Proverbs 16:9 (NLV)
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.
This verse popped into my head last night, and I just had to laugh. It’s all I could do. I’ll be perfectly honest, though; at first I wanted to cry. All the plans I had made, and not a single one had panned out. In fact, each one, one by one had fallen through. Now what were we gonna do?!
A month off! Sounds good, but crazy, right?! I mean, it’s not like I had paid time off. It’s not even like we had some huge nest egg set back to pull from. Nope. All I had was certainty. I’ve stopped questioning my ability to hear from the Lord. When I feel Him leading me in a certain direction, well, I just go. I used to obsess back and forth, “is this really God’s will,” but I learned something pretty darn important. Are you ready for this nugget?
He’ll work it out regardless.
I’ve found that you often have to step out of your comfort zone to follow where God is leading. Sometimes we can use the excuse of “I’m not sure it’s God’s will” to keep us from doing something scary, and as a side effect we never experience the blessing he had in mind. It takes courage to hear from the Lord, but once you can trust that he’s speaking to you, especially in the big things, it will simply become second nature to follow him for the little things. It took me a while to grasp this. The great, grand conclusion is that even if you accidentally turn left when God says right, he’ll just have you bust a couple more lefts to get around the block.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Anyway, back to my story. I had decided to take the month of December off work as a travel nurse. I felt like God was leading us to take that time. I felt it was a needed rest, a time of rejuvenation for my husband, and much needed communion with my loved ones beyond our immediate family circle. I felt I needed to take those five weeks off from work so strongly that I just made the decision and did it!
I remember telling a coworker, “I’m not sure we have the funds to take off all that time, but I’m walking it out in faith.”
Even though I knew in my heart God wanted us to take this sabbatical, and I knew he was our provider, you better believe I set out planning. And that’s a good thing. I’m a quarter fly by the seat of my pants, half map it out accordingly, and 1/4 let the chips fall where they may, after my map flies out the window. Which is exactly what happened.
I started by squirreling money away, telling the kids no, placing a freeze on eating out. All good things. I kept running through the numbers, like, repeatedly tallying debits versus credits, to the point that even I felt convicted.
“Sorry, Lord,” I’d say as I put my calculator down. “I just need to trust you on this.”
The numbers were there, though, and that honestly gave me peace to know we weren’t being total idiots. With our camping membership in play, the whole time back home with family would be a rent-free stay for our RV, and I even found parks along the route home that would be free or no more than $10 for the night. I was pretty proud of myself.
“Oh, I’m sorry hon,” the lady on the phone said. “There are no vacancies.”
And so it began. Every stop I had planned, didn’t go as planned. The park within our camping membership back home that promised a three week stay for free? Closed for the season. Not one single plan I made went as planned, and I’ve found that happens in this life. As much as I want to try and fix everything before it’s even broken, some things I just don’t have the knowledge to mend. But my Poppa does.
I told a friend last night, “if there’s anything I’ve learned over the past two years, it’s that it will work out.”
Y’all, God is faithful to those who trust in him. We certainly don’t deserve it, but he continues to pour out his great grace and favor over us. The past couple of years have been a faith-building journey of uncertainty, yet through it all God always made a way. Nowhere to stay? He would place something unexpectedly in our path. Good health, safety, and provision always given. If an unexpected repair came up, then the funds came through. We learned not to worry what our next step would be. We just kept our eye on our guide. Jesus. Always Jesus.
It’s like, the more I placed my trust in him, the more he supplied his favor. I said I laughed when I thought of that verse from Proverbs because I know God’s not done with me yet.
Last night I told the Lord, “well, I guess you’re not done showing me what all you can do.”
My faith isn’t perfect, y’all. Far from it. You better believe I got a little twitchy thinking about the extra funds needed for lot rent for the month of December, but then the Holy Spirit whispered that verse. See, besides being just okay at my faith, I’m also just an alright planner, but thankfully my all-knowing God’s got this. My plans can fall through, and I don’t have to sweat it, because my trust is in him. Where he leads, he provides, and in the end, that’s really all I need to know.