Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

When God’s Plan is Different than Yours


We can make our plans

Sometimes life doesn’t turn out like you planned it.

I’m an organizer by nature. I love to make plans and jot down to-do lists for my days. But nine times out of ten, my plans don’t quite turn out as I expect. I might be barreling along making great progress on my projects when God changes things on me:

  • The car breaks down.
  • A child gets sick.
  • I get an emergency phone call.
  • A friend needs to talk.
  • My husband needs help.

I’m sure these things happen to you too. I confess that sometimes it grates on me when things don’t go according to my plan. But I want to learn. I want to let go of my plans when it becomes obvious that God’s plan is different. I’m learning to adjust my expectations and accept the day as it comes.

God has a plan.

We may not always like the little changes that crop up in our day, but we can trust God’s plan. We can trust that God is working out His design to form Christ in us.  His agenda is different than ours.

Sometimes God’s plan for us involves more than just a slight change in our agenda for the day. We go through major upheaval when events change the course of life as we planned it, and that’s when surrender is harder. When I was single, I planned to start a new job. Instead I got severe rheumatoid arthritis and 6 months of being homebound. When I was 28, I got engaged and planned to marry, but my fiancé changed his plans.  I didn’t marry until 4 years and lots of heartache latter.

At times like those, surrender about knocks the life out of you, and you’re not so sure that you trust God’s goodness after all. Maybe you’ve been there.

  • You planned to have your first baby in your second year of marriage, but you did’t get pregnant.
  • You planned to work several more years, but you got laid off.

God is in Control

Whether you struggle with daily glitches that change your agenda, or with major changes that bring heartache, I want to encourage you that God is in control. He has a plan mapped out for you. He sees your struggle, and He has compassion on you. His design for your life is good. Even when you can’t understand His plans, you can trust that He loves you and He’s planning something more beautiful than you can imagine.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Now it’s your turn: When was a time when you experienced a change in your plans?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. Five minutes. No editing. This week’s prompt is “Plan.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement. Also joining with Dance with JesusCounting My Blessings,. Grace & Truth and The Weekend Brew.

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

47 thoughts on “When God’s Plan is Different than Yours

  1. Change in plans? Right now. The life i thought I had went south, and right now I am fighting a very lonely battle against a disease that is doing its best to kill me in ways that are rather unpleasant. Pain is the least of them.

    And the people around me are rather wistful in their own Life After Death plans. Their life, beyond MY death.

    I cannot tell you how much that really, really sucks.

    If this is God’s plan for Good…He and I will have a seriously one-sided debrief. I will go down in celestial history as the first Newly Dead Dude to punch God in the nose.

    But I don’t think it is. I think that pancreatic cancer is an artifact of a world in which free will HAS to be allowed, and He’s grieving over the whole thing, and that He’s mad as a hornet, as well.

    Should I capitalize Hornet, since I’m applying it to God?

    His plan is for my strength and resilience and honour and fair play…all those good things that make temporal life bearable.

    His plan, if I will just listen to Him, is to give me the tools to fight to the end. Illness, and people, and my own doubts.

    • Andrew (my son is named Andres, by the way, the Spanish version of Andrew), you may be dying, but you bring lots of life and spunk to your on-line community. I am so sorry for the hard things you’re going through. It sounds like God has given you an amazing resilience. May He continue to be your strength. I know He’s making something more beautiful out of your life than you can imagine. (Beautiful sometimes hurts a lot. So sorry for that.)

      • Betsy, thank you so much…and I’m delighted to share your son’s name!

        Auguste Renoir befriended Henri Matisse when Matisse was just beginning his painting career. One day Matisse came to the older man’s studio, and saw that Renoir had taped brushes to his fingers, which had been crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, and was painfully working on a canvas.

        Matisse felt his heart would break, and said, “Master! Why do you torture yourself so?”

        Renoir paused, and smiled. “The pain passes, Matisse. But the beauty remains.”

  2. Betsy, you and I were on the same track with our #FMFparty posts today. God’s plans are truly, always better. You offer us so much truth in this post! Thanks for the reminders.

  3. I’m in the midst of a change of plans, but one driven by God. I feel Him pulling out of a career I’ve spent my whole adult life building – and taking me into the unknown. The waiting is hard, not knowing what the future holds, trying not to worry about how I’ll provide for the family with a career change. But, I know He has a plan and I’m taking one step at a time, trusting He’ll make that plan clear in time.

    • That sounds like a big change, Kathryn. I’m praying now that the Lord will guide your steps and make His plans clear at the right time.

      • I appreciate your prayers! It’s quite a journey but I’m confident He is putting the right steps before me – and I’m doing my best to step into them.

  4. Betsy, I truly thank you for sharing this because you have spoken LIFE within my spirit. I truly needed this reminder this morning. Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    #DanceWithJESUSLinkup 😉

  5. Betsy, your post today is SO in line with where I’m at. I felt I had so much to accomplish this week; I had such plans for how my days would unfold while the kids were at school. Then my son got sick and is currently home from school for the 4th consecutive day. So my plans have had to take a back seat to just hanging out with my son, trying to comfort and entertain him. It’s kind of frustrating but it also helps me to take a step back, re-prioritize, and remember Who is really in control. Thanks so much for posting this today because it’s exactly the reminder that I needed.

    • Oh Jeannie, that sounds exactly like something that would happen to me!!! May the Lord give you peace as you, ahem, ADJUST your expectations for the week, and may He open up time in your schedule later to accomplish what you need to.

  6. There are many things I had planned but never came to be. Thank you for sharing this today.

  7. It makes me giggle to think about how many times I’ve tried to make my own plans, only to have God (thankfully) intervene! I shudder to think where I’d be if He hadn’t. God’s plans are far better than ours. Blessings, Betsy!

