Today, as I jet off to Europe – I thought I would tell one of my favorite stories of the year. It’s called The Force.
Christina Trevino, my life coach, preaches that oftentimes in life we find that we are forcing things that aren’t meant to be—instead of simply stepping back and letting things fall into place. Instead of forcing things, she has been encouraging me to step back…and let the force (or God’s will) be on your side. Let me tell you my example; then you can laugh along with me at my 12-month escapade of forcing.
My best friend is getting married in 3 days in Germany and I am *honored* to be her very own maid of honor! At the announcement of the engagement a year ago, I immediately planned out a grand Europe trip in my head. It was going to be a blog trip after the wedding, oh my! Was it going to be Switzerland? France? Italy? Spain? The possibilities were endless. My brother would most definitely join, my mom and father as well (can you hear the wheels in my head turning?). We would celebrate the wedding, then travel and photograph and photograph and travel and eat and drink and be merry.
So this is where God is sitting upstairs laughing at my plans. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
How do I shorten this? First, something felt…off. I found myself asking “why was planning this trip so…difficult?” For his own reasons, my dad dropped. Okay – no worries. Next, the timing is wrong for the rest of my family, meaning everyone. But wait, what? So, how am I supposed to blog then? It’s my job! Who am I supposed to go with? Nothing. Is. Going. According. To. Plan.
Step inside my head:
I know. It’s supposed to be a girls trip, of course! I’m paying for a European ticket anyway, so I must travel elsewhere! Paris it is, with an old friend. Plans were made and they were signed, sealed, delivered. I wait 2 weeks, and that friend can’t go. Okay, different friend – le duh! We are supposed to travel to Italy and then I shall blog there. Anxiety only grew. I wait 2 hours, and [not surprisingly at this point] the door is closed and she can’t go either. This went on for about 6 months, all the way up to 2 weeks before the trip. Hotels booked, cancelled, remade, on and on and on…until I stepped back and said:
Dear God, what in the world are you trying to tell me?
And this is when I learned my little lesson, when I took a step back and watched the real deal unfold before my eyes.
What I am doing over the following week after my best friend’s wedding is not a typical blog trip, it’s not with my family, it is not with any of my close friends, and it couldn’t be any more different than what I originally planned it to be. After letting go, suddenly, the right hotels and transportation began to show up. The right people aligned perfectly. The anxiety died down and the peace arrived. Suddenly an entirely new trip had been created, before my eyes, without me having to do a single thing. Ta da!
When God wants to close a door on your plans—my, oh my—all the doors will close. You can try to force them open, but when they’re tightly sealed shut, and you try to push them open—they will close right back again (ouch!). Or, you can step back and watch His plans fall effortlessly and miraculously into place. Those plans always supersede anything that we can ever imagine or dream up for ourselves. This story that I’m sharing today is just one lighthearted examples of the many other (more impactful) times this has happened in my life and I bet you can think of 1 or 2, too.
So what’s the end to my story you ask? It’s most definitely not finished — but I do know that I am heading to Paris to … write. I am not planning on disclosing full details here on the blog and there’s not a lot I can say, but you betcha, I’m feeling incredibly blessed and thankful, while also still anticipating a lot of hidden surprises in this leap of faith, overseas.
Have you found yourself forcing things in your life? Does this resonate with you? Let me know your thoughts! XOXO