2022 has been a year of failed plans for me… one disappointment after another… some very big ones. It’s been tough to work through. I even struggled with depression for a bit.

But I wouldn’t change a single iota of this past year even if I could!

I am truly thankful for every foiled plan. Here’s why…

When my plans don’t work, when life doesn’t turn out like I hoped — that is EXACTLY when my faith and trust in God can grow.

When OUR plans work out, we are tempted to believe we did it ourselves. When OUR plans succeed, we can get away with thinking that we accomplished it through our hard work and expert planning skills.

When nothing turns out the way we want, then the actual truth smacks us in the face. We are not afterall in control of our own destiny. We are not God. The universe does not revolve around us.

THIS is when we get to practice that faith muscle. Do we believe that God is in control? That He knows and loves us? That He really does have the best plan for us even if we don’t understand it? Even if it is contrary to our personal preferences?

My favorite Shakespeare line was delivered by Hamlet, “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”

Profoundly true! As much as we work to fashion our own lives, our very best attempts are nothing more than amateur ragged sawings on the end of a dead tree. One disaster reveals the truth of it. A car crash, a hurricane, a cancer diagnosis… Even the best laid plans are susceptible. We do not control our own fates.

Only Jesus is the master carpenter.

If we step aside and surrender to His divine sculpting, we grow. We access that peace that surpasses understanding. We delve into boundless joy that isn’t connected to our external circumstances. We are healed and delivered. We become more like Jesus.

So I’m learning to be thankful when my plans fail. I would never wish to trade who I am NOW for who I was before all the disappointments. I am stronger now. Wiser. More mature in my faith. I am THANKFUL!