If You Want to Make God Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans
"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."
The above message, print on a small card, was given to me by a friend who saw my struggle as a recovering control freak. It was posted on the wall of my office as my daily reminder. At the time, I paid so much attention to detail in planning that when life threw me a curve ball, I nearly lost my mind. I thought I was making life easier by my attentiveness to detail. One summer, I planned a 21-day trip out West covering 6,000 miles with my first husband and our two boys. Needless-to-say, when we arrived at Mount Rushmore on a foggy day and were scheduled to be in Yellowstone the next evening, I wasn’t a happy camper. Each experience brought me closer to trusting in the beauty of spontaneity.
My second husband introduced me to spontaneity. Early in our relationship, he told me he was taking his two kids to Puerto Rico, and he invited me to join them. Endless beaches, hiking through a rainforest, steamy tropical climate--sounds great, right? The catch: he planned on going in two days! I had the responsibilities of my full-time job, I had to keep the fundraising committee on-task for an upcoming auction I was overseeing, and I had my part-time job all on the schedule. My peers encouraged, actually pushed, me to drop everything and GO! That experience was the opening to a new way of maneuvering through life and has continued into the life we have created together.
It was in the spring of 2006, a few years into that new marriage, when I experienced the most profound opportunity to fall into the arms of trust. We had decided to put both of our houses on the market and build a new home where we could start our life together in fresh surroundings. We purchased a lot and began the construction process, serving as our own general contractors. We used the house I owned as a rental property. My tenants had carelessly caused a fire, leading us into a restoration process at the same time we were building. I was feeling quite humbled by my inexperience and lack of landlord skills, and I was embarrassed by the filth the tenants had left behind. Through an ad, we found a young man to clean out the debris and belongings left behind by the tenants, enough to fill a 20-yard dumpster. On the day I met him to go over what needed to be done, I was exhausted and self-conscious of my home in shambles. As he began to drive away, he stopped and recited, “So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NRSV). Trust me, ma’am, everything will be alright.” No doubt, he was an angel in human form bringing me the lesson of trust.
By the end of the same summer, one week before school started, we were scheduled to close on my husband’s house, the house we were living in. However, my house was in the renovation process and our new house was more than ten days from completion. All attempts to make the transition flow smoothly backfired. I had meticulously scheduled every detail, but the plans began falling apart. I clearly remember the feeling of panic my body, mind, and spirit felt at the time. On the morning of the closing, I hadn’t finished packing. I awoke to a message from my sister that my parents’ apartment complex had experienced a fire and they were temporarily displaced at her home. In addition, our arrangement to rent a cabin from a friend had fallen through. Yet the closing was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. As we pulled out of the driveway, I remember totally surrendering and saying to God, I give up.
The closing itself is a blur in my mind. I know I was there physically, but I was not engaged at any other level. After the closing, when we were in the parking lot, our realtor (a friend of my husband) asked us what our plans were. Upon hearing our dilemma, he told us we were welcome to stay at his house. Another angel appearing in human form teaching me to trust!
Even though these experiences have taught me to fall back into the arms of trust, I have to admit I still get caught up in planning; however, the curve balls aren’t quite as daunting as they once were. And I have the beloved essences and meditation to help channel the reminders of the force constantly moving through life. I can trust that God’s got my back. Artemisia Titepati clearly brought forth a message to help me remember to trust:
Good day, Beloved One! I’m here to remind you to relax and let go. You are exactly where you need to be at this moment. We are all preparing the way, and it will be clear when the time is right. All signs that are unfolding are there to make it an easier transition when the Divine time is right. Trust and believe. Rely on the beautiful essences to escort you through the challenging, uncomfortable times. We are all here to support you. This will be effortless on your part. Trust and believe.
Trusting in a Divine plan can be unsettling, even intimidating. Through the many experiences I’ve encountered in my life, I am learning to make peace with those disturbing feelings. Who am I to think I have the best possible plan? I am not suggesting we sit back and do nothing to prepare in life, however, we need to leave space for something better to come to us.
Can you recall a time in your life when you were holding on tightly but chose to surrender and then something better than you expected came your way?
Were you able to step back and fall into the arms of trust?
Opening ourselves up to receive whatever the universe has to offer may take us out of our comfort zone. Are you willing to forfeit your independence to a power greater than yourself?