When God’s Plan isn’t Mine

Kerri Ash, Volunteer Writer, South Barrington | May 11, 2023

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

John 20:24-25

My plan: Three kids, two years apart. 

Our first baby came right on schedule, so when the time came to get pregnant with our second, we thought we were in control. But instead of a baby, we were given three miscarriages, two fertility doctors, and four years of dashed hopes. Like Thomas, after Jesus died, I felt hopeless and defeated and needed proof that there was good to come. I have a sign that hangs in my home that says:

God is Good

His plan is good

He loves me unconditionally

Notice that middle line—His plan is good. Although I see the goodness now, when we were in the throes of the pain, it felt far from good. 

God definitely invites us to make our own plans. Instead of attaching to our own desired results, He wants us to trust Him for the outcomes (Proverbs 16:9). Because He loves each of us so intensely, God tells us that His plan is always to bring good to us (Romans 8:28). It just may look different from what we expect.  

Looking back, just like for Thomas, God eventually showed us His hand. He whispered to my husband the invitation to adopt, and a year later, we brought home our perfect 12-month-old daughter. A year after that, we birthed our miracle baby boy. God has shown me many reasons to trust His good plan!

Trusting His plan, even when it doesn’t feel good, is a journey that has led my heart to contentment and less need for control. To get there, I started by putting our relationship first in all areas of my life so I could get to know Him better. Once I discovered I could trust Him, I decided to trust His good plan, too. So I asked Him to help me detach from my own desired outcomes for my life. He then grew in me a willingness to let His will be done, even if it brings pain, grief, or loss. This took some time, and I needed His help to get there.  

Today, I lift up very few prayers for outcomes, even though He invites me to do so. I raise an abundance of prayers for His presence, His impact on hearts, and the ability to embrace His plan with strength and joy, even if it is not what I would choose.  

Trusting His good plan begins with a relationship, a decision, and asking for His help.  Our Loving Father will take it from there. 

Next Steps 

  • Is there an area in your life where God’s plan was not what you would have chosen for yourself? Ask Him to hold you in your pain and to give you eyes to see the good that has come from it.
  • Try fasting from praying for outcomes for a time, and instead, profess your trust in Him and His plan.