Plan B {The Time Our Vacation Re-Routed Us}

Plan B. It’s not usually what we wish for. Plan B is the plan we go to when what we really wanted falls through. Plan B is settling for something less. Plan B is second best. Leftovers. Plan B means that something went wrong.

One of my favorite quotes is “God laughs when you make plans.” I heard it first when I was a kid, but it’s become my life’s mantra. Life with two teenage girls and working in ministry doesn’t always go the way I planned. In fact, I never planned for girls and I never planned to work in ministry. God laughs at me a lot!

I’ve learned in my four decades on this God-created earth that most of the time my plans are not nearly as good as what God has planned for me. Sometimes His plans don’t seem as good, or as fun or as rewarding as what I think I should be doing. But I have also learned that going with the flow is a lot less stressful and following as the Spirit leads is a whole lot more rewarding than doing things my way.

My family had planned a trip to the panhandle of Florida for months. We planned to spend two days basking in the sun on the white sand beaches, playing games together in someone else’s condo and unplugging from social media. Ahhh…

But, God had other plans.

Hurricane Michael rerouted our plans from the panhandle of Florida to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, a place my family had never been. Turns out no matter where you are, God is still working. And He still uses you if you are willing.

We enjoyed time at the beach, fresh seafood and unplugged family game night. We took all the pretty beach pictures and stayed up late laughing (and fighting over bed space). We took a spontaneous trip to the French Quarter in New Orleans. But we also had our eyes opened to just how small our lives are and just how much hurt there is in the world.

I normally do not take any cash with me anywhere anymore. But I had read ahead of a restaurant we wanted to try that took only cash, so I visited the ATM before we left town. And for some reason, I decided I should take more than I would need for the restaurant. I mean, you never know.

But God does.

God knows there’s a man on the New Orleans streets waiting there to entertain you to make a living. God knows there’s a woman driving desperate in Gulfport, Mississippi who humbles herself enough to stop you to ask for gas money. God knows there’s a man riding his bicycle outside the shopping mall who’s hungry for breakfast. And God also knows He’s blessed you enough to be able to give it to them since they asked.

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. -Jesus

Luke 6:30-31

My husband wonders aloud, “Do we just have a sign on our foreheads that says we’ll give them money or something?”

I like to think it’s Jesus whispering into their ears and pointing our way. I like to think His face shines before mine and people know it’s a safe place to be human. Maybe those people won’t use the money for the reasons they asked. It doesn’t matter. It’s a lesson in obedience, a lesson in giving, a lesson in life that things don’t always go the way you think they will go. Vacation plans change. Life gets messy. But God is always there. The Spirit is always leading. We are always on the mission field no matter where we originally planned to go. I am convinced that we were exactly where we needed to be at exactly the right time.

Plan B can be beautiful. And if we are taking God with us, it’s always His Plan A.

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