God’s Plans vs. My Plans
When I was in college I had a group of friends that I hung out with regularly. We had all of our meals together. We’d go places together on the weekends, or hang out together at my friend, Brad’s apartment. We just always seemed to laugh and have a great time. This particular group of friends became like family to me while I was living away at school.
Our sophomore year at college we found out the school was offering a wonderful summer work program to students. The college was closed for classes during the summer, but it regularly hosted conferences in its many buildings. The school needed students to stay to work in the cafeteria and custodial departments of the school. In addition to minimum wage, all students who would stay at the school and work through the summer got free room and board. The normal work schedule was 7:30 am to 4pm.
What an opportunity! Free room and board?! No homework. I could hang out with my group of friends every night when we got off of work. We all signed up for the summer work program and anxiously looked forward to receiving our work assignments in the mail.
One by one my friends received their assignments.
- Rebecca — Dorm Monitor — 1st shift.
- Michelle — Cafeteria — 1st shift.
- Dave — Custodial crew — 1st shift.
- Jeff — Conference Services — 1st shift.
- Brad — Cafeteria — 1st shift.
Finally my assignment came in the mail. Gwen — Custodial crew — 2nd shift.
Second shift?? This was terrible! Everyone else was working first shift. I’d be getting home from work just as the others were going to bed. Gone were my dreams of summer fun. Gone were my dreams of hanging out with friends. In fact, gone were my dreams of hanging out with ANYONE! Of the 100 or so students who were hired by the school to work for the summer, only ONE other student was assigned to work 2nd shift.
He was my designated work “partner” and I would be completing all of my assignments with him. 8 hours a day. Every day. With the same exact person. And no one else. (Sigh).
What a disappointment! What a let down! My expectations for summer fun were dashed to pieces. I wish I could say I handled the news well. I didn’t. I whined. I complained. I called all my friends and told them my sob story. I reluctantly went to work the first day with my new “partner.”
The summer turned out just as I had feared, I barely got to see my regular group of friends at all. But, it ended up being one of the best summers of my life. The “partner” I was assigned to is now my husband.
I had plans for my life — plans for how the summer would be — and they were ruined. But God replaced those plans with His own for my life, and they were far better than I could have ever imagined.
God’s Plans vs. My Plans. This is an issue I still have to remind myself of today. I have plans for my children. Plans for the school year. Plans for the week, for the day. And it’s good to have them. But if my plans get ruined, if I can’t accomplish what I wanted to, if my children aren’t doing what I had hoped, or are going in a direction I hadn’t intended, I need to remind myself that God is bigger. His plans are better, and even if things seem utterly ruined, He sees the big picture and ultimately has something magnificent in mind.
He is a God who can take the biggest disaster of a day, week, or year, and turn it into something marvelous.
I’m thankful to serve a God like that!
Proverbs 19:21 “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Luke 3:5 “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.”
Copyright October 1st, 2013 by Gwen Fredette
All Scripture taken from NIV (New International Version)