“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3 NIV). As 2019 ended, I knew 2020 would be an important year in my heart. I imagined breakthroughs in my writing, networking to new heights, and accomplishing incredible goals I’d set for myself. But as the world experienced a deadly pandemic, and I lost my brother to a sudden heart attack, my goals paled compared to my deep pain. New Year’s Eve 2020 started with my mother being admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. Some days I couldn't sleep for the nightmares that played out behind my eyelids. Despite my angst, I worked on my novel constantly, capturing ideas whenever they came. Then when my mother succumbed to the virus on February 3, 2021, I blogged, wrote guest articles, launched a podcast, and entered competitions through my sorrow. I felt I’d hit bottom when it came to pain. Yet, I hit my stride in my writing, and it never occurred to me that I’d be able to accomplish as much as I did. This year brought with it a significant change for my family. Two of the closest people to us perished only eight weeks apart. Their deaths caused an unthinkable divide in the extended family. Pain, misunderstandings, and the spiritual realm's demonic powers sought to attack us in the worst way. It was challenging to focus on the circumstances during those times, but I flourished in the escapism of writing. Before I knew it, I had an entire manuscript I’d written and even begun a third of the work on the sequel.
However, I worried about our extended family. I berated myself for lacking the tools to fix our issues until I realized my life had transitioned into a new season—one where I bowed to the urging of the Holy Spirit. With that realization came the grace not to feel like a failure to solve the problems around me. I heard the Lord speak to me in my spirit with these words: “Don’t fear, don’t doubt. Just believe. Praise your way to victory.” It occurred to me that my plans for my life, others, and my writing must be committed to God.
I stopped fighting for control, embraced rest and the unknown. I surrendered to the new season, letting go of worry. Instead, I stayed praising God for all he has done and all he will do; I spent time in the Bible and wrote. As a new year approaches, coming out of uncertainty into where God reconciles my family, me, and my writing career, I know God’s in control, and my plans will prosper when I allow God to direct them. After all, the joy of trusting God is he sees us through the valleys, mountain tops, darkness, and happiness to accomplish much more than we could ever imagine.
Thank you, God, for establishing my plans and for the rest so I can recover and replenish my strength. Thank you because you are in control even when things are not going according to my plans. Thank you for directing my steps and showing me how to plan and be encouraged when things go wrong. Amen.
Your turn: What plans are you committing to God this year? Do you have experiences to share regarding the past year? We'd love to hear from you!.