My plans aren’t your plans, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
If someone had told me a year ago that I would be where I am now, I would have dismissed such a prediction as highly unlikely. From my perspective, life was rich and fulfilling. There were bumps and discomforts, but there was much love and laughter, community and familiarity. As a friend observed, I had found my voice. But then things changed.
Walter Brueggemann categorizes Psalms into Psalms of orientation, Psalms of disorientation, and Psalms of new orientation. I went from a strong sense of orientation to disorientation. Through a series of events and losses, much of what seemed stable in my life was removed. It was like living a Jenga game—block after block was pulled out until finally the structure toppled over.
Life is like that at times for us. We experience many seasons of disorientation. Light and darkness, feasting and fasting, life and death, summer and winter—even nature shows us that living fully involves seasons of change.
I’ve been part of a nine-month course on centering prayer, and one of the key points that is often repeated is that we tend to treat security, affection and control as needs. We think we need these to be happy. When we look to these for happiness, we are not looking toward God, who alone is the source of peace and joy.
Because I’ve experienced God’s faithfulness through other seasons of disorientation, the foundation of my Jenga tower was and is God, so that even when I felt cast into a turbulent, storm-tossed sea, I never lost my anchor. Oh, I wondered why I was in such a place, and sometimes struggled to hold onto the knowledge of my belovedness, but I never felt alone. And I learned that my plans are not the last word, that God is faithful and trustworthy, if unpredictable at times!
Trusting in God’s plans frees me to live in the present moment. And even when that moment is turbulent, I still have an anchor holding me fast in love.