When Things Don’t Go As Planned

January 13, 2020

I’m a planner.

I love to dream, and plan, and watch all the things unfold. 

This makes the start of a new year exciting! It’s a chance to dream bigger, make new plans, set new goals, and hit the ground running. 

I have new ideas I’m chasing this year. I have old ideas I want to take to the next level. My husband and I have a church we’re launching in a new neighborhood in Seattle. There’s a lot happening!

And there was a nice plan in place to help kick it all off. 

Yes, you read that right. 


Remember how much I love plans? 

Well, that also means I really dislike it when things don’t go as planned. 

I get a little attached to my plans…or a lot attached…whatever. 

I started this new year off with a great plan in place, and it all went out the window when my husband and I ended up with some kind of winter cold/flu/evil plan-derailing sickness on January 1st. 

Yep. We started off the new year sick.

When you’re a church planter, sickness or other emergencies often mean there’s no one else to take care of things at the church. 

So, the prayer revival we planned to kick off the new year with…it didn’t happen. 

And neither did the first Preview Service we had on the calendar as we gear up for the launch in a new neighborhood. 

Things tend to have a domino effect, so those two things impacted the entire launch plan. 

In addition to church stuff, several of my personal projects got zero attention for the first week-and-a-half of the year. I was literally in survival mode: sleep, eat, medicate, repeat. 

Not the best way to start the year, but our reality nonetheless. 

What are you to do? 

Do you throw hands up and say forget it? 

Do you just let things happen as they will and just go with the flow and throw the plans, dreams, and goals out the window? 

Do you let it cause anxiety and stress you out?

Do you let it ruin your day? 

Your year? 

Cause a bad attitude? 

A serious case of grumpiness?

Do you decide that goal or dream must not have been the will of God after all?

What do you do when things don’t go as planned?

Plans are great. Amazing, even! 

I believe in the power of having a plan. 

But I’m also learning that it’s okay to be flexible. 

It’s okay if things don’t go exactly according to plan. 

Sometimes God really is redirecting, or refining, the plan. 

Sometimes, life simply happens. 

Sometimes, there’s an enemy working to resist your God-given dreams and ideas. 

So, we pause. 

We pray.

We reevaluate and make necessary adjustments. 

And then we press on. 

Maybe the plan looks a little different, but we accept it with grace and we press on. 

Maybe we have to give up a few parts of the plan we were attached to, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. It doesn’t mean we should give up on it. 

If your new year didn’t start the way you thought it would, or if your carefully laid plans already seem to be unraveling, it’s okay.

Like the Apostle said, sometimes you have to forget those things that are behind you – things like messed up plans – and press on toward the prize of the high calling that’s still in front of you. 

Good things are still ahead.

Big dreams are still attainable. 

Make some adjustments, then keep reaching for all that God has for you. 

That’s what we must do.

Even when things don’t go as planned.