How to Respond When Plans Change

When Plans Change - Grace Fox

If I’ve invited Him to be the Lord over every part of me, He has the right to steer me in the direction He wants to accomplish His purposes in and through me.

I’m preparing to leave for the Middle East on Sunday morning. Last week I thought I was doing great in regards to wiping my to-do list clean so I could focus on long-term writing projects in the days prior to departure. Then came a writing assignment with a due date immediately after our return.

Writing this assignment while I’m overseas isn’t feasible, so I need to get ‘er done this week. Doing so means tossing my best-laid plans for the long-term project out the window.

I’ll bet similar things have happened to you.

Maybe you and your hubby made plans for a weekend getaway, but then the kids caught the flu. So much for romance.

Perhaps you made plans for your retirement, but then your health or financial situation changed. So much for hobbies and travels.

Maybe you made plans for spending Thanksgiving or Christmas with your family, but someone’s schedule or circumstances changed and you weren’t able to get together after all. So much for precious moments with your loved ones.

Stuff happens and our best-laid plans change in a heartbeat. We can respond in one of two ways: annoyance or acceptance.

Annoyance isn’t pretty.

Been there, done that. Fretting and stewing over the change in our plans only makes us feel ripped off. Like our needs don’t matter. Like we don’t matter. We listen to the negative voices in our head and before long we’re angry at other people or feeling sorry for ourselves.

Acceptance works much better.

We acknowledge our disappointment without getting stuck in it, and then we move forward with Plan B. This requires flexibility on our part, but that’s a great quality to develop.

I’ve found Proverbs 16:9 helpful to remember whenever my plans change. It says,

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”

This verse reminds me that ultimately God is in control of every detail of my life.

If I’ve invited Him to be the Lord over every part of me, then He has the right to steer me in the direction He wants to accomplish His purposes in and through me.

I’ll spend the next two days working on my new assignment. And I’ll do it with joy knowing that God has directed my steps down this path. If He wants me to invest my time on this assignment rather than on the long-term project in my head, who am I to argue?

How about you?

Share an example of when your best-laid plans changed.

 How does Proverbs 16:9 put a positive spin on your perspective?

Know you are loved,


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  1. I resonate with changing plans! We had hoped to go south this fall but with my husband increasingly suffering with a bad hip he had to be willing to put in his name for hip surgery. Thankfully he had it on October 8! Then just when we got home from that our whole heating system broke down, and we had to deal with that. We saw so many ways that God prepared us for that:
    – the person we got our firewood from had told us last year he wouldn’t be able to provide us with as much every year and we were ok with that because we weren’t going to be here. When we realized we would be here, we called him, and “somehow” he had gotten an abundance of wood this spring and would have lots available for us!
    – we had gotten two loads of wood in September so we were well stocked when our heating system failed so our fireplace kept us snug.

    We still hope to go south after Christmas but we see God’s hand in keeping us here this fall and we are more open- handed about what happens in the new year!

    1. Hi Twylla! I’m so glad your husband was able to have his hip surgery. Sorry for the heating system failure but thankful for how the Lord provided wood. He knew that failure was coming and covered your backs! I love it when He shows up in such obvious ways.

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