What do we do when our plans go awry?

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018

My husband plans his lunch the night before. He has lists to remind him to make plans. It is in the Gendusa DNA because his daughter and sister are the same way. Often, to be honest, it drives me a bit crazy especially when he asks me before my morning coffee, “Lynn, what are we planning for dinner?”

We all make plans. We all need to make preparations for the biggest of life’s decisions including our path for careers, marriage, children, retirement and yes, even a plan for those who are left after we can no longer plan.

We wake to the morning sun, make a schedule and feel it has been a good day when all went according to the plan. But what if the plan goes awry, what do we do?

What do we do when a tidal wave washes away our dreams, our lists, and our plans?

Michele, “The Ultimate Planner,” is a dear friend. If you need a travel itinerary, call Michele who is the best!

She and her husband spent months planning a European vacation, but a few weeks before departing, she broke her foot. She was heartbroken and afraid they would need to cancel their dream trip.

After a few days, Michele picked up her crutches along with her smile and planned a new way to go on their trip, albeit changed. We can all plan for health and get a broken foot.  We can all plan to fly away and then be grounded.

What do we do when our plans go awry?

When my children were small, I had a blueprint for their lives.

Once they received their education, they would be happily married, and each would have two or more children. My dreams included Sunday dinners and playing games in the afternoons with all six grandchildren. It was an excellent plan. 

Do you think they followed my agenda? No, of course not. My dream was not their plan nor was it Gods, and I needed to adjust to a different reality.

When life doesn’t follow our plan, what do we do? 

When our plans abruptly change, and the road becomes uncertain, we learn to use our faith to navigate the sharp turns which will make us more appreciative of the smooth road.

Many times, I have thought, “I am not going to find my way. I no longer have a map to guide me!” It still amazes me when I check the rear view mirror and see that I survived. I had a new map, saw my way out of the tunnel, and that problematic stretch of road ended miles ago.

The longer we live, the more we understand reasons for why some of our plans changed. We see the new road took us to places we never dreamed possible and to achieve heights where the view was breathtaking. There was a reason for continuing on our way even after we lost the map. 

I often tell folks who have a heartbreaking change of plans, it is the time to use their faith. We all can go to church, learn the scriptures, and attend Bible studies, but it is those times when we are amid the tidal wave we must use God to save us from drowning. By the time we are back on shore, he has already decided on our new plan. He will show us the next step even if we are on crutches.

We have all witnessed the tenacity of others to achieve greatness after a loss, a shattered dream, a twist or turn in their lives. We have all watched as those who were at their lowest points in life, rise to the mountaintop. They inspire us never to stop believing in tomorrow.

Using our faith requires us to trust that Almighty God is in charge and knows what He is doing. 

He will get us through the broken foot, the broken hearts and through unexpected tragedy. 

No, it is not easy, but we need to continue achieving in life. As I have said before, you may think life is over when plans are upended, but I can guarantee you, God thinks otherwise.   

What do we do when our plans go awry? We use our faith to show us a new plan, and rely on God to give us the courage to accept it. That’s what we do.