

I posted them next to my sink and on my computer. I started whispering them to myself. It wasn’t long before that truth became real to me and I started living those words. I began to live my life knowing that I had hope and God had plan for me even though it didn’t automatically give me the things I wanted (emphasis on I). What it did give me was the freedom to live open-handedly and the ability to breathe and trust God through a painful, scary or disappointing situation. I still spent significant time under the blankets crying after hearing of another friend’s pregnancy, but instead of staying in that pain and taking up residence there, I whispered my prayer and l would go and live my life, knowing that my plans weren’t the best plans for me, and I could trust God who did have the best plans for me.

Here’s the thing — I am still a planner. I still have a lot that I want to do in my life, but I make those plans knowing that I might not actually know what I need in my life or what is best for my life. I have given up the control and the need to know, and I have traded it for trusting in a good God who loves me.

I still practice breath prayers. When my husband was very sick, I clung to Psalm 91:4 “He will cover me”. When quarantine started and I saw some the things I had planned for over a year being cancelled, a sweet friend reminded me of the verse “Let us not grow weary of doing good...” So, in some of the harder moments of pandemic parenting and living, I have found myself whispering, “do not grow weary”.

The rest of the story is that ironically enough, we did get pregnant the same month we planned a backpacking trip across Europe for our tenth wedding anniversary. Our daughter was born just three weeks after our anniversary, and now that I have met her and see how she fits with Brian and me, I see exactly why God had us wait so long for her; she completes our little family. And as she grows, I pray that she can rest in the same truth God had for me — that he has a plan for me, and his plan is best.


God is calling us, the people of Irving Bible Church, to become a multi-ethnic movement of missionary disciples, formed in the way of Jesus for the sake of the world.

We want to be a transformed people who experience vibrant spiritual growth together. We want the Spirit of God to shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus as we follow him.

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