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God’s Plan A

By August 31st, 2014Uncategorized15 min read
It’s been nothing short of an
interesting few weeks for my family and I While I would so love to share all
the details, you and I know I already don’t do shorts posts so trying to
capture the many delays, trials, breakthroughs, and lessons in waiting that I
have experienced would be rather stretching, lol.  Suffice it to say that I find myself in
Canada with no husband and only three of my four children here with me – a
situation that is very far from the plan I assure you. The greatest irony of
this situation is probably that of the two children who we were to settle into
schools here, one – the one who was due to start school last week, is still
stuck back home waiting for his passport to be returned from the embassy. The
other, who is here with me, is off to school tomorrow and will neither be able
to see his father or older brother (they don’t get in for another three days,
sigh!) whom he hasn’t seen in a couple of weeks, before he leaves.
Errr….you can tell my sighs are
more for myself than for them right? I mean, here I am seriously missing my
husby (boo hoo); leading my second child off to school and away from home (boo
hoo hoo); knowing full well that when my first son does arrive in Canada he is
heading right off to Campus since he is already late for classes (boo hoo, sob
sob); and… knowing that in another week or so, I will be heading home to the
reality of a nest that is now half empty (wailing unapologetically now!). Okay! Sniff sniff….  I hear you remind me that I’m a big strong
woman! Sniff sniff…yes I surely am! BUT sis, I have long since failed to make
the connection between being a strong woman and being unreal. As I see it, I am
stronger still for working out all the things God is helping me be and achieve,
and yet being able to remain open about my vulnerabilities, struggles, and
tears. I am a strong woman, who right now misses her husband terribly, and I
miss my boys – the one with me and the one who isn’t, desperately. I am a
strong woman who will have a big cry at every opportune moment because it’s my
prerogative, and because I’m hopelessly unashamedly emotional like that!
The difference is that my
strength is in Christ alone and I know this. So sis, after each cry I will pick
myself up and give God the glory for the amazing things He has done, is doing
and will continue to do in my life. I will lift my hands in worship and thank
Him also for the gift of my tears. Yes, ma’am, I surely will! I will thank God
for my tears because there are many others who have no husbands to speak of, or
who have such terrible marriages that they actually look forward to times of
separation with their spouses. Yet, here I am missing my husby and best friend.
Thank You Lord! I will thank God because it is only a woman with children that
knows the pain of separation from them. I will thank God because I am leaving
my children in another country to further their education, which means they are
moving forward (that’s what ‘further’ means right? Getting ahead? Yes ma’am).
I will thank God for my tears
because even if husby and I had the desire for our children to school abroad
but had no resources, we wouldn’t be here. I will thank God because we could
afford for all the family to come together to see the boys off. I will thank
God for my tears because even if we could afford to all come, but one or more
of us was dealing with some kind of major health issue or infirmity, we
wouldn’t all be here. I will thank God because I still have two amazing
children who are home with me now. I will thank God because I know that even
when those two are ready to leave home, He will give me the strength and grace
to move into the next phase of my life. You get my drift? Bottom line would be
that as I cry (and I most certainly will) about leaving my boys here and the
transition phase my family is once again going through, I will NOT allow myself
forget the goodness of the Lord, His love for me, and the ultimate privilege of
His choosing me and freely giving me Himself as an anchor my soul in Him.
But this is not about my missing
my children or my crying sprees, sis. Neither is it about my strength as a
woman. Sorry, but I just needed to put this first bit out there. Today I want
to take the lesson from my son’s experience to share what God has been teaching
me and is helping me to practice. My first son is off to university. We
completed his visa application and then proceeded to wait. We were however beginning
to worry somewhat when the timelines began to stretch a bit and we hadn’t
received a word back from the embassy. I kept reminding the Lord of the major
visa-related testimonies He had put on my lips two years ago, asking Him to
come through for us once again.
On this one day, I felt a leading
to send an email to an address God showed me. I was initially reluctant because
the embassy always tells you they will not respond if your application is still
within the standard processing time. But the Lord spoke clearly to me and said,
‘Send it. I have prepared the person who will give immediate attention to your
mail’. With this assurance, I obeyed and less than an hour later got a
response, and things began to look up from there. My sista and I had submitted
our applications on the same day, and had our boys do their medicals on the
same day and at the same hospital (our family hospital at that). You can then
imagine our confusion when her son’s passport came in and our son’s didn’t.
Long story short, her son since
resumed school with other students last week, while my son is still home
waiting on his passport. I mention this because quite frankly, it didn’t help
our anxiety having her son’s application timelines as a reference point for how
things should have gone for our own son’s application also. I mean think about
it: same day (and time practically) submission + same day medical = same
processing period = same batch approval, right? Perhaps if we didn’t know
better, we wouldn’t know better right? But we did! My sistas son’s approval and
receipt of passport was our reference point, and it didn’t help. Can you relate
sis? My sista, all my sistas really, were resolute in prayer on this matter and
for that I love and appreciate every single one of them, but it was tough going
at times – made worse perhaps by not having my family together physically
through this.
But…   and this is the foundation of my message to
you today sis, the challenge which I now know, is that our reference point
should not have been my sista’s son, it should have been God and that which He
has purposed to do for His good pleasure and purpose.
A few days after I arrived in
Canada, God had given me a Word (Ruth 3 v 18) assuring me that He would not
rest until the matter was settled today. That very same day, I got an email
confirming that my son’s visa had been approved. Joy overflowed and I sank unto
my knees in absolute praise. But, days later the physical passport still hadn’t
been dispatched. I went to God again in prayer, reminding Him that He said He
wouldn’t rest until the matter was settled and that I needed Him to perfect
