I had planned to “get organized”, get done those items that didn’t get done before I left for Houston to help with my new niece, get done the organization and plans to start school back today with the kids after way too long off for Christmas break.
As I sat at the table yesterday afternoon, fretting over what to keep doing school-wise, what to let go, what each child needs and how in the world am I going to get it done – the stress beginning to fill me, the tension in my shoulders bearing down, my husband came in and wordlessly, handed me his iPad to read. In a moment, everything I had planned, everything I was fretting over, everything I thought was important was rendered meaningless.
Yesterday morning, on their way to school, a dear friend and his 14 year old daughter were in a car accident. She died. So in the wake of this news, yes, all my plans were put in their proper place as “not that big of a deal” and “there is more to this life”. Everything was shoved aside as we wept and prayed, made and received phone calls as the news disseminated among the community of those that love these dear ones, and as we began to walk a new path with our children. They had experienced the death of an extended family member, the death of a child of friends, but this was the first time it was a peer…someone their age, someone they had hung out with and played with and laughed with. I didn’t plan on having these conversations with my kids. My plans were changed.
We had been asked at AMH to consider and write about those things that we are often wrestling with at the new year, and what it means to bring them before Jesus and sit at his feet. As I think about “plans made” and “plans unmade” and how to deal with the uncertainty that life this side of Heaven brings, I can only point to the certainty of the One who holds us tightly in His hands. We can and should make plans – but we must hold those plans with a loose grip. God is the one who directs and redirects. We are often angry when our plans are unmade or frustrated, shaking our fist at God screaming ,”Don’t you know all the things I have to get done???”
But it’s days like yesterday, and today, and tomorrow, that I am reminded of what is important – and what is needful – and who it is that walks me through this life. His plans are sometimes hard to handle – they are not always the plans I would have made. But I rest in his heart for me. I rest in his heart for our dear friends who did not have the death of their dear daughter in their plans. So as we continue to make our plans, give thanks to the Great Planmaker who holds his children in His tender hands. He has shown his great love for us by the gift of his Son. Hold loosely to our plans and tightly to His hands.