Like the rest of NZ, I found myself deeply disappointed with the return of ole mate COVID. Like many, I had wonderful trips around the country booked, all which overnight had to be cancelled.
Moreover, living in Auckland meant one minute I was with all my friends planning to hang out, and the next minute I was saying goodbye to them for what I was only hoping would be two weeks.
I love the beginning of the year, a fresh start, time to set new plans and dreams for the year ahead. However this year, its felt like day in day out those plans have had to change, be moved or cancelled all together.
Just when we thought we were free and ready to dream again for the 6 months ahead, again we are taken back to this place of unknown and uncertainties.
This, albeit it’s been on the extreme end of the spectrum of change, has challenged what I like to call my ‘muscle of resilient faith’. Now there is something you must know about me, I’m a planner.
Not just the to-do list kind of person, I’m the colour coded, multiple binders, alphabetical order kind of planner. I love routine and I love plans. So for me when the spanner is thrown into the works, my world is out of whack. So 2020 has been a real party for me.
Yet, there is some things that I’ve learned as I have come to work very hard on growing a resilient faith in the midst of all this uncertainty. Whilst I have always known that God’s plans are greater than my own, it’s always been a mission to really understand what that means when things don’t go as I planned.
2020 has really made me understand.
A verse I came across rather timely just before we went into a level 3 lockdown in Auckland was the following,
‘“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the lord, who has compassion on you.’ (Isaiah chapter 54, verse 10)
Upon reading this, I was encouraged to reflect on the last time we were in this situation and the things that I had learned during that. Encouraging me to step into this next period of uncertainty with those learnings in hand.
So a few things I have learned about letting go of my plan A, B and C, and following on with God’s plan X, Y or Z for me:
#1 Though your plans may have changed, God doesn’t.
#2 Joy is a choice that you can make daily in the face of uncertainty.
#3 Though we are all in the same boat, the way in which we sit in that boat can be different. Have grace for those around you as you do not know how they are dealing in the face of constant change.
#4 Rest. Take the time to rest in God’s word. Though you cannot do what you usually would, take all this extra time and put it to good use, resting, recuperating, reflecting and realigning your plans to God’s will for you.
#5 Don’t be afraid to plan and dream again, but don’t get consumed by those plans. Be ready to be flexible. Be grateful for the ability to make those plans, not everyone can.
#6 Prioritise your time. It can be so easy to go day in and day out with the motion of it all, but really this is the perfect time to grow and stretch yourself. Learn how to prioritise your time well, so you don’t just sit at home in front of the screen for the whole day.
Lastly, surrender your plan a, b and c to God. For His plan X, Y and Z will always be better for you. Even in the midst of chaos and in the face of uncertainty, His plans are good and they are sure.
Take a minute to reflect on the blessings that have come in disguise over this year and trust me you will see that God has been orchestrating good on your behalf.
Araina Kazia Pereira from Wellington, New Zealand is a published writer having written for various outlets and most recently joining as a Press Service International young writer. She enjoys asking the big questions and writing about the challenging questions that she has wrestled with in her own journey, as well as her learnings along the way. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.