what he had started. His reply was so quiet and soothing and a question to me
as to why I would think His perfect will had not been done. He said simply, ‘My
ways are not your ways, and My thoughts are infinitely higher than your
thoughts’.
I can’t describe the peace that
flooded me then. I really can’t. I understood His response so perfectly, sis.
You see, I had since realized that there was clearly a reason or indeed reasons
that my ever faithful God didn’t want my son to be on the university campus
during the Orientation week, and I had said as much to a few people, my son
included. It had ministered to my spirit that there are some associations that
come your way each time you enter into a new environment, and if you are not
careful you will find yourself aligned with the very wrong set of people from
the start. I had such a conviction about the fact that God was keeping my son
away from certain people and or experiences that wouldn’t ultimately be good
for him, and this was confirmed when a friend told me she had watched a news
story about the debauchery that was going on in most university campuses in the
name of orientation.  And yeah, it
doesn’t follow that every child who is present at the orientation week will
involve themselves in those things, but we are each on a different path as are
our children, and the enemy’s has different strategies to try to derail us from
our destinies.
I was reminded about the fact
that – while I am my son’s earthly mother, and while it is in my flesh nature
to anxiously expect and pray for the best for him; God Who is his heavenly
Father loves him so much more than I ever could, and is also working all things
out for his good. God reminded me of something I’d heard Craig Groeschell  say a couple of weeks before we travelled,
that ‘The things that are often our
afterthoughts, turn out to be God’s Plan A in the first place’
.
That expression had struck me
very strongly and thinking about the totality of our experiences this period, I
realized that while it took me going through my earlier emotional
roller-coaster to finally come back to the place of prayer and a Holy Spirit
realization/reminder that God is working something else out for the good of my
son and by extension our entire family; that God had a plan A from the start
which never involved my son arriving on campus at man’s appointed date. God certainly
didn’t manufacture a reason for not allowing my son get to campus earlier
because He saw through my disappointments and anxieties. Not at all sis! He had
already purposed it all, and He had already worked out the end from the
beginning for our good – even though we can’t now or might never fully know or
understand His ‘Why’ ….since ‘His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are
infinitely higher than our thoughts’
In my quiet time with the Lord
this morning, He led me to read Psalm 143. This was David – a strong man as
well, running to the Lord to admit that the many trials and travails around him
were wearing him down, and he was dealing with some sort of depression in the
flesh. In the spirit though, he came back to the place of remembering how good
God had been to him time and again in the years past. He understood that his
victory and restoration were in the place of full submission and worship of God
the Father, regardless of what he could see around him that was intent on crushing
his soul. And in verse 8 he said ‘….for I lift my inner self to you’.
Wow! As I read this, the Holy
Spirit said to me that this is the key! That in our flesh, we might face
delays, disappointments, worries, travails that will try to crush our spirits;
but… if we lift our inner selves – our true selves, our spirit man, up to God;
if we do this sis, then we will always be able to confess ‘Lord, I don’t
understand this, but I submit. Lord, I confess that Your ways are not my ways
and Your thoughts are not my thoughts; but I believe Your thoughts towards me
are good and not evil, and that Your ways are designed to lead me to fullness
of joy in You’. We will be able to come to God fully yielded and admit that we
have no strength of our own and that He alone is our Source, our Trust and the
Anchor to our souls. If we know that God’s Plan A – whether it looks like our
plan B or whether it looks like something we find ourselves in because
everything else failed, is ultimately the best for our lives; then no matter
what the flesh is pushing at us, we will find it in our spirits and in our
hearts to say ‘Lord, Your good and perfect will be done’.
Sis, I don’t know what in your
life isn’t working out the way you would have thought it should. I don’t know
what many efforts you have made and continue to make that seem not to yield the
results you were aiming for. I don’t know what it is in your life that looks
like it is being delayed sis. I don’t know what has made you cry or what is
causing anxieties in your life right now. I don’t know sis, but I want to
encourage you with this word and ask that you trust God to show you the good
that He is working out of your trials. Even if you can’t see, or if you are so
pressed down that you can’t even hear God now sis, can you just lift your inner
self up to Him? Can you just go into praise and worship of Him regardless? Can
you pray in the spirit for a while to Him? Can you boldly declare that He is
working all things out for your good even if you are not sure how? Can you tell
Him that your spirit says ‘Yes’ to His will and His way? Can you surrender
yourself to whatever His plan A for your life and situation are?
Awww sis, there is so much peace
in this place of submission. I make no claims to have apprehended fully sis,
but what I do preach is that as you and I walk this walk together, we will
encourage, build, hold each other accountable to living the fullness of the
lives that our Father has so uniquely designed for us to live. Submit to God’s
Plan A today sis. Its way better in the long run than our human plans and
desires can ever be. And that’s the truth! The Lord will help you to truly know
and remember this truth sis, and He will help me.
Be blessed sis…. for you surely
are!

4 Comments

  • My dear sister, so many nuggets of truth here. Thank you for your faithfulness in sharing your challenges and struggles, but most importantly your testimonies of how God has come through. You are an inspiration and major source of encouragement to me. Be blessed.

  • Lanre kosoko says:

    Thank you so much Sister Audrey. I needed to hear this. 2 of my children are in boarding school abroad for the first time and I am struggling with this new phase in my life. The place I should be is , thanksgiving. That is the key. God bless you.

  • Lanre kosoko says:

    Thank you so much Sister Audrey. I needed to hear this. 2 of my children are in boarding school abroad for the first time and I am struggling with this new phase in my life. The place I should be is , thanksgiving. That is the key. God bless you.

  • Anonymous says:

    One of the things that I LOVE about Our FATHER, is that HE uses one to Bless so many.
    Thank you for pointing me back up to HIM and encouraging me to REST in HIS plan "A".
    GOODNESS, MERCY, PEACE & BLESSING, Momma J

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