Proverbs 16.9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
I recently re-read a post I wrote one year ago entitled A Blank Slate. In this post I reflect on the fact that looking into 2018 I had no expectations of what the year would hold. I had hopes, dreams, and loose plans that I had etched in my blank slate, but for the most part, the year was un-charted.
To say that I had absolutely no idea what God’s plans were for 2018 would be an understatement. How could I have known all that God had planned? The year started off with finding out I was pregnant on January 2nd. We were shocked, joyful, and fearful all at the same time. We had lost our first daughter at one day old due to a fatal neural tube defect so we had a lot of fear being pregnant again. God in His grace, though, allowed me to have a healthy pregnancy, and I delivered a beautiful baby girl in September. Everything seemed absolutely perfect until at ten days old she spiked a 102 degree fever. She was later diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and from there began a long hospital stay, an emotional roller coaster, exhaustion, and more doctor appointments than I ever imagined with my newborn. (You can read more about our journey with our daughter and meningitis in my last post: I’m Not There Yet.)
As crazy and unpredictable as last year was, isn’t it true that we don’t ever fully know what’s ahead of us? We have guesses, even plans, but only the Lord knows what truly lies ahead. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t make plans or goals-that is wise to do! But do so knowing that things may not work out the way you had planned. The Lord is the One who determines our steps. He is sovereign, good, and loving. When things work out the way we had planned, we can trust Him. When things don’t work out the way we had planned, we can trust Him. We can trust Him no matter what.
This year, when things go differently than what we had hoped and planned, I’m praying that we will remember this verse and trust the One who establishes our steps. Oh how easy it is for me (maybe you too!) to get frustrated and discouraged with unexpected circumstances. But may the Lord steady our hearts, reminding us that He is sovereign, in control, and good. We can trust that whatever happens in 2019, God will be with us each step of the way. So here’s to a new year! A fresh start. A year of ups and downs. A year of meeting goals and facing unexpected challenges. And most importantly, a year that God has already planned out and most assuredly will walk us through each step of the way.
Pressing on in faith, Jennifer