When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

I’m a planner.  Always have been… Probably always will be.  I like my ducks in a row.  I like to be prepared for anything and everything.  I like to dream but to still be prepared for worst case scenario.

So when a situation leaves me clueless and without a definite sense of direction, I struggle big-time.  Think whale stranded on the beach kind of struggle.  And as you can imagine, it ain’t pretty.

Blub… Blub… Blub…

Life since Nate’s assault has been anything but according to plan.  Right now, he’s receiving disability pay, so we’re good… but that will end after awhile.  Some people say that Nate will be taken care of, because he’s a hero.  Other rumors say Nate will be asked to retire, due to his inability to work on the job any longer.

Neither option sounds very good so far.  If Nate goes back and isn’t able to do the work, they could fire him, no questions asked.  (We’ve already been warned that this is a very real possibility, since our state — like most others — is looking to cut back spending wherever possible).  If he retires, he’d make 72% of his pay and then be able to work part-time to make up the remaining 30%. But he would never receive another raise and if he made more money at his part-time job, they would cut his retirement pay.  That means, at the age of 30, he would be capped off and would never receive a penny more.

If more money was needed in the future to support our family, I would be the one to carry that financial responsibility.

It’s kind of a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t type of situation.

Nate keeps reminding me that worrying about what will happen doesn’t do any good.  Right now, we’re okay.

But I think that learning to really focus on God, instead of a situation, is a learning process.  And I’m not “there” yet.  I’ve still got a ways to go when it comes to taking that deep breath and just focusing on today… instead of worrying about tomorrow.

It got so bad the other day that I was a tangled mess of emotions.  No lie, I was driving along the road, when I had to slow down for a cluster of turkeys crossing the road.  And the last turkey in line hobbled after the rest of his friends, obviously slowed down by an injured leg.  And I started crying hysterically for the poor turkey with the bum leg.

Yeahhh, that’s how you know you need to calm down already!

But all that to say, I don’t write this blog post for sympathy.  I write it, because every day I get stronger… more confident in taking life one day at a time.  I write it because one day, I want to read this post and remember how confused and lost I felt when it came to the future of our finances.  (Kind of like that poor turkey with the bum leg who was trying so desperately to keep up with the rest of his flock).

And I know I’ll finish reading — and remembering — with a smile.  Because in that moment, I won’t just believe that God will guide us through, as He always has.

I’ll know.  🙂


19 thoughts on “When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan

  1. I don’t think I fully understand the financial situation there so I’m not going to comment on it BUT have you read Love Does? I just finished it and while I wasn’t a ginormous fan, I think you might be, especially the place you’re in right now. The author tells stories about his life and connects each one to God, how love is a verb, and the love that we can show and that God shows.

    I know you guys aren’t in an ideal situation (understatement!) but I do know that so many people love you, and you guys are so good to so many people and give back, so I am POSITIVE that everything will work out somehow. Truly believe it. 120%.

    Hugs and love to you, Nate, and the kitties!

    1. I don’t even fully understand the financial situation to be honest. LOL!!! Maybe that’s what scares me the most. 😉 But I’m learning all the time that you can’t control each situation and life doesn’t always go according to plan. You just have to take it a day at a time and focus on today, instead of worrying so much about what you can’t control. (This is me totally preaching to myself over here. Ha, ha).
      Thank you SO much for the kind words… and for just being one of the most awesome bloggy friends ever. 🙂 You always bring a smile to my face!

  2. This is beautiful. It is in our weakness that God shines brightest, and I see God in this story already. It’s so hard to not know what the future holds. When our path was irrevocably altered in May, I didn’t know what that meant, or how that defined who I was. But who we are doesn’t change with circumstance. We are children of God, one who loves us and will take care of us. You are such a wonderful person, Nicole. I am definitely going to be praying for you this week that God will show you something spectacular. 🙂

    1. Thank you SO much, Katy! Your friendship (even though we haven’t met in person) means so much. I truly appreciate the encouragement, kind words, and — most of all — the prayers! 🙂 (I have been praying for you as well).

  3. Have you seen Katy’s post today? Song of the Week, it’s titled. I was listening to the song as I was reading your post and it simply fit. So perfectly. You should go listen if you haven’t already.

    You and Nate are good people who trust in God. Everything is going to work out just the way He intends for it to work out. You know that.

