My husband and I entered marriage with all kinds of plans. Plans to relocate. Plans to buy a home. Plans to have a baby, or three. We dreamed up a life together that was a picture full of picket fences and children’s laughter. The picture of a home and life we would build together now that we were husband and wife. Two years later, if you had told us then where we would be now, we might have chuckled politely and smirked at each other, knowing better. Now, we chuckle at the fact that we ever thought we knew better, or knew at all, what God could have planned for our life these days. He knows our plans before we do, so we can and should still trust Him with our future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.
Our house is full of love, but it is not yet filled with any children. Our relocation did not lead us where we thought we would be, but entirely across the country in the opposite direction. We are still waiting to buy the house we will call our “home”. Our plans have changed, we have been redirected and put on a detour. You may think this would come with disappointment, and in some ways, you would be correct, but what else these new plans have come with is a renewed hope in the future God has for us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6.
God knew in advance where we would be as husband and wife two years into marriage. He knew we would be in the middle of a global pandemic, fighting the battles that comes with it. God knew we would need our savings to get by during seasons of job loss and cut hours. He knew we would need time together without the distraction of a newborn. He knew we would fall in love with our new location, even if we said, “we’d never move there”. God knew all these things were part of the good plans He had for us. We did not.
There are days I face my infertility with anxiety and sadness. There are days I long for the house we can truly settle into. There are certainly days I would prefer an easier road ahead, the one that is freshly paved and smooth. But that is not what God has promised us. He promised to go with us, and ahead of us. (Deuteronomy 31:8). He promised to make a way in the wilderness, but that doesn’t mean we may not be wandering a while first. (Isaiah 43:19). He promised us purpose, and in that purpose a whole lot of preparation. (Romans 8:28). He builds us up, and in many ways, that means we take the road we never meant to travel, but that He always knew we would.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21.
Where are you now in your own marriage? Are you exactly where you thought you would be? It is okay if you are not where you thought or planned to be. But wife, I pray you do not mourn that life you thought you would be living and instead praise God for the one He has given you. It is so easy to make our plans and get stuck on our own ways we want to go, but knowing God’s promise of a good future, it is worth celebrating that He leads us His own way.
It is exciting to start making plans for our future as newlyweds. Being husband and wife means being a team that builds that future, working together for it. Being a husband and wife who serve the Lord means being a team with Jesus, allowing Him to lead the way to the purpose He has for us. If we chose to double-down on our plans and push past the Lord’s big flashing detour sign, I am certain we would have crashed into a ditch. Instead, we have embraced these new plans God chose for us and we have ended up on a beautiful side road full of His goodness.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9.
It is humbling to experience God’s control over our lives and our marriage, and miraculous to be able to trust Him with that control. God has directed our steps in the direction that is best for us. He will continue to surprise us with His plans for us if we will continue to seek Him in them. Sometimes we just have to get out of the driver seat and let Jesus take the wheel. Even when it is your turn to drive, it would be wise to ask Him to read the map. There may be dark nights, bumpy roads, and times where you feel lost on the way to that future of yours. But there is a promise of better days, smooth sailing, and always being found when you know the one who is taking you there. God may take us in a different direction sometimes, but it is always because He knows what is there waiting for us.