About thirteen years ago, I heard a message where the speaker talked about God having a Plan B. Believing that there is a ‘good, acceptable, and perfect will of God,’ (Romans 12:2) I was not sure I believed in Part B. As someone who believes that the ‘perfect will’ is the preferred will, I was not happy about going to Plan B. In my mind, Plan B was for when you could not be successful in Plan A. It was a consolation prize of sorts.
Priding myself of being disciplined, focused, and thorough, I set out in my life to reach for the prize of Plan A. In so doing, I scripted my life:
- I would be married to one man. No divorce allowed.
- I would raise my children to be perfect.
When I was growing up, all I wanted to do was to be successful. When I married and decided that I wanted to have children, I decided that the best way for me to achieve Plan A for my family was to be a stay at home mom. I set out to do just that. If you know me, you know that I am a productive person. Just sitting at home, watching my children grow, eating bonbons was not my idea of productivity. I focused entirely on my children, but at the same time, when they were napping, I was working. For the most part, I was my late husband’s unpaid secretary. When I was not typing his reports, I was working on finishing my education.
Once the children were in school full-time, I devoted my days to leading Bible studies and professional dressmaking. These things could be done within the confines of school hours, leaving me time to focus on my children and marriage when the rest of the family were home. It was a good life. It was Plan A.
Because I believed that Plan A is the perfect plan, when my husband died of radiation poisoning due to complications with his cancer treatments, I was totally unprepared to continue life. Plan A was no longer an option. The perfect plan had a not so perfect bump in the road. Because I felt that there was only one perfect mate per person, I felt doomed to being alone for the rest of my life.
The second part of my Plan A was perfect children. At this point, I may have lost in the perfect marriage stakes due to death, but perfect children… that was still do-able. Because I had studied the Bible, I knew ‘Train up a child in the way he should go;’ ‘spare the rod, spoil the child;’ ‘it is punishment that hurts that drives evil from the heart.’ I knew ‘what profits a man that he gain the whole world but lose his soul?’ In my Plan A, my soul was tied up in my family. I reasoned in my heart, that no matter what I did for God, I would at the head of my list give Him godly offspring. To that end, we dedicated the children to Him while still in the womb. We put 100% effort into tending their needs, just as one tends and puts fragile plants within the protection of a greenhouse. My little potted plants were going to thrive, and be protected from the wind and rain, indeed the hurricanes of life.
I am sure you can guess that this part of Plan A did not turn out well either. No matter how much I tried to shield my saplings, the life has a penchant for major shifts in terra firma. No one can predict when this will happen, and there is no preventative maintenance that can stop the shaking.
So, here I am, thirteen years later, examining again, Part B. Through the years of challenge and catastrophe, I now see Part B as not an alternative, or sub-par plan, but rather as a continuation. You see, in my case, Plan A ended in the death of a spouse. However, Plan B began with the recovery from Grief. Today, I am smart enough to know that life happens, and the only thing we can do is to build a house that will withstand a storm. Storms happen; tsunamis even. However, this does not have to mean destruction.
Today, even with the losses and challenges, I am happier and so thankful that God has a Plan B. My children are grown, and I have grandchildren. I have been blessed with a second husband who loves me and allows me to grow and flourish. I am still pursuing higher education, finally completing a doctorate level degree. Last year, we bought a holistic healthcare clinic, and we have seen tremendous turnarounds in the health of our family, friends and clients.
Part B is not a consolation prize; it is a continuation of Plan A.
Until next time,