When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

Not What You Planned

This post is by my dear friend, David Valentine. Check out his Twitter, Facebook, blog, and the organization he co-founded called Rethink Creative to see what he’s all about! And if you’re interested in writing a guest post as well, click here.

The job was mine to lose. I was the only applicant, because the job wasn’t even advertised yet. The fit was perfect, I would move back to the Washington DC area, work with my best friend, and have the opportunity to see the Gospel go forth in a community where I had lived for over eight years. Oh yea and the job was exactly what I believe God created me to do. I spent nine months dreaming, praying, and planning. Only to be told, “I’m sorry you are not what we are looking for.” 

I don’t know about you, but this seems to be a consistent rhythm in my life. Not rejection from a job per se, rather what looked like an inevitable outcome didn’t happen. Days, weeks, months of prayerful planning and dreaming gone in a few short moments. Cue Christian cliche for disappointment, frustration, and bewilderment also known as Romans 8. I’m the kind of guy that has multiple options at all times. I’ve got this main gig going, but I’m brewing four or five killer possibilities on the back burner just waiting to become “the” main gig. So whether it’s a job, starting a family, where we live, how successful I am, etc it doesn’t ever happen the way I planned.

You may be thinking I must simply be terrible at predicting the future and you would be correct. I’ve found that I have company though, with all of humanity. Do you really know what is going to happen later on today? I mean sure we all have a certain baseline expectation for the rest of our day, but it only takes something insignificant to turn our day in a completely different direction. You send a text which isn’t worded correctly to your significant other which causes strife. Worse yet your “smart” phone autocorrects a message sent to your boss. You read that passage in the Bible and all of a sudden your day cannot be the same, because it’s cut you to the core. You pull out to close in front of a car and you need a new rear bumper. Today is uncertain, so why do we think we know what tomorrow, next week, or six months from now holds?

Simply put, we can’t know and we don’t know. Following my most recent experience of not getting the job in DC I began to embrace the truth, that I can only control what I do in the present. Even in the present I only have limited control. However, this has honestly been one of the most beautiful and freeing truths I’ve ever stepped into. It’s caused me to be right here, right now. As I focus on simply existing within my designated area in the time/space continuum I’m embracing what God has for me today.  Which makes life sweeter. I see divine is the daily, significance in the mundane, and purpose in the seemingly meaningless.

I’ve also stopped saying, “tomorrow I will go to this city and conduct business, and do this, that, the other thing….” Yes I still have multiple options for just about every thing in life, but my approach to them is entirely different than just a few months ago. I am no longer counting on anything working the way I think it should. I have stopped going with my gut and simply allowing the God who sustains the universe to guide our journey. The only expectation that I still have is nothing will go as planned. I got married when I was 21 not 23. I worked in retail off and on for six years. We ended up in Texas when we wanted to be on one of the coasts. We got pregnant with no insurance, when we are making less money than we did the last 2 years.

It never goes the way we think. Embrace the truth that God is doing something larger in your life than you or I can understand. Swim in the deep waters of the reality that He may lead you down a path only to turn you around, because there is more to a journey than simply the destination. When we do this, we find a bigger, more beautiful, God filled life than we may have allowed ourselves to imagine.

Life is more than you planned.

Is there a time in your life where you had trouble trusting God in where He was leading you? Reply below.


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