When Your Plans are Wrecked

I think the plague came to our home. Today is the first day someone in our household isn’t throwing up. I will spare you the other details, but let’s just say, if I have to deal with one more blow out, I literally am going to lose my ever loving mind.

MOMS

Take that Pinterest. Winning at life VIBES.

I actually didn’t take a shower though, for about four days. I was taking care of my hubby and baby and then when we thought we were in the clear, I caught the plague, or whatever modern form of hell this is. I also didn’t shave for a week and looked like a scary, blonde Woolly Mammoth. I finally shaved this morning, for those inquiring minds who want to know. Looked like Sasquatch showered in there.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been sick in the last six weeks. It’s the third. I already had this throwing up thing for 16 hours back in November. Then, I hacked up a left lung for a week earlier this month. We also traveled to three states between the two of us, and our sweet baby cut his back molars. (All this means is a fever for days, and no sleep for a month. Carry on, warrior.)

Ashandlevi

Still, he’s completely lovable. Photo credit: Augie McCue

I have a point: My plans were ruined. I wrote in my calendar plans to serve on outreaches, to hang with friends, to blog (hi, I still exist), to attend parties and host dinners. I am so glad my people love me, or I would have been blacklisted after all the cancellations I gave out. By the way, “WROTE IN MY CALENDAR” is a serious point of contention in our marriage. I am going digital in 2016 to save our souls, and it is breaking my sweet little old school, color-coding heart, but this is a rabbit trail, so let’s get back to the point.

Have you ever had your plans ruined?

A marriage that ended unexpectedly, a career path that took a sharp detour, a passionate love for a TV show that got too crazy to watch (Scandal, How to get Away with Murder, Empire, shall I go on?), a friendship that feels transactional in nature, a foundational belief that suddenly feels faulty, a sickness that delayed your efforts… And there go your plans. Out the door. Out the window. The wind literally knocked out of you, the loss of potential, or even relationship, more painful than you expected.

It’s starting over, when you had no plans to do so in the first place. Not only are your plans ruined, but now you need new ones. And fast. Oh friend, we’re here with you. You’re not alone.

Fast. I’ve been fast my whole life. Of course, I also procrastinate as well. I’m a complicated human just like you. But hustle and hustle hard is kinda my M.O. Plans ruined? No problem, make new ones. Lemon into lemonade and all that. But when I sent my friends another cancellation for plans today, I realized, fast can be problematic. I was too ambitious in my plans, overestimating what I could accomplish in the middle of so much unknown.

With so many moving parts, sometimes, it’s best to just sit down somewhere. When there’s no way to prepare for a transition, or a curve ball, business as usual won’t help. In fact, it can be a hindrance to understanding the season, to spontaneous tear-filled couch sitting with friends, to finding quiet moments in the upheaval to take a bird’s eye view of our circumstances. Transition means loss. There’s great gain of course, but the loss of what was, can overwhelm what will be. TD Jakes calls this the burden of the blessing. He preaches often about how we can be standing in the midst of a huge blessing and be wrecked with burden.

Two years ago, my life was tremendously different. We didn’t have a babe; we didn’t pay property taxes; we worked two doors down from each other; transition was not our way of life. But it was the beginning of a shift. Little did I know, I was pregnant with Levi, while packing up our little apartment, and everything comfortable in our lives was about to be uprooted.

Recently, I think I tried to build in some of the familiar comforts of the last season and with every effort to do so, something hindered it. I don’t agree with any theology that says God causes sickness; but I sense Him using the last six weeks to teach me, to mold me, to change my thinking. It’s almost as if heaven cracked open the Prophet’s word from Isaiah 55 for me and said, Sweetheart, stop. I love you. Take the time I am giving you. Lean into the pain and remember, my ways are higher than yours. My thoughts are higher than yours. My word over your life will never return void. It will accomplish everything I sent it out to do. You will move forward in joy and peace. Where there have been thorns and briers in the soil, there will be trees and flowers. These events in your life will bring great honor to my name; they will be an everlasting sign of my power and love. Let go of what was. Embrace what is.

To be honest, we didn’t even know how to prepare for, much less embrace, all this change. We were comfortable. We were sure. Sure about God, sure about our direction, sure about our plans. Now, all that’s sure to me, is that we are held in the Sovereign hand of God and that we are loved by our people. I suppose that’s all we ever really have anyway; besides the illusion of security, we have Christ and we have God incarnate, living among us through one another.

A new day is dawning and we are forging a new path. There’s just a little light, but it’s enough to see. We’ve had to completely let go, and open our hearts to a new way.

“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.” Brendan Manning

Beloved, your plans might be ruined, but I promise, you are not. Better days are coming.

In case you are looking for encouragement where you are, here are a few things helping me right now… Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey (I think she opened my heart and stole my thoughts. I am weeping while reading.); Travis Greene’s song “Just Want You“; Bishop TD Jakes Sunday Messages.

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