I’m going to embrace my newfound Southern culture when I say this.
Y’ALL, I am a frequent rider of the constantly planning struggle bus. I’ve been fixin’ to get off for a while but it’s a struggle!
I feel like I thrive when things around me are organized and make sense. I love goals and timelines. The word efficiency is music to my ears.
When I set out to become a writer, I knew I had to temper my expectations. I knew that I was on a steep learning curve and that there’s no perfect way to become a writer, especially a paid writer.
So, my plan was to hold my plans loosely. I basically made a plan to hold my plans loosely. Having a plan that was a non-plan made me feel like I still had control.
Is your head swirling by my non-plan plan? Welcome to my life.
I’m learning to surrender every decision and opportunity to God.
I’ve excitedly accepted writing opportunities that I thought would bring value and experience to me as a writer. They were seemingly good opportunities.
I’ve regretted accepting seemingly good writing opportunities because they didn’t meet my ‘why.’ They busied my life and gave me opportunities, but kept me from serving you through words and pointing you to Jesus, which is why I do this.
Without knowing it, I can take an opportunity and make a quick list of reasons why it’d be a good experience for me. The reasoning leads to me developing a plan, which derails my desire to hold my plans loosely.
Every decision and opportunity has to be about why God calls me to write or it loses meaning for me.
I'm learning to pause and pray.
I’ve done so much pausing and praying with my book. Honestly, I’m ready to move on to the next writing project but I can’t.
I’m fumbling my way through the editing process.
Editing. Pausing. Praying. Repeat.
Yes, I can push it through. Truthfully, there are a lot of days that I want to but I sense that God has more for me than checking a book off the list.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
As I wait on God to unfold His plan, the pausing (taking a breath) and prayer provide a deepening of my relationship with Christ. It’s truly a sweet spot to be in. Glimpsing the finish line yet knowing God is still working as I crawl my way to the end brings strength and courage that only comes from a God-filled loosening of plans.
Ultimately, I’m learning to be brave.
Holding our plans loosely is not something that is easy or natural for most of us. It takes bravery. It takes bravery to be more concerned with obedience than outcome. We feel like we have something to prove to the people around us or something that we desperately need to do for God.
I constantly fight busyness and striving. They are my constant companions in this life.
I had a boss once that had a habit of approaching certain projects slowly or waiting days to reply to certain e-mails, or not replying at all. I thought that he didn’t care about progress and quality work. Turns out, he was brave.
He was actually way smarter than the rest of us. He knew that certain things thrown his way didn’t meet his why. He knew that certain circumstances needed processing before movement or a response. He probably even knew what I would unfairly think about him. That’s brave, my friends.
There will always be things thrown our way that will threaten our desire to hold our plans loosely. We have to be brave enough to lay aside our desires and seek God’s best plan for us.
Be brave enough to surrender every decision and opportunity to God.
Be brave enough to pause and pray.
Be brave enough to wait on God and hold your plans loosely.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
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