Online tests, flexibility, and the One in charge

I enjoy taking personality tests -you know, the online or magazine versions that are fun, albeit less than psychologically sound. Do you?

For me, the results change very little no matter what is going on in my life. And there are always a couple questions that draw laughs or disagreements from people who know me. Same with you, right?

Okay, so I am late more than I am on time. But I am getting better! The challenge is that my mind always believes there is one more task I can accomplish before I leave. Some folks are ready long before it is time to go, then they sit. I rarely sit, so that is a problem for me. And for some of you…fess up!

How about the question regarding your need to make plans, stick to a set course, adapt to changes, or fly by the seat of your pants?

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Prov 16:9

The past two weeks months years have taught me that life is ever-changing, unpredictable, and does not conform to my timetable. Of course, I knew that before. In my head. Apparently, not in my gut.

Recently I spoke of a situation which needed resolution. The blog surprised the few people who know about the situation, because I have not written about it previously, and had vowed not to until it was over.

I thought it was close to being resolved. It wasn’t.

We can make our plans…

Many plans have fallen through in the past two years. Most times I have been able to say, “Oh well” and believe it just wasn’t God’s design. Part of my testimony has been that I have learned to accept God’s timing without lots of drama.

When the resolution seemed close two weeks ago, I didn’t make a lot of tangible plans with people – still hesitant to do that – but I did look forward to a feeling of relief, of not having to constantly think about this, of no longer spending days waiting for one of the parties to take some action, only to be disappointed again. But that hasn’t happened yet.

There have been some dark days in the past two weeks. Moments when God absolutely dragged me through the hour or day. Moments of feeling like there is an elephant on my chest, like it hurts to breathe.

Have you been there? I think you have.

Quick side note: If you are a person who tries to help (or maybe displays your own frustration) by saying there are people who have worse problem, stop it. Of course there are. But your dismissive scolding won’t snap anyone out of what is very real pain at the moment. Thank you.

Clearly, I hadn’t learned to release as much as I thought I had. Even though I have started each day with a decision to not get excited until the final action is taken. Even though I stopped making plans and promises, so no one is disappointed.

We can make our plans…

I had so many plans for this spring. Lots of adventures, lots of Ohio State Buckeyes softball games, lots of blessings piled on people I love, lots of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, lots of good stories written, lots of great stuff. But I have struggled in this no-resolution-zone as very little of what I planned has come to pass.

Is that a lesson in handling disappointment…or a lesson in timing? Maybe my ideas were wonderful, maybe they will be appropriate later…but now wasn’t God’s time?

We can make our plans…

In the midst of a painful situation, it is sometimes hard to remember that most of what happens is not really about me. WHAT??? Yes, it’s true. It’s not about you, either.

Certainly there are lessons to be learned. But, life is hard, people are selfish sometimes, businesses often care more about making money than about people, drivers are sometimes careless, disease is never a respecter of persons…and, despite all of this, God is in charge. He loves me, He wants the best for me…but much of what happens in my world on any given day is more about what others need and what others have done. My job is to trust Him and respond appropriately!

We can make our plans…

This blog has been a struggle. I started it several days ago with the intention of discussing how I am still waiting. Lots of examples of other people enduring a waiting season came to mind, but nothing was falling in place.

Last night, as I laid in bed praying, a worship song came to mind. I quietly sang it, then continued praying. Another worship song in my head. Sang that, continued praying. Then this one: “I will make my plans Lord, but You direct my steps.”

I fell asleep repeating that one line.

And I woke up knowing what this blog was really about, what these weeks/months/years still have to teach me.

It isn’t that God doesn’t want me to make plans. He doesn’t want a robot who is waiting to be pushed around.

What He wants is to always be my focus. I think He loves softball and baseball. Of course, He wants me to have fun, to write good stories, to be a blessing, to relax…He is a good God who loves me.

But allowing Him to direct my steps – without histrionics, without pouting, without anger, without demanding explanation – is vital for my best life. He knows what I need, what you need, what the stranger who crosses your path needs. And He works it all out.

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. Prov 16:9

He knows what is best. He just does. And life would be much easier if I could get my fat head to remember that.

How about you? Are you making plans?

We will talk again soon!