A Plan A Woman In A Plan B World
What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan
by Debbie Taylor Williams, author and
God offers his help to us in whatever plan we find ourselves.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.”
“My name is Amber Carrington,” the young woman began. “I was told that you might be able to help me.” Quickly I moved closer to my answering machine so I wouldn’t miss a word. “My husband divorced me three months ago. I have an eighteen-month-old little boy.” With barely a pause, she continued: “I have no money and just got fired from a job I only had for two weeks because my car battery went dead and I couldn’t get to work. I don’t know what to do. I hope you’ll call me back.”
With a heavy heart I sank into my chair and listened to the message again. Had I heard her correctly? Had all these terrible things just happened to this young mother?
We don’t have to look long or far to see women whose lives are anything but what they had anticipated they would be.
We all start out with preconceived notions of what our lives will be like. For many women, that includes some combination of education, marriage, children, and career. I have yet to meet a woman who said to me, “I hope to get married and divorced, see my child go to prison, contract a terminal illness, and get fired from my job.” Such events are never part of a woman’s Plan A life.
Some women plan their lives more than others. Not only do they want a man, they want a rich man. Not only do they dream of marriage, they dream of a certain size of home to go with it. Not only are they going to have children, those
kids will be all-star athletes or valedictorian—or both.
What was your Plan A? Did it include a husband to love and adore you? Did it include your loving him all your life with the same romantic feelings as when you said “I do”? Did your Plan A include following up your education with a
rewarding career? Or the perfect number of perfect children?
Sometimes we’re not conscious of our Plan A until it doesn’t happen. For instance, when my husband, Keith, and I were engaged, I didn’t think about what size home we would live in after we were married. But my heart definitely sank
when he drove me to Vogue Towers apartments, where he’d taken a job as manager so our rent would be reduced. I thought I was going to die.
Let me back up. When Keith called and told me he had found a job as apartment manager and wanted to show me the apartments, I couldn’t wait. It’s every bride’s dream to see the first place she’ll live with her Prince Charming. As he
described the part of Lubbock, Texas, in which the apartment building was located, I was excited. I remembered seeing some new apartments in that area and immediately envisioned those as our first home.
Instead, Keith took me to a small, two-story, run-down building that was anything but in vogue. “We’re on the second floor,” he exclaimed, hopping out of the car. Trying to hide my shock and disappointment, I followed him into a dimly lit, concrete stairwell and walked up the old concrete steps. “He can’t be serious,” I thought.
Keith enthusiastically pulled a set of keys from his pocket. “This one will be our apartment.” Throwing open the paint-chipped door, the afternoon sunlight streamed through the only window in the tiny apartment. Looking at its three rooms, I couldn’t decide which was worse, the old bathroom or the gross shag carpet. “At least the kitchen isn’t filthy and has a refrigerator and stove,” I noted.
“Can he be serious?” I wondered. “He’s from a nice home. I’m from a nice home. How did he arrive at this apartment? Why did he rent it for us to live in?”
The only question I knew the answer to was why. Keith had put himself through college and was now taking on a wife and law school. He had determined that this was what we could afford on the six hundred dollars a month I’d be making. He would work full time during the summers and manage the apartment building while in school. But why couldn’t he have found another apartment to manage? Surely he could have. His undergraduate credentials and awards were a
hundred miles long. Yet none of the other apartments could compete with Vogue Towers’ monthly rent of eighty-five dollars.
Keith beamed. I returned his smile with the assurance that I loved him, which I did.
Like many women, I hadn’t really thought through my Plan A … until I was smacked with Plan B.
Is there hope if I’m in Plan B?
The B in Plan B doesn’t have to stand for Bad. Our Plan B may actually be God’s Plan A. Not always, but sometimes. God can use Plan B times in our lives to help us grow. If you wake up one day and realize that you’re in Plan B through no fault of your own—or even because of your decisions—there is hope! The God to whom we look for salvation is a God of hope not only for after we die but also for now. God is able to take our worst moments and redeem them.
Satan would love nothing more than for us to live defeated, discouraged lives. But the Plan A Christian woman living in a Plan B world has resources that can bring about victory instead of defeat.
We don’t have to fear Plan B. As a matter of fact, we can begin to see God’s hand in it. Let’s begin now.
Excerpt taken from The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World: What to Do When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan. Copyright 2010 by Debbie Taylor Williams. Published by Leafwood Publishers.