Somewhere in mid-December, Eric and I had the next five or so months all planned out.

Aren’t we just adorable? Isn’t it cute how we make plans and then assume these things will happen?

Of course it all hit the toilet. All our plans disintegrated into a pile of squashy glop. It all started when Eric couldn’t avoid a tire that was lurking on the entrance ramp to the freeway. He smashed into it, and what should have been a busted bumper and a week in the shop turned into a totaled car and five weeks until a check was issued.

So then we bought a car from a friend, but that took the money we’d set aside for braces, but then we learned we have more dental insurance to cover the braces than we thought, but then sickness overtook us and what was left of our financial plans was swallowed up with sick days, and I’m sure your eyes are glazed over now with these silly details.

Even my eyes are glazed over. Let me get to my point.

The Clemence family is gingerly sitting right in the middle of what we shall call “Waiting for God’s Plan, Since Our Plan Is In the Toilet.” We aren’t sure what’s next on the agenda. It’s like we’re at the bus stop, with literally nothing to do until the bus pulls up and takes us to our next destination.

And you know what? It’s not so bad. Operating without a plan isn’t nearly as upsetting as I thought it would be. Waiting patiently for God just takes a reminder or two or three hundred every day, where I point out to myself that I don’t make the world spin so maybe I should just calm down and sit on the bench and watch the world go by.

If your plans have also recently taken a dive off the cliff, I welcome you right here on this bus stop bench. We can sit together and keep each other company. There’s plenty of room and lots to talk about while we wait. God’s next bus is due any minute now…

waiting for God


13 Comments on When your plans take a sharp left turn, right off a cliff

  1. Eric Wilber
    February 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Your post gets me thinking about people who the ride bus. I’ve noticed since moving from Lansing to Kalamazoo (with a lot of places in between) that the people I talk to in Kalamazoo have a negative view of the bus and the people who ride it. I have tried to use riding the bus examples in youth group and the kids are noticeable disgusted as I talk about. My reaction from adults have been similar. Is there some cultural bias here in K-zoo that turns middle class white people (the group I am surrounded by, serve, and self identify as) against public transport?

  2. Jessie Clemence
    February 4, 2016 at 4:14 pm (2 years ago)

    I don’t know, maybe there is. I do know we view it with some mystery– like, “how do you get on and off that thing and actually end up where you want to be?” because we all drive cars everywhere. No joke, a few years ago there was this tiny (I mean TINY) man at the bus stop by the mall in Grand Rapids. He seemed to need some help, so I got out of my car to help him with the bus schedule (and the giant Christmas tree he had in a box.) ((And also, he was actually a SHE, but that’s another story for another time.))

    I couldn’t figure out the bus schedule. No idea. I’m an educated woman, but that bus schedule was like nothing I’d ever seen in my life. He/she couldn’t figure it out either.

    As for the disgust you’ve encountered, I’m not sure what to think about that. It could be that the bus station is right next to the homeless shelter, so Kalamazoo citizens equate the two.

    The bus stops here are often cold and terrible– nothing more than a sign in a pile of snow. Maybe the kids see the pitiful conditions people have to stand around in and they don’t want to do that.

    Way more thoughts than you probably wanted! But there they are.

  3. Eric Wilber
    February 4, 2016 at 4:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Naw, if I didn’t want your thoughts I wouldn’t be an engaged member of your audience 😉 You have given me at least two other things to ponder on the topic.

    February 4, 2016 at 5:22 pm (2 years ago)

    It tests your faith to move forward when plans are either disrupted or can’t even be made. It’s easy to stress – trust me – when things aren’t going as you plan.
    I’ll see you at the bus stop.

  5. Beth Ann Sowles
    February 4, 2016 at 6:16 pm (2 years ago)

    I actually worked for the public transit system in Kzoo for a looooooong 25 years. I think some of the issues are with all the changes made to the routes and the fact it can take up to 2 hours just to get across town. And the stories I could tell about some of the riders … eek.

    But since I am so familiar with the bus system and the routes, I actually like this analogy. Since I have no clue where my next off stop will be! I’ll be waiting with you 🙂

  6. Jessie Clemence
    February 4, 2016 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Excellent. One of us should bring cookies.

  7. Jessie Clemence
    February 4, 2016 at 9:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Yay! More people all waiting together. Excellent.

  8. Amelia Rhodes
    February 4, 2016 at 10:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Plans are overrated… or so I keep telling myself. Our house sold in November, we moved 2 weeks before Christmas, into a small rental…and now we wait. For….something. We think a house nearby, but honestly, just waiting.

  9. Cathy Dorko
    February 5, 2016 at 1:06 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you Jess. I needed to be reminded to let go Gods got this. I sat on the bench and gave it all up to Gods plan for me. We were just blessed with a beautiful baby grandson. I need to write this on my bathroom mirror “Gove it up to God. He has a better plan and will get me through it. “. So I can read it every morning.

  10. Jessie Clemence
    February 7, 2016 at 9:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Thanks, Cathy!! I’m so glad it helped.

  11. Jessie Clemence
    February 7, 2016 at 9:48 pm (2 years ago)

    Waaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiting is so hard. I like it fast and easy! I can’t wait to see what kind of place you find and where God leads you next.