When people talk about how they can’t wait for life to return to “normal”, I mentally stand on the other side thinking: ‘but I’m not 100% okay with the old kind of normal, the pre-covid normal…What changes do I want to see made within my family for our “future normal”…What is it that I want to grasp as a spiritually beneficial takeaway from this unique time?’…Because I don’t want to revert back to my Alicia’s world, impatient, on the go self when things do return to “normal”…my true colors usually show up best with a well thought out detailed itinerary…that’s part of my control girl flaw.
I’m trying to figure out how to mesh this current lifestyle (the things I’ve learned during my coronavirus-downtime) with what’s to come when life eventually does return to “fast-paced normal”…and the idea of loosening my firm grip on ‘itinerary-style-planning’ definitely needs to be part of a wiser planning method for myself.
We’ve all seen firsthand now how things can dramatically change in a matter of day to day living.
I have to laugh in spite of myself — back in late February, before I even knew the word coronavirus existed, I had sat down at my kitchen table and counted through my calendar all the days that I had marked down to substitute teach, and there were many. And in my eyes I was seeing dollar signs and the amount of money that I’d be able to tuck into savings to put towards a trip our family has/had scheduled this summer. In the midst of counting sub days I literally thought of how foolish it seemed because subconsciously I knew something could come up and any of those days could be taken from me, none of them were necessarily ever guaranteed to stay locked in. Sure enough every single one of them was canceled out through the end of the school year due to the virus.
On top of that, my mom and I were supposed to travel to Vegas at the end of March for my uncle’s celebration of life — that event was postponed until a safer travel time.
That trip my husband, the kids and I have scheduled in July, ya that’s just a few phone calls away from being wiped off the calendar as well.
And I think it all boils down to the fact that I need to be okay with being flexible, not getting set in my own plans. If I choose to get so hung up on my plans and then something comes up and spoils them to the point they can no longer take place I risk getting caught up in disappointment, stress, maybe even depression…but if I choose to remember that this life is forever changing and can’t ever offer stability then my heart remains softened and willing to embrace the changes. I can’t keep a tight hold on my plans because they’re fallible just like every other part of this life. Nothing is wrong with planning, in fact the Bible even encourages us to plan BUT our plans are to be within God’s best interest and in-line with His will. Proverbs 16 provides some key verses on this matter:
Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.
Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
It’s God who has the say in the end.
Planning is a normal part of life but to include God in our plans, knowing that He has the ultimate best direction over us, is the key to a healthy life schedule. Because of this slower period in life, I’m also seeing that it helps to have a schedule that isn’t jam packed.
We must trust that God has overall control and be willing to submit to His plans when ours get fouled up. This happens when we remain in close communion with Him, asking Him to guide our plans and redirect our steps where needed.
I’m thankful to say that regardless of my plans becoming distorted, because of coronavirus, I am at peace with them falling through. This pandemic has served as a reminder once again that God truly is the only unchanging, unfailing, unfaltering part of life. So now (and when post corona season ever comes) I am prepared and willing to commit my plans unto Him with welcomed arms and a sensible calendar open to changes.