Don’t you love it when your plans come together?
After twelve months of house hunting, my husband and I signed the papers on our perfect home. It was a delightful Edwardian house in a desirable London neighborhood, famous for having a residence of one of Britain’s former leaders, Maggie Thatcher, and for its private schools.
Having worked hard to climb the career ladder of the BBC, I saw the opportunity to take a break and start a family. With a baby on the way and the keys to our new home in hand, we were ready to settle into the community for the next ten years.
The Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote in To a Mouse: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
Ten months later I stood at the airport with my six-week-old daughter nestled in one arm, while I held onto an airport cart with the other. I watched my husband pile bulging suitcases and duct-taped cardboard boxes from the car onto the cart. A travel cot sat precariously on top. These were our worldly possessions for the next three months.
A sold sign hung outside our little terraced home with its blue Wisteria growing around the front door. Furniture and our other belongings had been professionally packed and were sitting in a shipping container waiting to make their journey across the Atlantic. A United States work visa had been stamped in my husband’s passport. Now, we clutched one-way airplane tickets to Boston—a city I had never visited, in a New England that I couldn’t believe would have anything in common with England besides its name.
Whereas other new moms were settling into newly decorated nurseries, I was setting up a travel cot in hotel room after hotel room. When other proud parents were enjoying their new baby receiving the admiration of family and friends, I could only hang on to the passing comments of strangers. Where other first-time moms could spend time getting to know their nursing babies, I was learning that nappies were called diapers, that prams were strollers, and that I couldn’t find a decent cup of tea anywhere.
In the midst of my turmoil and misery, I called out to God. I hadn’t talked to him for years. I sat on the floor in the bedroom of our rented apartment, my daughter napping in her travel cot, tears streaming down my face. I spoke only two anguished words: help me. At that moment, I knew God heard my cry, for I felt an instant, overwhelming sense of peace.
In the years that have passed since that moment I have learned God loves me enough to thwart my plans in favor of his own.
Even though I had to leave my homeland behind, I gained a relationship with my heavenly Father securing me a home with him now and for the future.
We make plans with good intentions, but God has plans with the best intentions.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
What good plans does God have for you that are nothing like your own?