Pursuing the Unplanned

{excerpt taken from dictionary.com:

planner – noun

see: Melissa McEntyre}

——————————————————

No, obviously it doesn’t actually say that under the entry for the word planner on dictionary.com. But it may as well!

I AM THE ULTIMATE PLANNING CHAMPION! (I’m flexing my guns right now…yes I am.)

Seriously though, I love to plan. I live to plan. I enjoy it, I’m good at it and it tends to make my life run very smoothly.

I attended the Women of Faith: Believe God Can Do Anything! conference two weekends ago, here in Oklahoma City, with my dear friend, Renee.

Worship was led by Kari Jobe and the incredible ladies of the Gateway Worship team. Sessions were led by gifted and passionate women such as Lysa TerKeurst (which was a huge deal to me, I am such a fan of Lysa’s writing), Christine Caine, Patsy Clairmont, Anita Renfroe, Priscilla Shirer and Craig Groeschel, who is not a woman, but just as gifted and passionate.

Renee and me at WOF OKC, August 2013

Renee and me at WOF OKC, August 2013

It was, in a word, phenomenal.

I knew God was moving and speaking while I was in the thick of the conference, but it was one of those instances when you don’t realize the depth of the impact until the moments have passed. The conference ended Saturday afternoon and I spent the rest of the weekend with my heart and mind in a Holy Spirit Fog. As I sifted through the pieces of memories I had taken from the weekend, savoring each one, I felt the Lord impress two very specific word pictures, if you will, on my soul. The first was a very sweet, very delicate, very personal love note from the King that I am keeping hidden in my heart for the time being, but I may share it if the right occasion avails itself.

The second was more of an instructive word. I heard God very specifically address my fondness for planning. “Melissa,” He began. “I have something very special in the works for you right now. It’s grand and exciting and wonderful, and guess what?” He teased.

“WHAT LORD WHAT? C’MON! TELL ME! TELL ME!” (I regressed.)

It's me and Lysa Terkeurst, y'all!

It’s me and Lysa Terkeurst, y’all!

“You don’t get to plan even a second of it.”

“But God…I mean really. That’s what I’m best at. Better than You probably.” (I’m thankful for His sense of humor and unending supply of grace when I stick my big fat foot in my mouth like that.)

I swear, I could feel Him giving me “the look”. And yet, despite my best efforts to argue with God, He was very firm on His position.

“No planning. Don’t try, it will be fruitless. This time, you just trust. I will give you one piece of instruction at a time, and you are to follow it in obedience and faith. Once you have done that, I will give you the next step. Also, I love you.”

Of course, initially, I tried to interrupt and argue my case. But it was in that very last sentence that I melted like butter in a hot skillet.

“Also, I love you.”

Yes. He loves me. He loves me so deeply and graciously and ferociously. And it’s because of that great love that I found myself responding with:

“Yes, Lord. I trust You. I will be obedient. I will not plan. Well…I’ll do my best. You’ll probably have to help me. A lot. A whole lot. Actually, I don’t think I can do this afterall. You know, it sounds like a big job, why not let me help plan a portion of it? Just a smidgen. No, no. I won’t. You love me so much. I have no reason not to trust You. I will, I’ll do it. I’ll trust and obey. I love You, too, Heavenly Father.”

And you know…being in such a vulnerable state of surrender actually allowed me the grace I needed to find strength to fully trust in His perfect planning and fully abandon my flawed planning.

It has been only two short weeks and I have already begun to see His plans unfolding. It has been such a wonderful thing to sit back and admire His work. I thought I was a master planner? He is The Master Planner. I mean, pro guys. God is totally pro.

Hear me on this, it hasn’t exactly been a cake walk. There have been moments when I have sent a dramatic text to my husband about my planning withdrawals. I have had to literally sit on my hands to keep myself from planning. I swear, it’s like a nervous tick. But His grace is so sufficient. He gently reminds me so often that He is working on my behalf.

I also want to say that I don’t believe God is keeping me from planning just to watch me squirm. No, I don’t believe that at all. I believe He is using this as an opportunity for us to grow closer. This time in my life is not only encouraging me, but in fact forcing me to trust God in a way I never have before, which in turn, causes me to know Him on a much more intimate level. And despite the crazed, emotional texting or hand sitting, I am loving every second of it.

“Also, I love you.”

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9
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