To say COVID-19 has changed peoples’ plans would be the understatement of the century.
A friend’s daughter is getting married this weekend. The happy couple had planned to invite 200 guests. Now only the immediate family will gather in a back yard to celebrate the wedding. No doubt thousands of other couples are changing wedding plans for the changing times.
Parents have changed plans to accommodate their children’s educational needs now that schools are closed. Proms and graduations have been canceled.
My son-in-law is completing his second year of medical school. His third year was to begin in mid-May in a northern B.C. community hospital. The pandemic changed those plans, however, and now he can’t begin until July. Meanwhile, he and my daughter were renting a house from a family that had moved to Africa to teach until the end of June. But Canada sent a plane to bring Canadians home last week, and understandably, they’ll need their house back. That means my daughter and her family have to move to that northern community earlier than expected.
Most everyone on the planet is experiencing change at this time.
It happened to me last weekend. Gene and I had originally planned to visit our son and his family for Easter, but we mutually decided this wasn’t a good idea. Having our Saturday open meant we could take our boat-home down the Fraser River to fill up with diesel. This should have been an eight-hour trip, but it turned into 48 hours after the engine’s starter died. We had to tie up at a public dock and pay for two nights’ moorage. Gene spent Easter Sunday at a fix-it shop having the starter rebuilt, and I spent those hours alone on the boat.
We finally returned to our marina on Monday. We thought we’d be home before lunch, but then the engine suffered an exhaust leak. Gene patched it, but it blew when he restarted the engine. His second attempt held fast, but we had to navigate the river at half our usual speed to prevent the possibility of blowing the patch again. We arrived at our slip several hours later than we’d anticipated.
If you’re like me, you feel comfortable when you’re in control of your circumstances. Things can get a little hairy when it feels like life is whirling out of control. That’s when fear steps in. Or disappointment. Or feeling ticked-off.
This weekend, when all my plans went kaput, I chose to not stress. Instead, I looked for something good in the unforeseen circumstances. The list surprised me:
- Gene and I rose early Sunday and read the Easter story while watching the sun rise over Mt. Baker. A precious time together.
- I enjoyed watching Asian men and women relax by fishing from the dock from dawn until dusk.
- I enjoyed seeing the variety of boats that went past—pleasure boats, commercial fishing vessels, sailboats, rowboats, kayaks.
- Gene spent his entire Sunday building friendship with one of our marina neighbors who read about our plight on my Facebook timeline page and immediately came to our rescue. He knew of a fix-it shop that was open albeit Easter Sunday, and a skilled mechanic there rebuilt the starter.
- We ended Sunday with a lovely walk along the shoreline. We watched the sun set behind the mountains on Vancouver Island. Total serenity.
Looking for the silver lining helped me roll with the changes to our plans. But recalling two specific Scripture verses also helped me handle the unforeseen with peace.
- Proverbs 16:9—“We can make our plans but the LORD determines our steps.”
- Psalm 37:23—“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”
Holding our plans in a clenched hand guarantees pain if we’re forced to let them go. But holding them in an open hand and giving our yes to God should He choose to replace them with other plans makes letting go much easier.
My weekend didn’t go at all as I expected, but that’s okay. Knowing that God oversees the details turned disappointment into delight.
Join me on Tuesday at 6:30 PM (Pacific Time) for a brief Facebook Live teaching about this blog and a time of discussion. To do so, ask to join my private FB group “Growing with Grace.” That’s where the FB Live will happen. https://www.facebook.com/groups/856786784502858/
#FromDisappointmentToDelight #WhenPlansChange #DevotionsFromTheDock #bgbg2