When Things Go Wrong, God Still has a Plan

“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?”— Proverbs 20:24(NIV).


For nine months, I argued with God. I didn’t want to move from the area where I’d lived for 35 years. I’d taught school there for 30 years. Planning my retirement, I wanted to write newspaper and magazine feature stories for local, state and national publications. I’d also planned to grow my professional photography business of 20 years. Substitute teaching was also on my to-do list.

A broken relationship a month before retirement left me questioning my future plans. When God revealed He had a better plan for my life, I sold my house and moved almost 75 miles to a community where I knew very few people. God had a better plan for me.

As an idealist, I often daydream about the perfect day and life without interruptions. However, that’s not reality. We can’t plan for life’s intrusions. We can’t control what others do. We can’t choose the things popping up to delay our plans.

What does the Bible say about planning?

If you’ve ever had a day when nothing goes as planned, you can relate. Sometimes, it’s a minor upset that cause the greatest problems. It’s easy to get angry, to feel as if the world is against you or to give up.

When I was younger, I had a daily and weekly to-do list. My self-worth was tied to checking off each item of my plan. When life interrupted, I wasn’t too happy. My attitude reeked of self-importance. I thought I had to prove, through my accomplishments, that I was a worthy human. Then, Jesus got ahold of me—and I’m so glad He did.

Now, when nothing goes as planned, I don’t panic. I don’t get upset by the delays, and I don’t worry about the things on my list left undone until later. As a reformed control freak and people pleaser, I’ve learned to patiently wait on God, trusting He has a better plan for my life.

What does the Bible say about planning?

  • Proverbs 16:9 says “We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.”
  • Proverbs 19:21 reads, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Our human nature wants to trust in our own capabilities. As one who wanted to always please others, I needed to prove myself. Since I’ve let go of the “need to please,” I’ve also learned to trust God more. However, sometimes, I need reminders.

Reading scripture is a good reminder for us. Even when our plans don’t go as expected, we can rely on His Word and know He still has a plan for our lives. God will never fail us. He promises to guide our steps.

Have you surrendered your plans to the One who knows what is best for you?

I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at carol@carolaround.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “When Things Go Wrong, God Still has a Plan

  1. Helloooooo!!!
    Greetings from a cheery Nairobi, Kenya! I had the ‘talk’ last night and it seems my relationship is heading south- at 47 and when I was just thinking of my first marriage ever! Spent the night wondering what might have gone wrong and what I could have done differently.
    Then I got this article and thought, maybe God is talking to me . That you had a broken relationship just before retirement! That you pulled through tells me I will also pull through. Not easy and just wondering what am gonna tell family, friends and relatives who thought we were such a perfect couple and were only waiting for the wedding invite!
    In this darkness I want to hold on and believe that although I can’t see it now, God is somehow working out something for me!
    Once again thanks for your article and do keep me in your prayers

    • Yes, Tom, God does have a plan for your life, even better than you can ever dream. It has been more than 15 years since that relationship ended but I can see that God was protecting me. His children can rest assured that He does not only protect us from certain disasters, like wrong relationships, but He has the best plan. God bless you always!

  2. Amen to all the above! How very timely this article was for me Carol. I was widowed four and a half years ago after 30 years of marriage. My experience is somewhat the opposite to yours though. I thought I would move to a much smaller house by now, but God has made it clear to me that I am to stay put! He keeps on reminding me that He looks after the orphans and the widows, so I’m learning to trust Him more and believe that He knows what is best for me.