  8. “I want to let go of my plans when it becomes obvious that God’s plan is different.” Me too Betsy! Enjoyed visiting today!

  9. Betsy,
    Since I am a slow learner, God has had to change up my plans MANY times. He’s had to do it with the big as well as the small things in life. I have found that as I have learned to trust His sovereignty in the small things (practicing with those), it has helped me let go and trust His plans for the big things. Thanks for the reminder that we can always trust that God is good.

  10. I spent to many wasted hours trying to stubbornly fight against God’s plans. I’m learning that His plans for me are always best, even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Thanks for joining the party Betsy!

  11. Oh, wow, do I know about God’s plans being different from my plans! Several times I’ve been shaken to the core to discover that. Currently I’m writing my second memoir about the time God and my husband pointed our young family to a very dangerous place in South America. I had to turn my back on my plans and hopes and dreams and extended family, and be willing to go (becoming willing was quite a process). It was soooo hard, so painful, but ministering there for three years ended up being one of the highlights of my life and our family’s life. Writing it in memoir format helps me discover even more layers of blessings and riches than I’d realized before, and definitely strengthens my faith in God for the next challenges I know are sure to come. Thanks for sharing your loving wisdom and encouragement, Betsy. You’re in my prayers.

    • Blessings on your memoir, Linda. It’s true that writing can help us uncover more and more of what God has done in our lives. I’ve been at those points too, where God and my husband lead me in a direction I don’t want to go, and it’s always ended up good! Thanks for your prayers.

  12. Thanks Betsy, for this important reminder and special verse. Like some commenters above my plans changed this week with sick children; and redundancy in the past was not our plan but God has blessed us so much through that particular turn of events. I cannot imagine us both being employed again now, our adventure into freelancing is so much more fun, flexible, and rewarding!

    • I’m sorry about your children being sick this week, Victoria. I hope things are up and running like normal soon. What kind of freelancing are you doing? I’m curious.

      • Thanks Betsy, it always catches us out! I’m a charity fundraiser, and also just starting to do a little writing for children and families, which I’d love to do more of in the future!

  13. Oh Betsy, this is perfectly timed for me. I’m also a planner and God has been nudging me to hold my plans more loosely and give Him room to operate in my life. Thank you for these words of encouragement. 🙂

  14. Betsy, this speaks to my heart greatly and actually touches a topic twirling around in my head to write about. I appreciate your words of encouragement. Blessings.

  15. Betsy… this is one of those topics that needs to be addressed over and over, because we so easily forget when the moment that the plans change that our God is in the midst of the moment, the change, and the outcome all at once. I have been guilty of this here, “At times like those, surrender about knocks the life out of you, and you’re not so sure that you trust God’s goodness after all.” I have even said the words, ” Sometimes I don’t think God wants my good.” Yes..I have. 😦
    Yet, even in those moments, His mercy sweeps in and shows me the difference between HIS good and mine. He shows me in His grace that there is a bounty of grace even in the change, especially there, where we can rest in His sufficiency.
    So grateful for HIS grace.
    Thanks for reminding me to praise Him, even for the changes that reroute my path.

    • Thanks for your words, Dawn. I appreciate them. I know what you mean about doubting God’s goodness. It happens to all of us! But He is infinitely merciful, isn’t He? 🙂

  16. Betsy, it is so true that sometimes the interruptions come in the daily glitches and at times, in the major circumstances of life. For me, the last change of plans was just yesterday as I had planned to do so many errands & then never was able to leave the house. In all of it, may we remember God is in control of every day. Blessings!

    • I’ve had those errand days of NEVER getting to leave the house too, Joanne. Kind of like today, supposed to be a writing day, and here it is 3:30, and I’m barely getting started!

  17. A change in plans? You’ve hit on my weakness with this one. Never one to hold things loosely, homeschooling has been the thing God is using to teach me to open my hands. Glad to find your lovely blog at the Weekend Brew.

  18. Betsy, I love how you intertwine “real” life with faith, how you put a specific name to those disappointments. Enjoyed your post today. Visiting via #DanceWithJesusLinkUp.

  19. Hi Betsy, I love how you said that God has compassion on me. That really touches my heart. It’s so true. I also like what you wrote here – We can trust that God is working out His design to form Christ in us. His design. I’m moved by this. I have lots to meditate on here. Thank You so much.

  20. I’ve been walking through a season of change for a number of months now, and sometimes I wonder what it’s all for. It’s good to reminded that God has plans for my life. I may not always know upfront what those are, but I can trust and believe that they are good. Blessings!

    • You have a lot to teach the rest of us on this topic, I’m sure, Barbie. You’ve definitely been dealing with things you didn’t plan for a long time now. I’m so glad you’re standing on the rock and continuing to trust. Your testimony is powerful!

  21. Oh, how true! 9 times out of 10, things don’t go as I wish or plan. Now I use my planner as a bare-bones or skeleton outline because I know life happens. And if there’s a curve, it may be a learning opportunity planned by God. Do you mind if I save your image on my desktop? I’d love to keep it close so I can look at it daily. Blessings!

  22. I appreciate your thoughts on an oh-so-tender topic, the verse is an encouragement, too. I’m in the middle of the unexpected, and have to trust God daily to bring His plans and purpose to it all. Thanks!

  23. It’s not always easy to accept God’s plan when they are in complete reverse from what we want. As humans, once we’ve set our minds on doing something, it’s not that easy for us to make up our minds. However, the truth is that God always has our best interests in heart. Therefore, we can find comfort in knowing that He loves us without reservation and He’s in control of everything.

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