When Plans Go Awry

Are you a planner? Do you fit your life onto a calendar and dare anything or anyone to mess with it?

Planning gives a sense of control, yet none of us can totally control the course of our lives. Plans go awry without notice. How we respond to change determines how well we adjust to a new direction.

Exhibit Patience

I had not expected to have COVID this week, again. And I confess, I’m impatient about feeling bad and the quarantine. My plans for this week are suddenly askew and I need to accept what has happened with grace, patience, and thankfulness for medicines that lessen symptoms and speed recovery.

Patience in a changing landscape is challenging. We like continuity. We are creatures of habit. Patience requires the ability to see beyond right now and trust a better plan and a brighter day lies ahead.

Be Willing to Make Adjustments

Before my father-in-law was my father-in-law, he worked for a company where he invented equipment to help with production. He was exempt from serving in World War II because his company, and his patents, were directly involved in the war effort.

After 29 ½ years with the company, on the Monday following Thanksgiving, his job was terminated. This was not in his plan. After almost 30 years, he expected to retire from that company. Now, with only two weeks before his pay ended, he had to find a job. This was no time for emotion; action was required.

Through connections and an employment agency, he found a job in Spartanburg. The location was too far to commute, so he rented a room and came home on the weekends. While not an ideal situation, the job provided until his retirement.

When Jim graduated from college, he got a job in Spartanburg and began attending First Baptist Church, where he and his parents had attended from time to time. Was his father’s job in Spartanburg instrumental in causing Jim to look for work in the same town? Was his father’s job loss and subsequent move to Spartanburg part of God’s plan to bring Jim to Spartanburg, to our church, and ultimately, across my path? I believe it was.

Adjusting to a change in plans isn’t easy. We can fuss and rant, or we can accept and maintain forward motion. Are you willing to make adjustments when plans go awry?

See God in a Different Plan

Do you know someone who is facing a life-ending diagnosis or grieving the death of a loved one? This kind of diagnosis or loss posts a giant detour sign that reroutes plans. Suddenly, it feels as if we’re navigating a difficult road without a GPS. We forget God is the GPS, the One who knows the detours, reroutes, and plans he has for our lives long before we do. Do you trust him?

A dear friend is dealing with a difficult diagnosis, yet her attitude about her situation is inspiring. Her words and actions minister to us at a time when we should be ministering to her. Even on this difficult path her faith and trust in God are strong.

Are you willing to trust God when he reveals a different plan for your life? When your plans go awry, look for God in the new and different path.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NIV).


Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

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