Facing Up To Plan D
I am doing something today that I have been resisting for a ridiculously long time now. For ages I have felt like I need to be writing more stuff down and sending it into the world but I haven’t wanted to. When I share things that are happening inside me, I want it to be positive and hopeful and for it to make sense to me and the people who might want to read it. I want it to be a bit pretty and polished and to leave people feeling better about life and not worse.
So because I’ve been in a fairly bad place internally for the last couple of years, I have been waiting for this stage to pass so that I could write about it with wisdom and hope and all the answers of how I got out of that place into something better. And I’ve waited and waited and all the time I’ve felt this strong sense that I was supposed to be writing anyway. I kept reading things and listening to messages that were prompting me to get the words out and my response this whole time has been, “Okay, yes, I definitely will, once things start to make sense again.”
I’ve put myself in a kind of silent stalemate with God. I haven’t wanted to be obedient to Him until He started showing me answers. I’ve been waiting for the next breakthrough or a new perspective or….something, I don’t know what. For things to get easier I suppose.
But they haven’t got easier. They have got way more complicated and I have significantly less answers now than I would’ve had if I’d written this stuff two years ago.
Guess what? My stubborn sulking with God hasn’t got me anywhere. That shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: He is consistent, I am not. He is faithful, I am fickle. He sees the beginning from the end, I see only what’s in front of my face and have willingly forgotten so many things that He has already said and done. He is infinitely patient, my patience has now run out.
So I’m doing it. I am going to write from the place that I am in right now instead of the place I wish I was. I will go back over my dozens of half-written posts from the last couple of years and I will try to finish and publish them. As I wrote about two posts ago, I will let go of what I want everyone to think of me and just write about the honesty of the season I’ve been in. Am in. Hopefully won’t be in forever.
To accompany this I’ve changed the look and the title of this blog. The last header was from six years ago, before the losses, and I haven’t known what to do with it since. I’ve just used a generic one from blogspot (maybe some day I’ll work how to do a better one but I didn’t want to use that as an excuse anymore for not moving forward).
The title for now is about living in Plan D. This is about I have been feeling in the last few months. After Scooby died, through our devastation we had to reconfigure and work out what we were going to do now that we had lost what we’d spent the previous two years fighting for. It felt like Plan B to us but so many amazing things came into our life in that season too. We could see some sense in what had happened. After loosing Richard, life changed again and it felt like so many of those plans and new hopes had been lost forever. The only way forward was to rethink the future differently and work out Plan C on my own. In this last year, it has felt like so many of these decisions have come to nothing and multiple doors have been closed and I have to rethink the future yet again. So this would be Plan D.
The thing is with Plan D is that it’s harder to walk forward into. Plan B stings like heck but there is still determination and energy there – usually it just needs channelling from whatever you were fighting for before and into something else instead. Plan C can be quite a shocker as you begin to question lots of things that seemed so clear before. It winds you in the stomach and slows you down and seriously dents your optimism and your confidence. You approach everything with more caution and hold back from big decisions unless you have a lot of support or very few options. You begin to feel like a different person and miss so many aspects of your character that seem to have dulled.
Plan D though is an absolute killer. You don’t really want to get back up at all. You actually can’t remember what the Plan A version of yourself felt like. You can’t see anything clearly as it’s all through a veil of what should have been instead. You daren’t invest in anything because you begin to convince yourself that it’s all going to turn to dust. You can’t seem to get energy from the things you used to, and everything feels like too much effort.
Plan D stands for Disappointment, Disillusionment, Depression and Doubt. It doesn’t feel like a plan at all, just a big hole you stumbled into and can’t find a way out of.
You see why I didn’t want to write about it? I don’t want to be that person. Even less, I don’t want to inflict these feelings or thoughts onto anyone else.
However, even though I haven’t been consistent or faithful in the last few years, God has, and He has kept creating lots of opportunities for me to go and speak in many different places. I feel like it’s been a crazy experience of faith. Some weeks I have felt like I’ve been in a pit and have failed in almost everything else I attempted to do, and have wanted to cancel the next speaking appointment, listening to voices in my head that tell me I’m actually a fraud. But when I’ve turned up anyway, and spoken about whatever place I’m currently in, God has been using it in ways I don’t understand. I’m sure that a lot of people who listen wonder what on earth I’m on about, but for others in the room they are hearing someone else put into words things that they have been wrestling with too. God seems to use this to do a deep work in people, confounding the voice of apparent wisdom that tells me to be quiet and using the foolishness of my over-active emotions instead.
You see how daft it is then that I didn’t want to give Him the permission to do the same thing on this page? Like every other aspect of Plan D, I can’t where it’s going or how God will use it, but if it’s all I’ve got right now then it’s what I need to offer.
Finally: my description of Plan D above is crude and negative and narrow-minded. It’s how I see it, still smarting from the blows that have been dealt to me. I know though that there is so much more to it than I currently see. Plan D in God’s hands can stand for a whole bunch of other things. Depth. Deliverance. Devotion. Discernment. Destiny. I may have changed a lot in the past few years but He hasn’t. That’s what I’ll keep writing about.