This month's story.
First thing to do when our plans don't work.
Some years ago, while settled in the seat in the back row at a workshop and with my mind ready to learn, I listened to the wisdom that poured from the speaker. She shared about publishing updates, writing skills, editing insights and marketing strategies.
Suddenly, an unpleasant companion sat beside me. Her name was insecurity. I sunk in my seat. And taunting thoughts filed in. Being blind, how could I possibly compete with all these authors, accomplished and experienced, who have much more than me?
When I signed up for the conference, my plans were to learn and increase my knowledge about the writing craft. But all that increased was my restlessness. My plans suddenly melted into a puddle of inferiority notions.
Have you done that? You get a little bold and decide to sign up for something that will be a good thing for you. Your expectations are high, your hopes even higher. And your steps carefully prepared. When suddenly an intruder barges in, changing everything-your plans and your expectations.
Then discouragement arrives, it stays, and before you know it, refuses to leave.
I nearly reached that point when a loud voice echoed in my heart. God said, “Didn’t you say you store gratitude in that heart of yours?”
Gulp. Yes, that very morning I silently said thank-you to God for allowing me to attend this conference. I was grateful for the path He took me to have written books that inspired and empowered women and I was truly thankful for the speaking opportunities.
How could we forget the blessings so easily? Not sure, but we can be certain that: When plans fall apart, we put them all together with the glue called gratitude. So, though circumstances might not change, our focus does.
It looks at all for which we're grateful. Then we see the reality of what God has done, what He's doing and what He will do. Armed with faith-filled boldness, we shoo the insecurity intruder away. We can lift our head higher, sit taller. And in our heart, we declared that for the God of the universe with limitless power, there are no limitations that could be obstacles. But rather, they are opportunities that turn to possibilities and then to promises that come to be.
They prevail even in our restlessness because of circumstances. In our anxiety because of unexpected hurricanes. Fear of living with heartache. Or even when life didn't turn out like we planned.
In the midst of those broken plans, God's Word echoes in Jeremiah 29:11.
“For I know the plans I have for you.” He has the plans and when God has them, they will be good. He continues, “My plans are to prosper you, not to harm you.” We believe You, Lord. We will not fret.”
God continues, He says “My plans are to give you hope and a future."
Done deal. He will give that hope, the kind this world cannot offer. And if He is the one who gives us a future, it has to be brilliant.
If you’re in that stage of life and insecurity sits beside you, I invite you to pick up your white cane of courage and declare, God has the best plans, best future and greatest joy already prepared.