Many are the plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel-that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV)
Many times in life we put together a plan for ourselves: graduate from college, go to grad school, start a career and then have a family. We have the timelines set according to the age and year of when we hope to accomplish “our plan”. My plan went like this: college, a year off, law school, then family. Well in the beginning, I should have included God. Looking back, if I had included God, I would have realized sooner that my plan was not His plan for me….
After graduation, I moved to Atlanta. Living in Atlanta was a hard learning experience. I went from job to job never finding the right one. Finally, I went into business for myself, marketing for one of the major festivals in Atlanta. It paid some of my bills but it was not steady money. I was on my on, stubborn and refusing to go back to my little hometown. I got caught up in the hustle of life and the one year break before law school turned into three years. My oldest brother would call me periodically encouraging me to go back home and just start over. But I was not having it nor hearing it. I was pursuing MY plans…
Even though I was not consulting God for my life plans, God stepped in and started showing me that He was still watching over me during my hardest times. He showed me this through a series of events. First, my car broke down. When I took it to a mechanic, he was sure that the insurance/warranty would not cover the repair but I insisted that he call and ask anyway. He was very discouraging, but while he called I went home and I prayed and prayed. Not long after, I received a call that the company had agreed to do the repair almost at no cost. I knew it was God! The mechanic said that it had never happened before. Shortly after that I received a speeding ticket and a no insurance ticket, rushing to work. Both tickets together would have been over $500 and I was in a serious financial drought. My job was barely paying my bills. The day of court, I was going to put on a lime green suit, but burned the pants and I had to wear black (black and any other demure color are great colors for which to wear to court, but I didn’t know that at the time). I went to court that day prepared to pay the ticket but not the insurance fine. Well to make a long story short, I got two days of community service and didn’t have to pay anything. Of course once again, it was God! By this time, I had started considering moving back home and as circumstances would have it, I had to give up my apartment and basically had no where to live. Yes, once again, my God stepped in! How coincidental it was that my manager needed someone to house-sit her beautiful apartment for 2 weeks. I did not go a day without a roof over my head. But I knew that it was time to go home. All along I had been pursuing MY plan and never giving any thought to what His plans for me were. It was time to start over and my God had shown me this mercifully and gently.
I returned home in October, got a job in a law firm as the office manager in November, and was accepted into law school before that year was over. All of these blessings happened after I let go of my plan and started listening to God’s plan. For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
If I had placed God in front of my plans and then told Him, “not my will, but Your will Father”, maybe it would not have taken me 3 years to get it right. Often, we move forward with our will at the forefront and in the process it delays our blessings. We must learn to place God first, then listen and watch for what He would have us to do or become. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plan will succeed. Proverb 16:3
I thank You for Your mercy, Your love and Your kindness. Forgive me when I allow my plans to get in the way of Your plans. Daddy, I have learned to place You first but if I slip, be gentle with me and place me back on Your course. Daddy, You have truly carried me through and I know not where I would be had I continued my stubbornness. I pray for guidance always. Please help other independent women to know when they are pursuing plans that are their own and not Yours. Help them to know when to be still, so that they may know the difference. For we understand the saying that anything that is worth having is worth working for but help us to know when we are laboring in Your will and when we are laboring in vain. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to place God first as you plan for success and be guided by His love and grace. Know that He is with you always. Be still, be willing to listen and be blessed! In the meantime, it is not too late to start over. Better to get delayed blessings than to never get them.
Beverly Gordon is a graduate of Gonzaga School of Law (Spokane, WA) and currently works as an Executive Assistant and Director of Compliance. She is a devoted mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend who believes in the importance of teaching children the power of prayer. In her journey of loving and leaning on the Lord she meditates on Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” She resides in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with her beautiful daughter and is an active member of the Springfield United Methodist Church.