Okay, so when I do book reviews I usually publish the  on my bookshelf, but this book has messed me up enough to get its own blog post.

Plan B by Pete Wilson raises the question we have all asked, and if we haven’t asked it we will soon, “What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would?” or as it says in the the book, “Why God?”

I have kept a journal since I was in the 8th grade, and I have this habit of looking back every once in a while to where I was a year ago.  It seems like each time I do this I always think, “I never thought I would be where I am now a year ago.”  It never fails.  I am always living in a Plan B situation.  But, this book made me realize that even when I find myself in what I think is “Plan B” maybe it’s exactly where God wants me to be.  Maybe it’s God’s “Plan A” for my life.

You see I have been in Plan B situations: my father died when I was 17; when all I wanted to do was do missions, God called me to seminary; when I graduated from seminary, God called me to go home….and wait in darkness for what seemed like an eternity; I am still single at 26 while my desire for marriage and family grows deeper every day; and now I find myself facing another “Plan B” situation as I try to follow God’s leading in my life.

Wilson writes, “So many people miss out on this designed life because we make an unconscious vow that we will only trust ourselves and the things we think we can control.”

This is so true!  And, I am the guiltiest of all.  I have such a need to be in control, that it is hard for me to trust God, even when He is doing his best work.

Form me, the hardest part of being in a Plan B situation is believing that God is still with me and that I am not a failure.  I can’t even count all the times I have sat in my bed crying because I felt like God had totally abandoned me (one of those times was just a few days ago) and that I was a complete fool for trusting Him in the first place.  But, I believe if we (if I) could truly grasp that God is always with us and that He loves us unconditionally, then we (I) could trust God even in the darkest moments our our Plan B’s.

Wilson addresses this so beautifully in his book, “Just because God calls you to some venture, that does not guarantee the venture will succeed.  Just because life doesn’t turn out the way you thought, that doesn’t mean you missed God’s will….God’s will: it’s as much about the person we’re becoming as it is about where we’re going.”

So many times I completely overlook the process God has me in of “becoming” and focus on the product.  God is more interested in my becoming than my doing.

I know this is true, and yet when the darkness of my failed dreams sucks me in I completely forget it.  God has brought me through SO MUCH pain, grief, uncertainty, fear, hopelessness, and yet when I find my life flipped upside down the first thing I do is get angry at God.  I get angry because I think He owes me something.  I get angry because I am afraid and my gut reaction isn’t to trust Him to protect me.

But, what if God is doing His best work through my fear?  What if God is revealing His love for me by, as Wilson says, stripping me of anything that keeps me from him?

Now that’s a game changer.

But, I struggle, as we all do, with giving up my dreams and being willing to let go of what I want for my life.  Wilson writes, “We must be willing, if necessary, to abandon the life we’ve planned and dreamed of in order to receive the life that our God has authored for us.” Plan B situations will always challenge our willingness to give up our dreams to God.

It’s hard for me even to describe how this book has been like refreshing waters to my soul over this past week.  God has reminded me of who He is and that even when things seem crazy and cloudy and scary, He is in control and is doing great work in me.  If you find yourself in one of those “I never thought I would be here” moments, I suggest that you get Plan B and read it.  It has some very thought provoking questions in the back that will also help as you dig a little deeper into the character of God and what He has for you in your Plan B situation.

I’m not going to act like I have this all figured out.  I actually have a feeling that I haven’t even experienced all the Plan B’s God has in store for me.  Even now, I find myself in the midst of an “I never thought I would be here situation.” I am confused and scared, but, I want to trust God.  And, I do believe that He is working something inside me that I cannot even comprehend.

It has taken me a long time to get here, and I may change my tune tomorrow, but in this moment, my prayer is that I would not settle for safety and shortcuts, that I would not be satisfied living an unfulfilled life, and that in the waiting and in the darkness I would trust God in the process of transformation He is working in my heart.