In Planning We Trust

{The tenth installment in the In ____We Trust Series}

For open words on life, faith, and the unfailing love of the Lord, visit Carly over at Life In The Spacious Place. So grateful for Carly's honesty and simple, plain truth-telling way. 

All my life I have been a planner.  I was always the child who had their homework done on time, who had everything they needed with them, who saw all the detail in a situation and kept others organised.

As a teenager, before a family holiday to Disney World, I even read a guidebook and created a detailed plan of exactly which order to go on the rides and attractions in order to minimize queuing and make the most of the day!

I didn’t like the feeling when things were out of control, and planning became a way to combat that.

As I got older I learned to relax a bit and accept that life doesn’t always go according to plan, but sometimes the desire to find control through planning can still kick in.

Proverbs 3:5-6 instructs us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

I have learned to trust God, but I struggle to trust him with all my heart.  It is easy to divide my trust between God and my own planning.

I realised last year that this was an issue.  Part of my work is organising camps and events for young people and it was becoming increasingly stressful.  The week leading up to an event would be filled with sleepless nights, while the days would be a frantic flurry of photocopying, of thinking up wet weather alternatives and creating back-up plans for every eventuality in case other people didn’t do what they were meant to do.


I’d have said I was trusting God, but really I was relying far too much on my own planning and that was the root of the stress.  The worst thing was that other people were beginning to rely on me for everything too, which only added to the pressure.

Fortunately God had a plan to address this.

Part 1 of the plan was that I forgot something for an event, which I realise is not as earth-shattering as it seemed at the time.  I couldn’t understand how it had happened but I’m convinced that God was behind it.  I had written a list of everything we needed and triple-checked it.  It seemed impossible that I could have forgotten something, especially something obvious and important.

It was embarrassing and it was an inconvenience to sort out, but God definitely worked it for good.  It showed me, and others, that I was not invincible, I learned that others would show me grace, and I realised that we could deal with the situation and it wasn’t the end of the world.

Part 2 of God’s plan was thrusting me into leadership in a situation so completely chaotic that I hadn’t a hope of being in control.  There were too many unknowns, too many factors that depended on other people, too many difficulties that could never have been foreseen.  Every time I felt I was making progress something else would go wrong.  There was no way my planning was going to fix it and I had to accept that from the start.

It made me look to God: to seek him, to truly learn to rely on prayer rather than planning, to let my first response be turning to God instead of finding my own solution.

It forced me to admit that I couldn’t deal with it myself- that my planning was not enough but I needed God to bring order from the chaos and make it come together.

It allowed me to see God’s power and faithfulness as he did just that (at the last possible moment, which really exercised my faith!) and I knew that in the end, the successful result was all down to him and not to me.

Planning is still something that comes naturally to me, but I don’t want it to be an idol, or the place I put my trust.  These verses from Proverbs remind me that my trust has to be firmly in God and that it is his plan I should be seeking and trusting him to lead me.

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.  (Proverbs 16:9)

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.(Proverbs 19:21)

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.  (Proverbs 16:3)

For the next few weeks, guests will be writing each Monday on something (or someone) we tend to trust in besides God. 

What about you? How do you fill in the blank: In ______ I Trust?

This post will also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

0 Replies to “In Planning We Trust

  1. Oh how I hear your heart here. I’m a recovering control-freak lol! I love the Scriptures you share. I was reading Proverbs 19: 21 just this morning. And another one I read with new eyes this morning that is going to become my prayer (especially the undivided heart) is: Psalm 86:10 Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

    Thank you, Bethany, for hosting Carly’s words.

    1. Thanks, Anna. I love the verse you share- it’s a great prayer. It is so easy to partly trust God but for our hearts to be divided as we trust other things too.

  2. I feel like my husband and I could have written this! Straight A students, over-achievers, we got everything we worked for. God’s Plan for us was infertility (9 years and counting). Talk about having no control. It made us see that we have to put all of our hope and trust in God and not in our own abilities. Our lifelong cross has given us such blessings! 3 of which are our beautiful children we’ve adopted! I really loved this post. Beautiful! You should join us for Tuesday Talk every Tuesday at 8am EST! You would be a great addition to our link party! Stopping by from Women with Intention! -Jessica, Sweet Little Ones

    1. Thanks, Jessica. I’m sorry that you and your husband have struggled with infertility. It is so hard when our plans don’t work out as we wanted and we have no control. But I love how God can use those times to help us see our trust needs to be in him, and how he still has good plans for us even when they are different from our own.
      Thank you for the invitation to Tuesday Talk- I will check that out!

  3. Oh Carly, I can relate to so much of what you’ve written. With many planner tendencies I think I can drive some people mad, including myself! I am slowly learning to trust God’s plan over my own. I’m so glad he’s patient with me!

    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine

  4. I’m a planner, too, Carly! I SO get this! It can be such a struggle. Especially when we believe we are doing what God has called us to do. Inviting God into our planning brings and trusting Him with the outcomes brings peace! Thank you for your words this week! Blessings

  5. I’m a planner, too. I love to make lists, but sometimes the plans don’t work out the way I think. God has a way of showing us that He is in control. I’m learning to trust Him more and more with whatever plans I have, knowing that He could change them anytime and that His way is always best. Thanks for sharing at #LMMLinkup!

    1. Thanks, Gayl. I think making plans is okay, as long as we are consulting God and open to him changing our plans, remembering who is really in charge.

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