Originally posted on Miss P’s Ponderings on July 16, 2012.
For those of you who don’t know me well…I’m a planner, list-maker, organizer….I’ve been said to have a “methodical” (that’s the nice word…) personality. Knowing that, you’ll better understand the inspiration of today’s writing. Failed plans! Argh!
This was fresh in my thoughts as I drove to church yesterday morning. For the third time this summer, my well-planned agenda for the day was destroyed by the behavior of the other involved. Twice it was due to better plans coming along and this time was due to oversleeping. Now, please realize that I totally understand the reason for the three failures, and most people wouldn’t have issue with it. However, my “methodical” personality doesn’t deal nicely with well thought out plans going awry.
So, with these frustrations fresh in my thoughts, I sat to listen to the guest preacher begin his message on Psalm 96. As he preached, he shared the reasons we were called to worship. The Psalm was filled with “reasons” such as He’s the Creator and our Savior. But the one that…slapped me in the face (stepping on my toes is easy to overlook) was that He is sovereign. Greg went on to share how they were heading here from Louisville and hadn’t heard that 65N was closed. The point of the illustration was that He is sovereign…and regardless of our plans, He has a plan and will use all things, even closed interstates, as a call to see Him and glorify Him. So, there it was, in a nutshell…”get over it”. Your plans are fine, but when they fall through…get over it. He’s sovereign and all is well.
Now, obviously my cancelled plans are small potatoes compared to other things in life, but it causes me to reflect on other instances where I needed to “get over it” when looking on my plans and accept His plans and, more importantly, TRUST His plans.
First, when I graduated from Carson-Newman College in 1992, my plan was to teach in Tennessee. I fell in love with the beauty of it as well as the way of life. I had become accustomed to going into a restaurant and having perfect strangers call me “honey” and “sweetie”. I became okay with friends hugging me in Wal-Mart when they saw me. These were not things I grew up with in Indiana. I’m not saying Indiana is rude by any means, I’m simply saying…Tennessee is different…it’s unique. My plan was to turn my blood orange and call Tennessee home.
For several years, I would complete applications and send them off. Then, two things happened that made me see I needed to accept my journey back here at home. First, as I sat with the principal at my friend’s school he uttered these words, “You need to write your college roommate’s address down as your own. You’ll never be considered with an out-of-state address.” “Umm,” my conscience said, “I think he just told me to lie on an application to get a job.” That’s not going to happen. Then, back at home, I continued to work with the Baptist Campus Ministries at Hanover College, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It occurred to me that even if I wasn’t using my teaching degree I was being used by Him, and I needed to be “okay” with it. So, I surrendered my plan and accepted that I would substitute teach during the day, work with collegiate ministry in the evenings and weekends, and wait on the Lord.
Guess what! The following August, I was offered my own third grade classroom in Hanover, Indiana. The school that had been our biggest adversary in sports while I was a student was now my “home”. Sixteen years later, it still is. I can’t imagine teaching elsewhere. Is life perfect at my school? Nope. But, am I being used by Him to be a Light? I think so….and the joy I receive through my career hasn’t diminished even in the midst of all the “junk” facing education due to government proclamations.
The other big “get over it” came through my “status”. Most girls don’t grow up thinking, “Maybe I’ll be single forever and never know the joy of marriage and motherhood.” Yet, currently, that’s where I find myself. To be honest, some days I’m better at accepting this than others. To be blunt, I pretty much loathe Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve since they seem so “coupley”. I’ve gotten frustrated a few times when my church has done a marriage/family focus in sermons or Bible study which I think…”how can this apply to me”. Yet, as time passes, I have a peace.
I see how as a single person I’m free to be involved in ministry and fellowship with others without checking with someone or finding a sitter. I also watch as friends have gone through the agony of divorce or the heartbreak of a wayward child, and I realize that singleness has its advantages. I’ve had many married friends encourage me to enjoy the “freedom” of singleness causing me to realize that both “statuses” have mountains and valleys.
In the end, I go to my memory of Aunt Eva. She was actually my great aunt and one of the sweetest ladies I knew. My sisters and I would play games and play dress up when we’d visit her. She’d make us cookies and take us to church. I always remember how much I enjoyed my time with her and how much her faith meant to her. When I think of Aunt Eva, I usually tell myself, “If Connor can have those same thoughts when he thinks of me, then what better legacy could I leave behind.”
Well, my plan for today was working in my classroom. I have a pile of empty boxes stacked by the door, and stacks of children’s books throughout my classroom organized by series, genre, or author. I must get back to my “to do list”. I’d hate to be the cause of my own frustrations. Thanks for reading….and if things don’t go as planned remember…”get over it” and trust He is in control.