Sometimes it's hard to start over.
Who am I kidding? It's always hard to start over.
Remember the movie "Groundhog Day"?
Every day Phil wakes up and has to start the same day over. And over. And over. Dang I love that movie.
On Wednesday I'm starting over. I'm heading back to the hospital. 5 weeks ago I had surgery. Now I'm a slightly creative soul, which means I can be messy. But I am a mostly organized messy and I like to have plans for the things that really count. Sometimes, you'll catch me winging it, but not very often. Don't get me wrong. I wing it with the best of them, but it's usually only when I'm out of options. But I always feel better with a plan. So my surgery was no different. My plan was to be back to normal life by now-- work, household and family stuff, weekend away with my husband, ministry. Instead, I'm flat on my back with all kinds of painful and nasty stuff going on. I've been fighting depression. I can do almost nothing for myself and I'm pretty sure my family is getting sick of waiting on me hand and foot. (Trust me, that part is not as great as it sounds.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that this seems all wrong. I had it all worked out so that I could do some fun writing and video editing while I was recovering. I was going to enjoy being home. This is NOT PART OF THE PLAN.
Or is it?
When I'm feeling well enough to sit up I have been reading and studying the Word of God. It really is fascinating reading when you think about it. Historical accounts of bloody battles, torture, betrayal, redemption, love, adventure, passion, prophecy, songs, poetry.
I came across a verse in Job this morning. The book of Job documents the suffering of a guy whose world seriously came crashing down around him. He lost his children, wealth and health in a very short period of time and was left with friends who gave him bad advice and a wife who told him to curse God and die. Nice. Job 17.11 (The Message) is an honest cry from the heart of Job. He says, "My life's about over. All my plans are smashed, all my hopes are snuffed out." Talk about life not going as planned! If you flip to the end of the book of Job, God basically shows Job that God's plan was best, even when things were at their worst. God had Job's best interest in mind all along.
Now I'm not saying that God planned for my stitches to fail, or that he caused the pain I'm in. The cold hard fact is...Life is hard. Bad things happen. We live in a world that has gone wrong. We get sick, we lose people we love, we lose our jobs and health and our kids make choices that make us want to curl up and hide. There are things like depression, anxiety, heartburn, zits and moldy food in the refrigerator. It's just life. And most of the time, we can't control any of it. This is a universal truth, and we can either face life alone or we can search for an even deeper truth.
Have you noticed that when life doesn't go as planned we run to everything but God? Let's face it--most of us would rather live in our "comfort zone", right? I can really be creative in the way I try to protect myself and make myself feel better. And I'm not the only one. Isaiah chapter 30 describes the children of Judah's reaction when life didn't go as they had planned. Instead of running to God for help, they ended up putting their trust in an alliance with Egypt. In verse 10 it talks about Judah's reaction to prophets who were trying to speak the truth into their lives. Listen to this one---They said (NLT)"...tell the prophets, "Shut up! We don't want any more of your reports...don't tell us the truth. Tell us nice things. Tell us lies." Hahahaaa! That is so ME sometimes.
Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans in a human heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (NIV) Hmmm...so why make plans at all? If God's purpose prevails then why bother putting in any planning or effort at all?
Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans." At first glance, that almost seems to contradict the verse above, doesn't it?
I'm still trying to figure all of this out, so bear with me here. I found a verse- Psalm 33:11 that says "But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken" (NLT) Read that verse again. It's pretty powerful stuff. God is completely trustworthy. His intentions for me never change. Bottom line; I can TRUST Him.
So this is where I'm at with this whole thing. I need to do my part. I need to be responsible for the things I can control. And then--- I need to let God take it where it needs to go. This means that when things don't go according to THE PLAN, I don't pick it back up. I take a deep breath and chill out and quit owning it. It was never really mine anyway.
So on Wednesday, they'll wheel me into that operating room again. And I'll pray I get someone who can do a bitchin' IV without leaving too many bruises. (My Dad says bitchin' is not a cuss word if you mean it in a good way.) I'll wake up in pain. And I'll do everything I can to heal and get back to my life. I have no plans from there. I've decided to just wing it.