how to make your plans succeed

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

Four things were on the immediate agenda:

It was November and my youngest daughter and I planned to enter a power-walk/run relay to raise money for the local homeless shelter.

In the weeks before Christmas, our family planned to donate time standing outside Walmart ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

In December, I planned on taking a swimming lessons class with my brother to finally learn how to do the freestyle stroke we never learned in the olden days of youth swimming lessons.

After the first of the year, our family planned to go on a quick family vacation, which included a fair amount of hiking and other active activities.

And now on to reality…

The lovely picture my husband recently received from his employer to commemorate his years of service reads: “You can make plans, but the Lord determines your steps ~ Proverbs 16:9.”

I was about to find out just how true that was.

During the week of November 25, I noticed some slight pain in my left ankle, but figured it would pass. I proceeded with my regular exercise program, which included some kickboxing, kettlebells (with squats), and some time on the exercise bike. Did I mention I love fitness?

On the morning of November 27, I was in for a surprise when I woke up and couldn’t walk. My ankle was swollen, disfigured, and painful.

After some time in Urgent Care, I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon.

Fast forward to a diagnosis of “acute anterior ankle impingement,” a couple weeks on crutches, and many many hours of ongoing physical therapy. I wasn’t able to stand on my foot for more than a few minutes at a time and was given an unstylish boot to wear.

So much for plans – my plans. The power-walk/run relay, the donation of time standing and ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, and the family vacation would have to wait. (I was still able to somewhat take swimming lessons and that’s a quite humorous story I’ll share in another blog post).

014While my ankle still isn’t fully healed, I continue to make progress under the care of my orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist. I still limp and have some pain, but the crutches have been relegated to the furthermost corner of the closet and the unstylish boot is on its way there as well.

I look back to November and December and really wished I’d been able to do those things I’d planned. Was I disappointed? Yes, very much so.

But through it all, I learned something really important – something I knew, but couldn’t really digest until now. You see, I can make all the plans I want, but it’s the Lord who truly determines my steps (never more true than when you only have one good foot. πŸ™‚

I learned to surrender everything to the Lord, not just the big things, but the day-to-day, minute-by-minute things, even things I planned to do for His kingdom.

So…how do you make your plans succeed? Give those plans to the Lord. Surrender the big plans, the small plans, and all the plans in between. He knows how it all turns out and Jeremiah 29:11 assures us ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We are told in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Untitled

So I commit my plans to the Lord because more than anything, I want my plans to align with His plans.

Have you ever had to surrender something particularly difficult to the Lord?

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12 thoughts on “how to make your plans succeed

  1. Amen! I had to relearn this lesson the hard way, first with an unexpected pregnancy wrought with complications, and then with giving up what I thought was supposed to be what I would do for years. But I wouldn’t change any of that now. His plans are much better than my own, anyway!

    • Sorry to hear about your difficult pregnancy, Andrea. So glad we can know without a doubt that God’s plans are much better than ours and that He sees the big picture! Have a blessed week. πŸ™‚

  2. Penny, I was happy to see you link up for TWW again last week. Sorry to hear about your ankle but love how God used it as an opportunity to reveal wisdom to us. That act of surrender…it’s a hard one, but oh how He blessed us when we do surrender to His plans. Praying for continued recovery. (I’m still recovering from my own ankle injury.)

    • Hi Beth! So nice to see you here. I love your link up and am so appreciative that you take the time to host that for fellow bloggers.

      So true about the act of surrendering! Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you as well. Ankle injuries are a bummer for sure! Take care and have a blessed week.

  3. Glad to hear that you’re on the mend. Proverbs 16:3 is one of my favorite verses. Your post also made me think of that old song, One Day At A Time…”Just give me the strength
    to do every day what I have to do.” Thanks for sharing! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

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