Nov 16, 2022 filed under Living Virtue, Patience, Prayer, Trust.

Woman accepting what God has in mind

Does this sound familiar? You offer your day to God first thing in the morning. And because you did that, things go pretty well and stay relatively sane. You’re cruising along, trusting God’s will, feeling his power in everything you do, and then — boom! The computer crashes or you run into a traffic backup when there’s no time to spare.

What happened to our plans? Where did our peace go? After all, we need to have expectations of what’s going to happen or we couldn’t survive. We need to expect the grocery store will be open so we can pick up something for supper. We need to expect the office will be there when we show up for work. We can’t do without planning, and planning means expectations.

But it helps if a part of us is open to the unexpected – because our expectations can work against us when God has something else in mind.

St. Francis de Sales said, “Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

Maybe it means holding our expectations with less of a grip, with less of a feeling that “this is what has to happen, or else.” And to practice expecting God to redirect our plans sometimes and to trust that it’s for our own good.

Our first reaction can easily be “No, this can’t happen.” But what if our second reaction was that of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: “Oh, my heavenly Father, I know that these contradicting events are permitted and guided by Thy wisdom, which alone is light.”

Mother Seton developed a habit of recognizing God’s action when her plans and expectations were preempted – she learned to let him in when people and things contradicted her expectations, many times every day.

At the time when God is redirecting us, it feels like we’re driving along in our car and the passenger suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns a corner we weren’t expecting.

It feels shocking and it feels like something that’s ours — my plans, my expectations are being hijacked. It feels territorial. And now our schedule to achieve something by noon is in the trash. Having our expectations contradicted never feels good.

But the Cross never feels good. It didn’t feel good to Jesus and it doesn’t feel good to us. If, like Mother Seton and Francis de Sales, we can see our expectations as being as being expendable when God wants to replace them with something else — and see it as a healthy part of our Christian journey, we will be learning to take up our daily cross and follow him.

Mother Seton put it this way: “Can you expect to go to heaven for nothing? Did not our Savior track the whole way to it with His tears and blood? And yet you stop at every little pain.”

We want to take the lead and we don’t want to follow anybody! But that’s not what Jesus asks of us. He asks us to take up our daily cross and follow him. He’s the only one whose expectations really matter. Because he is leading us to eternal life. We don’t know the way to heaven, but he does. And he told us plainly that picking up our cross hour by hour is the way to do that.

Finally, St. Katherine Drexel wisely tells us: “Peacefully do at each moment what at that moment ought to be done. If we do what each moment requires, we will eventually complete God’s plan, whatever it is. We can trust God to take care of the master plan when we take care of the details.”

We can best take care of the details when we plan well and accept the unexpected with grace. Amen?

19 Responses to “When God Has Something Else in Mind”

  1. Diane West

    I have trouble disconcerning what is from God and what isn’t. Please lead me to find out.

    • Rose Folsom

      Hi Diane,
      I hear you on that issue — it can be difficult sometimes. And that’s exactly what I help people with in my upcoming program. I’ll let you know when it’s ready to launch and we can chat.
      God bless,

    • Rose Marie Galaviz

      Thank you Rose. This pass fews month I have had trouble doing my prayers. From time I wake up to my busy day with different unsuspected call and and very sad death in my family. I need to pick up my cross and trust in the Divine Will of God.

  2. Ann

    Oh thank you for this reminder, to take up our Cross and Follow Jesus. This past year has been that for me and my family with our home going on fire. Lost everything, but God restores everything. Thank you Father God.

    • Suzanne Landis

      I can only imagine the devastation you and your family experienced. You are a sign of total surrender to the Will of God.

  3. Fran

    Thank you, Rose. Your weekly e-mails always hit home. This week especially reminds me of the Carrie Underwood song “Jesus, take the wheel”. Hopefully, I can stop being a backseat driver.

  4. Beverly

    Thank you Rose! You always have a good message which I look forward to reading each week. I will remember the statements from St Francis de Sales and St Elizabeth Ann Seton when my plans and expectations don’t go my way.

  5. Sabine Paul

    Thanks for the reminder that God is control, and that while we do our best to develop our plan, we need to surrender to His because he knows what’s best for us. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Lourdes

    Thank you Rose 🙏. Your words are always so up lifting. They really resound with me every time. It’s a working process but I have been trying very hard to let God lead in my life rather than trying to control every aspect of it. How do we also stop feeling guilty when we can’t do things for others when they ask?

  7. Mary Anderson

    But the cross never feels good!
    Can you expect to go to heaven for nothing!!

    WOW !!!!! That Hit home big time!!
    Blessings for the good food Rose!!

  8. Jan Mullin

    I most certainly needed this reminder! Thank you, Rose, and keep ‘em coming! 🙏

  9. Tom Roberts

    Good topic; it hits home. For nearly three decades what I did was fill the unplanned short term care needs of another person. The key was learning to want to do it. For my purposes I have a set of Catholic “marching orders” from the likes of John XXIII and Mother Teresa. I read them every day before mass.

  10. Jenean

    Rose, thx for bringing these Saints together in their practice of going with the changes in daily plans. Not my will but Thine, O Lord. Listening to nudges from the Holy Spirit helps me to pause and breathe. Then, redirect myself with grace, hopefully. Thanksgiving blessings.

  11. Regina Byrne

    Thank you so much! Really needed this reminder. Have a blessed week and a Happy Thanksgiving! 🙏🌻🙏

  12. Virginia Dobler

    Thank you Rose for this, I truly appreciate this reminder. Blessings today and every day.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Lucy Edwards

    Thank you Rose for all your spiritual readings as they uplift our lives. I look forward for all that I can read from you.