How many times have you heard “God has a plan for your life”? Probably a lot. It’s one of the most Christian things we can say.
What happens if we mess up Plan A? Do we go to Plan B? Does God have a secondary plan for our lives? How about Plan C? Is it possible to just go through the whole plan alphabet, or fall off the end of it?
How does it affect the way we view God or the way we view ourselves if we think we’ve knocked ourselves down to plan G?
My mom was unmarried when she had me. When I was younger, we attended a church where people had a certain habit. They would often end their conversations with her with a reminder. They would speak this reminder in various ways. And often, I was standing next to her while they said it. The message was the same:
“I don’t agree with what you did.”
The thing is, what my mom did was to get pregnant and have me.
As a result of this, I grew up with a belief somewhere inside of me that I was a thing the church didn’t approve of or agree with. It became a root of shame in my life that, for years, I didn’t even realize was there. And until God reminded my mom that what He has made clean, no one can make unclean, it was a source of shame for her as well.
One Sunday, a speaker at church spoke of God’s plan for our lives. He talked about how if we move away from God’s plan because of our choices, God has a Plan B for us to follow. And if we mess up again, He even has a plan C.
The speaker, along with his handy reference chart, talked about the kinds of sinful things that we do to derail God’s perfect plan for our lives: divorce, unplanned pregnancy, saying no to God and life changing as a result, etc.
The “ugly” things we can’t hide under a smile and a nice outfit.
My mother left that Sunday feeling discouraged. She was in her 20s, and was seemingly already well into her own plan alphabet.
Later on that day, she was praying about it and happened to be reading in Matthew 1, the passage about lineage. She started with Abraham, and then she got to verse 6.
“…David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife”
– Matthew 1:6
God made a promise to Abraham to bring about a seed. We understand today that this seed is Christ, God’s perfect plan for the world.
There was no Plan B.
It’s interesting that the lineage of God’s perfect plan includes a child from David and the wife of another man. If that doesn’t match up with the church-ey definition of what falling off of the perfect plan wagon looks like, I don’t know what does.
Yet, there it sits.
If what the speaker at church that day had said was true, and if my mom had followed God’s perfect plan A, then I would not have been born. Likewise, if I was a part of plan B, then I was not a part of God’s perfect plan, but a fallback instead.
If what the speaker had said that day was true, then Solomon was also not a part of God’s perfect plan.
Sometimes we make plans that don’t work out. Sometimes our plans, and seemingly our lives and our hope, burn to the ground. Sometimes we make choices that hurt, and sometimes we end up in seasons of grief or anger or dancing, through circumstances we cannot control.
Does God ordain that we go through this specific pain, or that specific joy? I honestly don’t know. And I think it’s besides the point anyway.
The point of God’s plan isn’t the choices we make or the seasons we end up in themselves. The things we walk through or crawl through in our lives are background noise.
This last year – probably longer than that – has been a season of mourning for me. I’m a planner, and most of my life plans have turned to ash. I’ve been grieving HARD, and in layers. Whether it’s appointed by God or not, whether I understand it or not, I know this: He has been showing me Himself, His character, through it all.
Here’s the thing: God’s perfect Plan A is us and Him in relationship. It has always been. When we appear fall off of Plan A, which is to know Him, We get up and we get back onto Plan A, which is to know Him.
How many times have you felt like you’ve fallen off the perfect plan wagon?
How has God shown Himself to you during those times?