    Oh and there is nothing wrong with being a planner. God loves planners – provided they watch for His cues in all their planning! I’m sure you’ve heard the fable (right term?) of the guy whose house was flooding, so EMT’s were trying to evacuate. No, says the guy, I believe in God and God will save me. So he climbs to the second floor of the house. The water continues to rise and the Coast Guard brings a boat by the house. Come with us, they say. No, says the guy, I believe in God and God will save me. So he climbs onto the roof. And an air response helicopter flies overhead, tossing a rope ladder down for him to climb up. No, he says, I believe in God and God will save me. Well, the guy drowns, and when he gets to heaven he asks God, “Why didn’t you save me? I believed in you!” God replies, “I sent the EMT’s, the Coast Guard, and a helicopter response team…what more did you want??”

    So yeah. This was long. But know I’m thinking of you guys and praying that the answers are all evident.

    1. I don’t want to hijack this comment but Amy, I had never heard this fable (?) I am constantly wondering if I’m recognizing signs or not. I need signs that whack me over the head!!

      Sometimes it’s tough being planners!

    2. I HAVE heard of that fable but it never gets old! It’s so true… I always say that God gave us brains and so we need to use them. 😉 Nate and I have been paying off bills and putting money in the bank, trying to plan for the future. And in the end, I KNOW that God will bring us through. It’s not that there won’t be issues or tough times. But together — with God on our side — we will have the strength to get through anything! Thank you SO much for your encouragement, my friend!!! It means a lot!!

  4. I’m so sorry for the worry you’ve been out through and that worry and questions of what to do next. My husband recently was told his job was furloughed so I’ve been a ball of stress and tears, anomaly crying at the drop of a hat, and he’s been strong and handling his potential job loss amazingly well. I keep telling myself that this is the path we are meant to go down, there must be a reason, yet being a ducks in a row type of person as well this doesn’t calm me too much.
    I think you and your husband are such a warm, loving, and strong couple that you can get through anything together because I can tell the love you guys have each other after reading your blog for years. Just know you guys are in my thoughts and I’m sending hugs your guys way too.

    1. I’m SO sorry to hear about your husband’s job!! 😦 I understand that must be so incredibly stressful for you! Hang in there as well, and I will most definitely be praying that the situation resolves soon. (Also thank you for the kind words! I appreciate it so much!!!).

  5. Nate SHOULD be taken care of because he is a hero. The justice part of my brain cries out at anything less. The idea that being a hero and putting your life on the line for someone else could lead to financial problems for your own family later… it just isn’t right. I am so sorry you guys are facing this right now. We all know that life isn’t always fair, but it sucks when it hits you square in the face. Especially in an instance like this when Nate was going above and beyond. I know you aren’t looking for sympathy, but hopefully a bit of empathy is acceptable. 🙂 My favorite part of this post is (no surprise) the end where you talk about how when you look back at this post someday you will smile because you will be able to look back and see how God worked in these situations. So. True. 🙂

  6. I am so sorry that you and Nate are facing this struggle and it’s not either of your faults AT ALL. That would be one of the hardest things for me to accept in your situation. I know God will carry you both through this, and it will work out to His plan in the end. And His plan? It’s perfect and better than anything we could think up ourselves.

    Have you ever read the devotional “Jesus Calling”? I was reading it the other day when I was really, really overwhelmed and the passage was just perfect, so I wanted to share it with you! (By the way, it’s written as if Jesus is talking to you… I hope that makes sense!)

    “Trust Me and refuse to worry. I am your strength and song. You are feeling wobbly this morning, looking at difficult times looming ahead, measuring them against your own strength. However, they are not today’s tasks–or even tomorrow’s. So leave them in the future and come home to the present, where you will find Me waiting for you. Since I am your Strength, I can empower you to handle each task as it comes. Because I am your Song, I can give you Joy as you work alongside Me.

    Keep bringing you mind back to the present moment. Among all My creatures, only humans can anticipate future events. This ability is a blessing, but it becomes a curse whenever it is misused. If you use your magnificent mind to worry about tomorrow, you cloak yourself in unbelief. However, when the hope of heaven fills your thoughts, the Light of My Presence envelopes you. Though heaven is future, it is also present tense. As you walk in the Light with Me, you have one foot on earth and one foot in heaven.”

    🙂 Hang in there and keep praying! I will be praying, too. <333

  7. I am so sorry, Nicole. I don’t know if it’s any comfort, but I always find that the things I worry about the most never end up the way I fear they might. There is no way to know what will happen, but I do know that your faith will get you through it, and your strength will help you to beat back any obstacles along the way. xo

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