When I awoke this morning, I expected to have a normal day at work. I expected to start my day by handing out progress reports in homeroom. During my planning period, the last period of the day, I thought I would be sitting in a data team meeting, planning effective strategies to help our students be successful. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans. Often times, life does not happen the way we plan. Through my journeys of sorrow and joy, I have learned to expect the unexpected.
As I headed toward the meeting, I saw the one thing I have begun to dread the site of: an ambulance. While I did not know who required medical assistance, or what had happened, I immediately began to pray. Needless to say, I knew the previously planned meeting would be postponed. In less than an hour’s time, plans changed.
In life, we have no guarantee that our plans will happen the way we plan. Although we may painstakingly cover every single detail when planning our schedule, there are things that happen unexpectedly. Meetings are postponed, trips are ended abruptly, illnesses may cause us to miss time at school or work…life happens. Often in these moments of uncertainty, our faith may begin to waiver. We may question, how can God allow this to happen? Why didn’t things go the way we planned? We may think to ourselves, Our plans were so perfect…
A few days ago, I learned of a family who has likely been thinking this same thought. You see, they had planned to spend Spring Break in Vail, Colorado. I am sure they spent a lot of time putting together the itinerary and excitedly planning the things they would see and do during their ski trip. And I know the four boys in the family were excited about spending time with their Mom and Dad in this gorgeous location. Everything seemed perfect… Then, their plans changed.
One day, while they were skiing on the slopes, the Dad suffered a heart attack and passed away. Just imagine what those boys thought as they were happily enjoying their vacation, only to have their Dad taken from them too soon, at the young age of 50 years old. Surely, they did not plan for this to happen. They expected to go home with their photographs, sharing stories of a wonderful Spring Break with family and friends. Instead, they will be sharing heartache with family and friends at a funeral.
For me personally, the news of this tragic end to their vacation was heartbreaking. I know all too well what these young boys are going through. Just a little over two years ago, I was the child, on vacation, watching my Mom suffer a heart attack unexpectedly. I was the one who had my Mom taken from me too soon, at the young age of 52 years old. I was the one, who, instead of sharing vacation photos, shared sorrow with family and friends at my Mom’s funeral.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “‘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.’” There are times in our lives when our “perfect” plans will not happen the way we plan. Even in the darkest times of our life, we need to remember that God has a plan. He has a dream for us to live a prosperous, hope-filled life.
God knows that life will not always work out the way we plan, but He promises to walk beside us every step of the way, according to His perfect plan. God’s word says, “the plans of the LORD stand firm forever” (Psalm 33:11 NIV). Even though our human plans may change, we can rest assured that God’s plans will never change.
In Christ's Love,Jennifer