Saturday, February 28, 2009


From the time I was a little girl, I've always been a planner. My plans stretched from the activities of the day all the way into the future. One very clear and specific plan was dramatized as a child with a pillowcase draped on my head as I marched down the aisle to Mr. Right. Shortly thereafter, a blanket would be stuffed up my shirt and I'd imagine my entrance into motherhood. The plan was always go to college, find your perfect match, get married, and become a mom. The first three steps of that plan were beautifully acted out in my sister's life. I followed her steps to Wheaton, expecting to see my dreams and plans fulfilled. Just in case, I had the contingency plan of following college with a master's degree in counseling. This would provide a career until my other plan came to fruition.

As most of you know, none of those plans happened. What did happen was far beyond any inkling of what I dreamed of as a little girl. Moving to China and building a life there...teaching? No siree, that was nowhere to be found on my page of hopes, dreams, and plans. Throughout the process of getting me here, and getting me to accept an indefinite length of living here, the Father has had to shatter quite a few plans that were of my own making. The lesson He has continually been teaching me is to let go of my plans and ideas for the future, and to live in the sacrament of the present moment. Frankly, I thought I was doing a pretty good job at this lesson. In fact, I was tempted to ask for my certificate of completion in the course of "pry your hands off of your plans".

Today, I have been not so gently reminded how much I still count on my own plans, plans that are in no way guaranteed. Not that plans in and of themselves are evil; they are quite necessary in order to move in any sort of direction. However, finding security and peace in the expectance of those plans is not a good move. Due to the current financial situation, and it's affects on the company I work for, I've found out that I most likely won't be able to work on my graduate degree this summer. There's a chance I'll still have one class, but regardless, my three year degree has quite suddenly morphed into a four year degree. There were several "scenarios" I had in my head about what the next two years might entail, and none of them contained this contingency. My first reaction was frustration and disappointment.

But then my mind went back to my travel experience two weeks ago (see the Amazing Race: Asia for more details). It was as if the Father was whispering in my ear, what did I tell you then? I answered, in that tone of voice children have when they know their parents are right but they really don't want to admit it, "this is not a surprise to me". His next question for me, "and what does that mean?" Still in the reluctant to admit voice, "You are working in this too and you have a greater plan." The fact of the matter is, I should be excited by the situation. Because whenever the Father stomps on, halts, or changes my plans that usually means He's got something pretty good in store. It may not be what I thought was my first choice, but it's just another step in the beautifully orchestrated dance He has for me and Him.

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