When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

I’m a planner! A serious and dedicated planner.

I planned the birth of my first child…before I even had a mate.

I also planned my role on the PTA before that child was born.

I planned my career path, my type of husband, and I even planned where I would live.  (Hey, go hard or go home! Right?)

Fortunately, none of these events unfolded the way I planned: 

My first child was born ahead of my timeline. My husband’s daily life is not what I anticipated. I have lived in some interesting places, and the list goes on and on.

If my life unfolded the way I planned, I would lose sooo much. It took many years of my planning however, to arrive at this conclusion. 

Instead, I questioned God when I experienced deviations to my plans. I wondered if He loved me. I wondered if He heard my prayers. I wondered if I should even keep praying. At times I also felt upset, discouraged, and helpless.

My attitude didn’t change until I finally understood that I needed to stop focusing on myself (i.e. why not me, why not now, why aren’t things progressing according to my plans), and instead focus on God.  Then, things made sense, life was worth living, I felt better, and I experienced joy and peace.

I wholeheartedly believed in the sovereignty of God.

That is, God is in control and rules over all things. Such that nothing happens without his permission, or His authority.  

My beliefs and my actions however, were not in sync.

You see, I wasn’t just a planner. I had also appointed myself as God’s helper, His project manager for my life.  

God is sovereign, but in my actions I decided He needed help to fulfill my life timeline.

Yes, I know, a tad presumptuous. (Clearly God is merciful…y’all keep praying for me ?).

So I decided to resign my self appointed position and surrender my plans in light of God’s plans. I finally believed and trusted that I am God’s masterpiece and that He has good things planned for me (Ephesians 2:10).

Three things I learned, as I reflect from a place of repentance, prayerfulness, joy, and peace are:  

 1. In my obsessive planning and subsequent disappointment, questioning, and depressive state, I was denying the sovereignty of God.  

2. God will wait for you to come to yourself and return to the path where He is the leader, (picture a tour guide leading a group).

3. God really has this (my life, your life, this world), all figured out.  

So, I encourage you to trust God.

Trust that He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Trust that He has good plans for you, plans for a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Trust that He knows you (Psalm 139:1).

Trust that everything in your life will work together for good (Romans 8:28).

Maybe today you can take a break from planning your life. Stop trying to control it all. Maybe today you can let God be God in your life.

Friends, today let’s be still and reflect on the fact that He is God (Psalm 46:10a).  

And when you have reflected and meditated on His promises, try to move to a place of thanksgiving and worship (Psalm 136).  


“Lord, help us to trust you and to believe that you love us and take delight in us. Today, we surrender our lives to you. We thank you for your everlasting love. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”


Written by Renee A. Foyou for This Is Her Journey 

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  • Reply Tanisha Shanee

    Wow. I needed this. Just today I was ready to take position and resume my role as God’s helper – but, he doesn’t need my help. My God. Thank you for this.

    07/22/2017 at 9:11 AM
    • Reply This Is Her Journey

      Praise God! So happy to hear that Tanisha! Blessings to you as you continue your journey. Greater things are just on the horizon!

      08/21/2017 at 3:29 PM
  • Reply Renee Foyou

    Sometimes it isn’t easy to trust God. To let go and let God. Especially when it is about something that is very important or something that is near and dear to our hearts. I still struggle with giving it all to God on the first try. Just the other day I started planning my next thing when suddenly my attention was drawn to the sovereign God as I started praying. So, it’s a constant work. But we can get better and better at surrendering and trusting God if we allow Him to do the work in us. 

    09/28/2016 at 1:20 PM
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