God's Plan Trumps My Plan

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 is, hands down, one of my favorite bible verses. So many times, life seems plotless, out of control. We can’t get going in the right direction. We lack time and resources to fulfill our dreams.

When I was in my thirties, I desperately wanted children. My then-husband and I saw doctors and specialists and started infertility treatments. If you’ve never been to an infertility clinic, you might not realize what cattle factories they can be. And if you’ve never taken fertility drugs, you’re lucky—imagine PMS times menopause times ten. No fun!

I remember driving down the highway after an impersonal phone call let me know that our latest attempt to conceive had failed. I sobbed and pounded the steering wheel and railed at God for his unfairness. I’d prayed and prayed; why wasn’t he blessing me with a child?

walk for hope lee&gracie

Only later, cradling the ill, neglected baby the orphanage folks placed in my arms in a hotel room in Chengdu, China, did I get a glimmering of God’s plan for me. Helping my daughter grow into the amazing, confident, resilient young woman she is today has been the biggest blessing of my life.

I don’t want to oversimplify this verse’s meaning. Jonathan Merritt, who’s a lot smarter about these things than I am, explains here that we need to take verses like this in context. He reminds me that adoption is always a mixed blessing, that there’s a birth mother in China who, in all likelihood, still grieves the cultural pressures that made her give up her beautiful baby girl.

But that doesn’t stop me from claiming Jerimiah 29:11, because I believe God’s ultimate plan for all of us is positive, even if we have to go through some pretty incredible trials to get there.

I’d love to hear about times God’s plan for something in your life turned out to be better than your own.

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3 Comments on "God’s Plan Trumps My Plan"

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This is one of the verses that I turned to a lot this year, when I was looking for a job. I just kind of assumed I was going to be a math professor until I got old and turned into an emeritus math professor, and it was a bit of a shock to find out that it wasn’t going to work that way. I tried to keep a good attitude by reminding myself that God has a plan, and if he wouldn’t tell me exactly what it was, at least I knew it is a good plan, full of… Read more »
I liked your story on your adoption. My daughter tried for years to get pregnant & couldn’t. It got to the place where we’d HATE to tell her that somebody was pregnant–especially if they didn’t want to be! That was worse! We’re Christians, go to church, and to her, some of these people didn’t even acknowledge Him! She went through the IVF, etc., but no luck. Then about 6 mos. later, Wha-la! She was pregnant! They had a beautiful baby boy, who is now 9 yrs. old! Then when they decided on more, no luck! And then they started looking… Read more »