When God's Plans Differ From Your Own #chronicpain #chronicbackpain #backpain #healingbackpain #faith #perseverance #hope #givingupisnotanoption #wisdomgraceandcurls
Chronic Back Pain, Faith, Health, Struggling

When God’s Plans Differ From Your Own

A Fork in the Road

It’s one thing to say that we are fully surrendered to God, but it’s quite another to actually follow through with it, don’t you think?

That’s what I’ve found to be true in my own life, anyways.

I say I’m with God.  I say I’ll follow His ways. 

I say that His dreams are mine,

but what will I do when His path leads me one way

and plans for myself lead me another?

This has been my reality for the last two years now.

I wish it weren’t so, but when it comes to my back pain, I’ve struggled with following His Path.

In fact, I’ve tried every way imaginable to straddle both paths at the same time.  Alas, the space between them only grows wider and wider.

So, what do you do when God’s plans differ from your own?  I’ve discovered the answer, and it holds the power to change my life (& yours) for the better.

To explain it best, I need to backtrack 6 months.  For it’s there you’ll find me planting my new seeds of hope:

Hope Found

I still remember how much hope I had when I first started going to my new chiropractor.  A friend of mine, who also had back issues, had recommended this place, and the doctor had fixed her right up within 8 visits.

To say that I was excited is a severe understatement.

I remember asking the chiropractor how long it would take for me to be healed.  Upon initial assessment, he gave it around 20 visits.  True to who I am, I kept track of how many visits I had left until I too would be free from pain.

I passed that monumental number a couple months ago.  Soon after, I stopped keeping count.

Still, I’ve remained hopeful.

Hope Lost

My last visit to the chiropractor’s office was not my most favorite.

Have you ever had that experience where you sense that the doctor, once full of hope, no longer knows how to heal you?  I sure have.  Having gone through this with 8 doctors now, I’m quite well versed in this.

I knew I’d plateaued, and I was a little fearful that he had gone into “maintenance mode” with me, but I still clung to hope as I asked my doctor if the discomfort I had would ever really go away.

I clung to the hope of his assurance that must be coming.  I clung to the hope that I was just being melodramatic.

I was devastated to learn that I actually was not.

Devastation

Hearing that your doctor is “not super optimistic” is devastating.  Over time, I’ve grown to recognize when a doctor is done with me.  It’s like this unspoken language doctors picked up somewhere along the way in medical school, but it’s also a language that I’ve grown quite fluent in.

This doctor too, was done with me.

Done seeking out new methods.  Done aggressively trying to heal my back.

I’d slipped into the maddening land of maintenance mode yet again, but you see, there’s one problem with that.

I will always refuse to stay there.

I might become convinced that it’s a helpless and slippery slope at first, but God has blessed me with an amazing team in my corner.  They never let me stay there long.

This day was no different.

God’s Plans Prevail

Driving home, I felt so discouraged, but my husband broke through my wet blanket of defeat:  “This doctor is merely a man”, he said.  “It’s not over until God says it’s over”, he reminded me.

He was completely right.

Over and over again, God is constantly reminding me of His plans for me.

He has only good in store for me,

even if I can’t see what those plans are…

…even if I’m not able to do the things I’ve dreamed of doing. 

He has an amazing future that He’s preparing for me…I just need to wait until it’s time.

I just need to trust Him.

Surrendering My Plans to God

I was recently convicted in a pretty hardcore way over the grief I carry for my physical limitations.

I know that I don’t have it as badly as some, and I’m extremely grateful for what I can do.  Still, this hasn’t stopped me from mourning over those things I cannot.

I want to run.  I want to play like I use to. 

I want to rough-house with the kids. 

I want to do the races and triathlons I always dreamed of

but never got a chance to do.

But you know, I can walk, and I do have my health and these insane relationships with both Christ and with my family…relationships that have only grown deeper and closer as a result of God’s handiwork amid my pain.

My Life Through God’s Eyes

God has helped me to see that grieving over what I’ve lost for the amount of time I have will only bring me to darker and darker places.

In contrast, surrendering to God’s plan with complete abandon and trust

will only cast glorious light in all directions,

bringing with it hope, peace, strength, rest,

and even healing.

Too often, I’ve chosen to grieve.  That time, for me, is over now.

I purpously choose not to take that path anymore.

My hands are open, and my plans I give to Him.

His plans I’ll gather like gold instead.

I see now that whatever plans I had for myself would be such a letdown in comparison to God’s.  It is His plan that I really want.  He is what I’m choosing for my life, no matter where it takes me.

Looking back, I am well able to see that the only times I've been truly miserable are the times when I've insisted on holding onto the life I once had. Click To Tweet

Sure, it’s okay to fight for healing and strength, but I must be willing to do so with my arms wide open to the plan of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And that, my dear friends, is what I’m choosing to do.

Whether my back heals or not.  Whether I get to run again or not.  My best life is within the Wings of His glorious Life and Light that surround me.

When I walk in the Shadow of the Almighty’s Protection and ever-loving grace,

it is there that I am in the brightest, most rewarding place of all.

What about you?

What are you holding onto with tight fists and white knuckles?  What, in your own life, are you grieving over and cannot move on from?

Did you know that our Almighty God and Father has amazing plans for you too?  Won’t you open your hands to the love of our Almighty One?

He’s there waiting for you to receive His plan, but you’ll have to let go of your own first…

 

Sharing at Grace & Truth Link -Up

 

*Featured image by geralt via Pixabay

Kay Kathleen

I write about my life's core: Jesus & my faith, my family, and the struggles I have met along the way. I figure...I hope...that if exposing my life and it's lessons learned can encourage even one person, this blog and all the hours I have spent behind this computer will have been more than worth it.

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10 Comments

  1. Yes, “man may plan all things but God’s will be done!”

    I too have chronic health issues, one being chronic pain from Fibromyalgia…I have given it all to my Lord, there is no cure for my maladies but God can! Until that time I will continue to focus on Him & see this “time” as a gift of time with Him 😀

    My life is definitely different to how I thought it would be but I am grateful for the life I have & the blessings within it.

    You’re most welcome to drop by for a cuppa,
    Jennifer

    1. I feel for you and the journey that you’re on but feel gratefully blessed by how you’ve chosen to handle it. It encourages me to keep my eyes where they belong. I will be praying for you!

      1. Thank you Kay, that is very kind of you. I feel for you too.
        Praying for you too new friend 😀

        I think of the movie “Finding Nemo” where Dory keeps on saying “just keep on swimming, keep on swimming, swimming”…
        I say let’s keep on smiling, smiling, smiling in God & He will get us through!

      2. Thank you and YES! I’m right there with you! …keep on smiling, my friend! 😊🙏

  2. I have found this to be true many times in my life. You expressed this truth perfectly! Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much! It’s so hard to let go of our dreams even, but in my experience, it’s always been worth it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So glad you’ve chosen God’s plan, for its there we find peace and ultimate joy and best of all, healing. You’ve already won this battle because you’ve chosen God’s way. Time to celebrate.

    1. Thank you for these amazing words of Love!

  4. I love this. It’s so true. Oftentimes, we have to learn to praise in the pain, to glorify Him in spite of the problems. Because sometimes it isn’t His Will to release us from them. Not yet, at least. God bless! And thank you for your honesty.

    1. This means so much to me! Thank you for your encouragement, truth, and kind words! God bless you! 🙂

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