When Real Life Messes Up the Planner

I’m a planner. Everything goes on a calendar. If it’s not there, it probably won’t happen. Honestly! Just ask my kiddos. When they really want me to remember something, they ask if I’ve put it on my calendar. If it’s not there, it probably won’t be remembered. 

And my planner is filled. Kids activities, church stuff, family events, game nights with friends…it’s all there. The penciled in dates, stickers, quotes, verses. I even put in stuff I think will happen! All of it. Buying accessories for my planner is a favorite hobby. My Pinterest board is filled with ideas for planners. 

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I’ll let you in on a secret. Every single Valentine’s Day, I fill that little box with hearts and block out a space of time for a Valentine’s Dinner with that special someone. But, that box sits empty and has for many years. 

And, as a single mom, there’s holiday’s that are left empty because I share custody with their dad and they are at his house. 

See, as much as I wish life would match my perfect planner it doesn’t. 

A kid has to work during a scheduled family dinner. 

A tire goes flat on the way to work. 

The alarm doesn’t go off and you’re late for a meeting. 

You lose a job. A loved one. A relationship. 

Doctor’s appointments for an unexpected illness fill boxes instead of a work schedule.

Or maybe your dream just isn’t happening on your timeline. 

Life. It just happens. And it usually doesn’t go as planned.

When my youngest son was in Middle School, we were talking one night about how nothing stays the same. He’s a bit of a planner, like me.  And, he just wanted things to go the way he thought they should. I gave him the old adage, “The only constant in life is change.” His engineering mind had trouble wrapping around that one! However, it is true. Things change all around us and sometimes life takes twists and turns we never expected. 

In the Bible, I see that Abraham waited many years for a son. Joseph was imprisoned before his dreams came true. David was anointed king, then he was fleeing for his life. Ruth may not have thought she’d be working in the fields to feed her and Naomi. And, I’m not sure Paul thought that he’d be preaching in Rome as a prisoner.  

But, these men and women held on. They realized that’s God’s grace was sufficient. They held to a hope that no bad speedbump, curve, circumstance could destroy. They kept believing, even when it seemed impossible. And, honestly, isn’t that why we read about them? We see glimpses of our own lives mirrored their lives. We feel the disappointment, the unknowing, the struggle. And we rejoice when victory is obtained, and a promise fulfilled. 

Ladies, have fun with those planners! Fill them with stickers and bright colors. Carry them with you. List those dental appointments and little league games. But, be sure to leave space for the unknown. Because in those blank spaces, when it seems impossible, God’s going to do great big things! 

Gwendolyn Irene