Plan A, Plan B, and My Reality

By Liz Lampkin

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.-Proverbs 16:9

I’d never thought I’d be….

Throughout life we experience a number of things; we work towards achieving certain goals and we plan our paths in our minds and hearts for a future we imagine to be successful and bright. However, along life’s path we experience some things we never thought we would and the plans we establish in our hearts and minds can take detours in unexpected directions.

As a teenager and an adult in my early twenties I had major plans for my life. While in high school, I knew I was going to attend an HBCU (Historically Black College or University), earn a degree, become a teacher, and achieve other goals while there. And in my early twenties I knew I was going to have a successful teaching career, get married, have children and live happily ever after. Boy was I wrong!

As I reflect on my life, there have been a number of things I’ve experienced, and things I’d never thought I would experience that changed my life in ways I never imagined.

For instance, I did graduate from an HBCU on a bright sunny Sunday in Alabama and was well on my way to becoming a teacher. This was something I set out to do and I did it, but what I didn’t know was that the Lord would decide to take my mother back home to live with Him the same week I graduated from college.

That same year I did move on to become a successful teacher, and thought I was well on my way to getting married. However, what I didn’t know was that I would experience more failed relationships than I can count…and that was before I became a single mother.

These are just a few things I’d never thought I would experience in my life because I had my life planned out the way I wanted it to go, but to my surprise things didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to, and to my surprise I am thankful they didn’t. Why am I thankful? I’m thankful because things turned out better than what I wanted.

I’d never thought I would lose my mother as early as I did and I never thought I could live without her; but as it turns out I have learned to live with her passing away and I see the hard work she put into raising me pay off. Although it still hurts not to have her around physically, she still lives on in my heart.

I’d never thought I would experience so many ‘failed’ relationships, but as I look back I realized those relationships were not failures at all. Why? Because I realize that success in a relationship does not lie within how long you are with someone, but the success lies within the experience and the lessons learned on the journey to make both people better.

I’d never thought I’d be a single mother at this age, or any age and be joyful about it, but I am; because I am thankful for the gift of my child and the balance he brought to my life.

I’ve learned to no longer dwell on the fact that I am single, or a single mother, but I simply look at the blessings that stem from both experiences combined and separately.

There are so many other things I’d never thought I would experience at this point in my life, but as I go through each test, trial and success they all serve a greater purpose for my good and for others in my life. I just have to ask God each day what lessons He wants me to learn from each test, each trial and each success so I can become the woman He wants me to be for His Divine purpose.

So ladies I encourage you today to embrace the twists and turns in your life for they are there to make you a better person. Be thankful for where God has placed you at this point in your life, learn to look at what you don’t have as something positive, and look at the blessings right in front of you…because you never know what’s coming next.

Ladies, what unexpected things in your life have you experienced? Did they make you bitter or better?

 Liz Lampkin

Liz Lampkin writes for and is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow Liz on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin

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