Sunday, May 12, 2013

Trusting in God's Plan

This is a guest post by fellow fundraiser Jenny Carrington. Interested in writing a guest post? Write to gospel.fundraiser@gmail.com.

When I began my support raising journey in June of 2012, I thought I had it all figured out. I knew whom I wanted to contact, when I wanted to contact them, when I would make the epic trek from Maryland to my home state, Massachusetts; yes, I had a plan! A perfect plan. Nothing could stop me!

About halfway through June, I began to call people living in Massachusetts for a trip I was planning to make during the first week of July. As I already had two whole weeks of support raising experience under my belt, I was certain my Massachusetts plan was impeccable: set up a few meetings with old family friends, and call the pastor of a church I had attended a few times so as to set up networking opportunities, meet with the missions committee, etc. It was a beautiful plan. I sat down at my computer, iPhone in hand, and decided to call the pastor first because I had gone to high school with his youngest daughter, and wanted to begin my night of calls with an "easy" call. I grinned from ear to ear as the phone rang, imagining how wonderfully the conversation was going to go. A click: "Hello?"

"Hi, Pastor, this is Jenny Carrington calling."

Beat. "Who?"

Oh no, he doesn't remember me? "Uh, I graduated with your daughter? We sang in chorus together?"

"Okay…"

As I began to anxiously weave together a string of words about why I was calling, what ministry I was working for, and if he was interested in meeting up in a few weeks, he gave the one response I was not expecting to hear: "No, no, thank you."

No…?! He said NO?! He briefly explained why he was disinterested in meeting, and asked me to email him the ministry's website in the morning, and we hung up.

I dramatically flung myself onto my bed, sobbing. No, no, no!! My plan, my perfect plan! God, why did you ruin my plan! Now I'm never going to finish support raising because you ruined my plan!

And in that moment, God spoke to me: Jenny, why aren't you trusting me? Why are you resting in your own capabilities, in your own plan, when I alone have the perfect plan for you?

Blinking back tears, I realized He was right. I had created a plan, but had forgotten verses such as, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that'" (James 4:13-15).

I hadn't prayed about my plan, asking if it was the Lord's will, nor had I given the plan up to the Lord, understanding that it could change. Instead, I had boasted in my plan, even idolized my plan, and when the plan failed, and fell off its pedestal, I was broken to pieces.

The next day, I went to the local cafĂ© for Internet access, stared at my computer screen for a good ten minutes, and finally, begrudgingly, sent the briefest of all emails to this pastor. I included the ministry's website and my own personal bio. After clicking the send button, believing the door to be closed, I thought, Okay, Lord, this trip to Massachusetts is in your hands. What's your plan? 

Three hours later, I received a call from my hometown's area code: "Hi, Jenny, this is Anne."  (The pastor's wife?!)  "We just read your email, and we would LOVE to meet with you!!"

What? WHAT?? We talked for a few minutes and chose a date for me to come over to their house to share about the ministry. When we hung up, I literally spun in a circle of excitement. I hadn't wanted to send that email. My plan for Massachusetts had been drastically altered, and I had simply wanted to close that door as quickly as possible. Instead, God used the email to fling that door right back open. Trust me, He says. I have a plan.

Not only did we meet, but they are now supporting at $50/month! In addition, I was able to meet so many wonderful people at their church, set up more meetings and meet with the missions committee. So, essentially, God did everything I had planned for. But in His timing and in His way.

Wow.

While the previous evening of dramatics was humbling and difficult to process through, I learned much about my pride, and much about trusting in God's plan. His plan in this instance was actually quite similar to mine, but He still wanted to teach me to trust Him. And I am so very grateful for that.