I Have a Plan For You

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

Would not you just love for someone to say that to you? I know that I get tired being the leader in our family and just want to sit back and have someone else be in charge.

I have it all planned out.

Those are powerful words. How many times do you wake up and think, I'm not sure what direction to go in. Sure, you know how to get up and ready for work and how to drive there. But is that the direction you want your life to take? Is it the path you imagined when you were young and fresh out of college or high school? Did you get derailed somewhere along the way?

There have been days, weeks, and months in my life where I feared taking another step. Like Pavlov's dog, I'd learned the hard way what would happen if I moved in a particular direction. I'd experienced failure, disappointment, criticism, and embarrassment. There were days when it felt safer not to take any steps because at least that way I knew what would happen. The fear of the unknown was paralyzing.

If only someone had said to me, I have it all planned out, plans to take care of you.

I got married at a very young age. My friends and family said, no do not. You are just starting your life – you are only 18. Get through college, experience life before you settle down. But I knew best. I can remember saying, "I want a partner to go through life with and experience life together when we are young and can enjoy it." At that time my 20's and 30's seemed like old age and I imagined that when I was in that stage of my life a walker would have been required to maneuver my way through life. I needed to grab life while I was a teen before it was over.

So I married; A fresh out of boot camp Marine and we moved to a trailer off the Camp Lejuene base. I had no friends. We had no money. My contemporaries, the other military wives were younger than I and most were pregnant or already had a child. Life had made the decision for them.

I had a plan. Over time I came to realize it was not a very good plan. Let's be honest. We married on Saturday October 16, 1976. The following Thursday, while we were still on our honeymoon I realized it was not a very good plan. I had not even written the thank you notes for our wedding gifts and I was regretting my plan.

Within our first year of marriage he took off on a six month trip. It was during that time that I grew to grow up. No job, no hopes of a job because of the number of people looking versus the number of jobs available. Our car was reposed, we had no phone, and I had no money for food. He had the pay check go to him in case he wanted to site see while he was in the Mediterranean.

I found I could not take a step. Well, that's not true. I could walk to the 7/11 and buy a bottle of Lambruso wine and a carton of cigarettes.

What plan was this? I was very alone.

For seven years we did our best. After the Marines, the government and I put him through college. I did not have a degree but worked three jobs to make sure he did.

How I would have liked someone to say, I have plans to take care of you. Nope, I was on my own.

Over time he began to abuse me. I had allowed myself to become so low as to believe I deserved the path I traveled. But one day I woke up. I learned that he was abusing others and although it was okay in my mind for him to treat me poorly, it was not okay for him to do that to others. I took action. Swift. Someone spoke in my ear and led me on. Within days I 've taken legal action and found a new path, a new direction.

Over the years since then I have had hills and valleys in my life, but none so low.

The day I dated Johnny Bench. A definite peak. Loosing my Grandfather. A bad boss. Having my children. We all have hills and valleys in our lives. Some higher or lower than others. But do I have a plan?

I was raised to believe in God and I learned the stories in Sunday School but I was never a scholar of the Bible. As I grew older, I found I wanted to learn more about what was in that book. In particular when I was expecting my daughter – 40, over weight, fearing for her health, I turned to the Bible for comfort. I looked for answers. I prayed, asked for her safe birth and when she was born healthy, I moved on with my life.

God, for me, was someone you turn to for forgiveness or to ask for something. But basically I relied on myself for the plan and the path I would take.

This past year as I lived through some uncertainties in my life, I knew I needed a plan. But I was afraid. I've been taking the same path for so many years. I'd worn a rut that I was comfortable with. I felt as though control had been taken from me and I was afraid for our future. And then my Dad told me something that has changed my life.

You were never in control, Deborah. Never truly in control. God has a plan for you. Each time you try and take control you jump the tracks and find yourself stranded on the side of the rail. Like a toddler who scores of walking and raises their hands to be lifted and transported by their parents, when you reach out to God to take control, He puts you back on the tracks and sets you on your way never out of reach.

Read Jeremiah, 29:11. You'll find comfort.

"I know what I'm doing, says God. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."

I look back over my life and see the times when I turned away from God to booze or food for the answer to my troubles. He waited patiently for me to wake up and realize that I can not go it alone. I do not have the plan.

I will not abandon you.

I will give you a future with hopes.

Such powerful words.

I still try to be in control. That's just the type person I am. I do not need anyone. I can do it myself. But I find when I give in, when I let Him take control, a weight is lifted from my heart. I do not have to have all the answers. I do not have to be in control.

He has a plan for you too. He has a plan for every person who reaches up and says, I can not do it anymore. I do not want to be alone. I'm tired of making all the decisions. I'm afraid.

Reach out.

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."