When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Yesterday, I mentioned Bernie and I went on a church retreat, but did I mention it snowed/sleeted 3 inches?  At the end of March?  Then yesterday as I walked to get lunch, it was flurrying again.  What happened to “spring has sprung”?  It sprung and then decided to hide for a few more weeks.  Spring, please come back!  

In honor of snow in Virginia Beach on the cusp of April, I thought it would be fitting to repost a post written after a Colorado blizzard in April, 2009.  I somewhat expect this from Colorado, but not Virginia!  Shape up Virginia, let’s see that sunshine again!

Please forgive the rant, we now return you to your regularly scheduled program…

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

Proverbs 16:3

Last week, Bernie and I packed up our bags and headed to Colorado for a wedding. I have been to spring weddings in Colorado before and the weather was sunny, warm, and beautiful. Excited for a weekend of celebrating with family and friends, I did what any girl would do, I didn’t check the weather and I packed all of my favorite party dresses and matching shoes—five pair to be exact, and yes, I still managed to carry my bag on the airplane and squeeze it in the overhead compartment. The night before we left, I even painted my toe nails and gave them a new top coat for extra shine.

Fast forward two days…Colorado was bamboozled by a fierce, nasty blizzard. At the end of April? Yes, at the end of April. There I was in Breckenridge, looking out the window as the snow came falling down, wondering exactly how I was going to maneuver my silk party dress and open toed, three inch heels, in four feet of snow.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan them. Several months ago, Bernie and I were praying through some opportunities and for a brief time, all doors were pointing towards moving to Virginia Beach. I couldn’t believe it! After only six months of being married, I was actually going to move home and work for my “dream job”, and it wasn’t even my idea—it was Bernie’s! I was so close to getting “everything I ever wanted.”

Little did I know, as we continued to pray and ask God to open and close the right doors, all of the doors in Virginia Beach suddenly became tightly shut. The week I discovered Virginia Beach was no longer the obvious option, I was upset, discouraged, and so confused. Why would God do this to me?

The next morning, I opened up my Bible and quickly stumbled upon Proverbs 16:3, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I felt the Lord whisper to my heart, “I have something better.”

Sometimes we get so set on our own vision and desires, that we miss the bigger picture. We make plans that we think are fabulous, but ultimately the Lord is in control and sometimes His path isn’t necessarily always our first choice. It might not be the way we would have chosen, but when you choose to follow God’s way, it’s always the best way.

We didn’t totally leave God out of this decision. For months we had been praying for God to lead the way, but the minute He led us in a different direction than I wanted, I realized I needed to let go of my plans, and surrender my will to His will. It might not have been the answer we wanted, but we prayed for open and closed doors, and God was faithful to answer our prayers—He closed the doors.

We are still waiting and praying for our “open door” but as we wait, we are confident that even though it might not be what we planned on, God is faithful and He has a plan for us.

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord endures forever—do not abandon the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

Lord, even when things don’t go the way we plan, teach us to trust that ultimately, You are in control, and You know our way.

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press