By nature, by nurture, and by training, I'm a planner. I've always been able to make a plan, work a plan, stick to a plan. It's one of my greatest strengths, a dedication that has served me well in everything from my former work in strategic development and marketing to my life now as a writer and a mother.
I can attest to the writer of Proverbs that it is wise to "do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house" (Prov. 24:27, NLT). I love an organized spreadsheet and a strong vision-mission-purpose statement. I will probably always be a planner because I find God there: it’s the gospel of joining with God to bring order out of chaos, perhaps.
Yet, I've experienced God most deeply when my plans are disrupted.
That’s how these things usually work. There’s a shadow side to our strengths, often discovered through some inciting incident outside of our control. We find God in the space between what we know to do and the unknown territory where our usual methods are useless. I call these moments holy disruptions. They’re the places where I run out, when I have to decrease, and then, wouldn’t you know it? I see Christ increase.
For me, motherhood has been the holiest disruption of all.
Right from the start, this mothering thing hasn’t gone according to plan. I've had eight pregnancies and yet I have four children. That was not the plan; I set out to have two well-planned spring babies. The grief, pain, and isolation of those losses were never in my plan. But in those moments, I discovered I was not forgotten. I began to piece together an understanding about suffering and the God who is not to blame.
I learned to make room for lament ...1
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