When Things Don’t Go as Planned
For months everything had been planned to a tee. The seven day trip with another youth choir was set with plenty of adventure, performances, and new friendships. The 38 teenagers participating from our church had a mission and purpose for seeing it through. Little did I know that the well laid-out plan would evolve into an exercise to save my summertime sanity.
Just a month out, all those grand plans seemed on the verge of crashing down because of a change in church personnel.
I remember the sequence of events like it was yesterday. There were tons of questions and few answers. Kids and parents were asking, “Now what? Is the trip cancelled? If we go, who will be in charge?”
It was then I saw my pastor coming down the hall. What I didn’t realize was he was headed straight for me.
“God’s ways are NOT our ways; His thoughts are NOT our thoughts; His ways and thoughts are much higher than ours.” Isaiah 55:8
Take the Lead
My pastor looked me in the eye and said, “Mitzi, can you lead this group? The other church’s choir director will take care of the music portion of the trip if you can coordinate the parent group and lead the student activities.”
It didn’t take me long to respond, “Yes.” After all, I was invested on several levels. I had a daughter who had spent countless hours like the rest of her friends planning and rehearsing. And like the other parents, I had spent hours volunteering, making food, holding small group rehearsals, fundraising, and more. Of course it didn’t hurt that I had years of experience leading and teaching teens.
Together Everyone Achieves More
So with the help of outstanding parent volunteers and chaperones we were able to rally the kids, get things back on track, and save the tour. I didn’t do it alone–not even close. It was God, plain and simple. And in the midst of something new, He blessed me with three life lessons that would save my summertime sanity.
1. Boldly Go Where You’ve Never Gone Before (1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV)
This isn’t easy because more times then not we are afraid of the unknown. We allow fear, worry, and doubt to set in instead of planting our feet on the solid rock and trusting God to move us forward. I discovered that planning and planning some more is required, and that flexibility is key when the going gets tough.
2. Don’t Panic When Plans Unravel (John 14:27 NIV)
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Instead learn to bless and release the negative. Even when things fall apart there is always a solution. Create a Plan B–a contingency plan that says, “we’re prepared for just about anything.” And surround yourself with people who are positive, like-minded believers. Those who contribute ideas and get in the trenches with you are so invaluable
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize (Philippians 3:14 NIV)
Be intentional, be gracious, and be prayerful. Thank God for every part of your experience. He doesn’t give us more than we can handle and He always knows who can best handle the work. As our trip came to a close our students were blessed to sing at multiple churches, engage in fun activities, and lead small group Bible Studies. Everything we had prayed for as parents came to fruition. Jesus is always in charge and where He leads, we are to follow.
Lessons for a Lifetime
These three lessons have been invaluable to me over the years. There is nothing rocket science about them, but seeing them played out in living color makes me appreciate them all the more. God knew all along what was unfolding before us and He knew the talents and skills of those who could step in and take the lead. I’m thankful for the opportunity to have served with so many wonderful individuals and when it mattered most, they helped save my summertime sanity.
*As a bonus to ‘Every Summer Has a Story’ Part I – Check out this delicious recipe. (Click the link here)
- Has there been a situation where you thought you had everything figured out and something went awry? What did you do to get back on track?
- When praying for courage and confidence, what is your favorite verse?
- How does meditating on God’s Word help you to work through change that is outside your comfort zone?
Heavenly Father, I’m so thankful to You for equipping me with the appropriate tools to handle Your assignments. I might not always have the courage and confidence to do it on my own, but You have enough for both of us. Thank you for leading me to the place you need me and for encouraging me to boldly go where I’ve not gone before. In Your Name, Amen.