The Force

Darling Days

Sep 28

travel oftentravel oftentravel often

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 

all images via pinterest // 1 / 2 & 3 sources unknown 

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  1. Courtney shields

    LOVE this!! It was so much fun watching this all unfold in real time haha. Asking “God what are you trying to tell me?” Always makes for an interesting day ;)!

    Can’t wait to hear all about your trip! Give Paris a kiss fir me


  2. Molly

    What a great story we can relate to, J! I love that graphic you included of ouis and nons. I’ve been putting together a gallery wall and my latest addition currently in the works in a petite neon sign that simply spells, oui. I’m trying to be a yes person, to say yes to the open doors aaaaand the closed ones.

    May your European adventure be full of ouis! To the people you meet, the places you encounter and lessons you learn. It will be magnifique! I just know it! Love you, be safe and keep writing! oxo

    1. Ohhhh love that open and closed door analogy! You know I will be thinking of you a la Paris <3 can't wait to try all your hidden spots! Love you girl. Xoxo

  3. Zara

    Beautiful post and message! Looking forward to reading about your trip.

  4. manda

    What a beautiful post! I so enjoyed reading this! God gives us what we need when we need it even if we don’t know it at the time. One of my pastors used to tell me that when I pray be prepared to get an answer and it may not come in the form I want it in. If I pray for patience… I might get a ton of stressful situations that allow me to grow and learn patience. Anyways, have a beautiful time on your trip!

    Manda |

    1. So true, Manda! Ohhhhh yes I’ve gotten that patience card 1 too many times 🙂 Haven’t we all? thank you thank you! Xoxox

  5. Kat

    What an amazing story. I love this lesson and the concept of open doors and closed doors–especially closed doors! I like it when God makes it easier for me to see the path I’m supposed to be on. Hoping you have a fabulous trip and that you meet God at every turn and feel His presence! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!


  6. Such a great message! Have a wonderful trip, we love Europe!! Go with the flow, embrace the blessings around you and soak in those beautiful moments!!

  7. Chelsea annelise

    Jessi! I can so relate to this. Recently I was forcing plans in my life and I didn’t understand why everything was falling apart and so difficult. God’s timing is everything – I had a moment just like yours. I hope you have a wonderful trip to Paris! I can’t wait to see more xoxo

  8. Dorca Paulino

    Thank you for writing this post! I am in the process of switching jobs, and while I have applied to a million positions and spoken to all my contacts, no doors have been opened. Yesterday, I interviewed for a director position, and a part of me wanted to do the usual (reach out to the people I know who know people and can help put in a good word). But something was different this time. I finally understand that God opens and closes every door, and if he wants this for me, he won’t need my help. Sitting back and watching him act can be so liberating and nerve-wracking. Regardless of the outcome, I am choosing to trust.

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