On Planning and When Things Turn Out Radically Different Than We Imagined


The funny thing about writing is that it’s made up of so many ideas and so few realities. A lot of thinking, a lot of different visions of where to go – and then sitting down at the computer to actually write is often quite torturous.


Yes, I know I say I love this whole writing thing, but it’s really hard, alright?


There’s a lot of thinking involved. A lot of planning. A lot of daydreaming.


And then I sit down to my computer and the words don’t totally know where to go. They don’t know whether to form long sentences or short, to be sophisticated or poetic or blunt, to be precise or to be vague. They don’t know whether to arrange themselves into a concise doctrinal argument, or into a messy, heart-spilling session of vulnerability.

I’m not one of those speed-writers. I’m not really a speed-thinker, either. But when Monday and Friday night roll around, I’m there in my chair, with my laptop – even if I really don’t know where I’m going.


What I plan at first doesn’t always end up getting written – but at the end of the night, I’m (exhaustedly) content, because the posts have this tendency to turn out better than I originally planned and imagined them.


When I came to that realization, something hit me about how true that is about life as well.


We humans often do a lot of planning. A lot of dreaming and thinking and praying “Hey God, where do you want me to go? Because I honestly have no idea what to do here. So I’m just going to step out right here…so please direct me in this, okay? I want to do the right thing.”


And after plans that don’t happen, dreams that don’t always come to pass, and a lot of overthinking that probably didn’t help much, life comes together. Different things happen, some easier and some harder than we may have originally imagined.


And that’s alright. It’s good, even.


Because as we move forward, we can allow God to work in us and through us, to direct us into what He has for us, and to produce lives for us that are better than we could’ve ever imagined.


Better doesn’t always mean easier, or simpler, or less painful in the moment. But ultimately, it does mean good. Even if the road seems rockier.


I love these two verses from Proverbs.


Proverbs 16:9

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”


Proverbs 19:21

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”


The planning is wonderful, and smart, even. But we must always look beyond ourselves to see that God’s purpose is better than any single one we could ever contrive on our own.


Today, I challenge you to live with purpose. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith and let God direct you as you go along.


Life’s hard, and it’s messy and crazy, and we often have no idea what to do or where to go. I get it.


So go ahead and make those amazing plans – but live in faith, trusting God to show you how He desires that those things come together. According to what He knows to be best.


He’s God, after all.



13 Replies to “On Planning and When Things Turn Out Radically Different Than We Imagined”

  1. Okay well at the risk of sounding cliche THIS WAS SUPER GOOD. I’ve been thinking along this topic for a while now but your post really helps to solidify everything. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For what it’s worth, Amanda, all of your posts are SO beautifully written. God gave you such a way of words I’m always sitting here thinking “She put that so well! Why didn’t I ever think about it like that?!”

    I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot recently. I have this fear of putting too much emphasis of my identity in writing or reading, and my dreams not becoming a reality. What if it’s NOT what God has intended me to do? What if I’m wasting my time planning so much for the future? But then at the same time I have to remind myself… even if God changes my plans, He will change them for the BETTER. Putting faith in God that whatever I do, it will be in the name of glorifying Him, should always satisfy me. 🙂


    1. Emily, your comment just encouraged me so much. Oh my word. ❤

      Oh definitely! I've been thinking along similar lines as well. You're so, so right. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!


  3. Hi Amanda. I don’t know about you but I give up on planning when I write, specifcally in poetry. I just write whatever comes out of me and that can change quickly. I should put more God into it and less me though. that’s my problem. I tend to write down whatever is on my mind and post it via poetry. I don’t think much or pray about it. Unless i have a certain topic and stick to that topic. I do try to write appropriate poetry though and not bad poetry.


  4. Thank you for this Amanda! I completely understand that whole wait-writing-what-are-you-doing-this-isn’t-what-I-thought-this-was-going-to-be thing, but you’re right, often it does turn out for the best. I’ve never though of using this as an analogy of what God does in our lives though! It is so good to know that we have the Master Storyteller authoring out story, who knows the beginning from the end. Thank you for this reminder to trust His plan!


    1. Thank you for your comment, Belle! You’re so right about that – knowing that we can trust the One who holds the pen is such a comfort, especially when we have absolutely no idea where we’re headed. Welcome to Scattered Journal Pages! It’s great to have you here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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