“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
~ Proverbs 16:9
Things don’t always work out the way we planned. We can be so focused on the big picture that we miss the small details that end up making a world of difference. When this happens, there are two different ways you can react; you can scream, cry and not accept what is happening to you, or you can decide to dwell on positive rather than negative emotions to pull yourself through.
The month of May did not turn out the way I’d planned it would. For months, I’d been excited about May and the trip to America I was going to take to be at my best friend, Heidi’s, wedding. However, from the moment I accepted Heidi’s offer to be in her wedding party, I hit unending turbulence. Getting my bridesmaid dress took more than three sleepless nights (good ol’ timezones), the shoes were either going to arrive on time or not and when God revealed the biggest surprise of all, the hard work I’d done to make it to Heidi’s big day seemed to turn to mush.
Not being able to go to Heidi’s wedding was extremely difficult. There was nothing I wanted more than to share in my best friend’s happiness and be there for her on this monumental occasion, but what could I do from thousands of miles away, with no visa or plane ticket? Some of you might’ve cried, “Woe is me,” but instead, I decided to put on my bridesmaid dress and accessories and film a message for Heidi and her new hubby, Randy, to watch on their big day. So, even though I couldn’t be there in person, for a few short minutes, I was a part of their day, and for that, I am grateful.
As I went through this rollercoaster of up and downs, trying to make it to the wedding, God remained my rock throughout the whole process. Without Him, I would probably still be a mess from everything I went through. One chapter that spoke to me in this time was Romans 8, also one of my favorites. It is all about living life by the Spirit, trusting in God for all our needs, and being His children. We are all called to live according to His purpose and follow His commands, which can be easy to do when we’re happy, with everything seeming to be going well in our lives; but what happens when the unexpected flips your world upside down? I learned the answer to this question this month.
There is so much I could write about the lessons I was taught, but instead, I’ll summarize:
- Never give up, but also know when the fight is over. “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1
- Check the dates on everything and don’t forget to look at the small details!! (This One’s Important!)
- God is in control and will open and close the doors, though we should always remain in prayer during a trial. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
- No matter what happens, look at the positive, even when you don’t think there is any. “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” Willie Nelson “The difference in winning and losing is most often…not quitting.” Walt Disney
- God is our Rock and will also be our strength! “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” Isaiah 26:3-4
- The worst thing to do is freak out! I know you’ll have your moments where you’ll lose it and have a breakdown, but it’s important not to let yourself dwell in those negative thoughts! “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
- And lastly, everything happens for a reason! I’m a true believer in everything happening for a reason. I might not understand why I couldn’t get to America right now, but I know one day I will. Even if I wasn’t able to go, I still had a lot of openings through this trial — reconnecting with friends I haven’t spoken to in a while, taking some great pictures in my lovely dress, making a killer video that brought people to tears (not bragging), and growing in myself and my faith. “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.’” Jeremiah 29:11
Don’t give up when things aren’t working out the way you thought they would. Sometimes our plans have to break apart in order for God to take action. He knows what is to come, so even though I didn’t get my way, I’m not going to miss the new plans God has set in place for my life, and neither should you!