Laying Down “The Plan” {Team Journal}

Today’s team journal is written by our Bible Study Director, Lauren Steckling.


I am a planner. Maybe not to the extent of my mom, but I feel ‘in control’ when I have all the details worked out and my time is scheduled. I make to-do lists, packing lists, errand lists...even when my daughter was a baby, I went crazy to have her feeding, napping, and even pooping recorded so I would know her schedule. We are leaving on a short trip soon, and for the last week I have had lists of lists, just so that we don’t forget anything!

In reality, things don’t always go to plan.

This week, God is teaching me (probably for the hundredth time) that I am not the one in control. In reality, things don’t always go to plan. An unexpected trip to the Emergency Room with my grandparents kept me from keeping my 3:30 appointment for an oil change. And a later night at house church had me doing laundry instead of going to bed, and then we had a toddler who woke up two hours earlier than normal which threw the entire day’s schedule upside down.

Now mind you, having a plan and a schedule is not a bad thing. In fact, I would say in a lot of cases it’s wise to have a plan, but the issue is more of how I react when that plan doesn’t happen the way I think it should. I have to admit that I’m not always the most flexible person. I would say most planner type personalities struggle with being flexible. My family used to quote an old stage play Lost in Yonkers when things didn’t happen the way I thought they should -- “That’s not how I had it pictured!” -- we would say. They said this because I tended to have a picture in my head of how something should be, and anything other than that, to me, was wrong. I was reading this morning in my DWITW 365 reading plan Psalm 139 when the Lord spoke to me about this very issue.

As my cranky toddler was played with my “Bible pens” instead of sleeping and our half-packed bags lay next to me, God was telling me to lay all my plans down at his feet. He spoke to me using the first 6 verses which says:


O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

He knows my heart - my desire to be in control, my sin, my frustration when “the plan” goes to pot, and even my anxiety over it all. But praise the Lord that He is ultimately the one in control so I don’t have to be! And His plans are far better than my own. I could point to countless stories in my life where things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to. In every single one of those situations, it is clear that God had other plans for me and that His plan was SO MUCH BETTER than what I could have even imagined. Some of my best friends, best memories, and even my daughter were the result of God taking over, and making his plans preeminent over mine.

His plans are far better than mine and that He is worthy to be trusted.

This has been a struggle of mine for as long as I can remember. “That’s not how I had it pictured!” was easily one of the most quoted phrases in my house growing up (and trust me, we’re a family of quoters), but praise God that He doesn’t give up on us when we don’t get something the first, or even the hundredth, time. He continues to remind me that His ways are greater than my ways. His plans are far better than mine and that He is worthy to be trusted. So although it’s hard to let my plans go, I will choose to start today with open hands knowing God will do amazing things in my weakness, and I hope you are able to do the same!

Lauren Steckling wants to live in a world where donuts have no calories, weekends last longer, and everyone would feel the grace and peace that comes knowing their Savior Jesus. When she's not taking care of her toddler, you can find her sewing, baking, or with her nose in a good book.

Her favorite Scripture is Isaiah 41:10, ESV: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."