I Had Plans and So did He! - A Dose of Encouragement

Yes I really had plans.

But the painters changed my plans.

I was going to have a special post today about Christmas Tree Ornaments but seeing as we can't get our tree up yet because of the painting of the house, my plans were ruined.

So I shall tell you about last Friday instead when yet again I had plans; but my plans were changed.
Notice I didn't say ruined this time because how the day turned out was not a ruin.

I may have mentioned before that I would love to have a

but alas even after all my overhauling of the house this year I am still so far from this ideal.

I could blame it on the painters at the moment and that would be a good excuse and a true reason because we had to clear out rooms to other rooms and that just causes more mess and lot's of things end up not even being in their proper rooms let alone being in their right, exact, place.

Anyway back to Friday.

It was Black Friday and when we lived in the US we did not go shopping on that day because of the crowds but of course in Northern Ireland we didn't have Black Friday - until this year.

I saw some things on the internet about shops having special sales over the weekend but did not register the fact that it was related to Black Friday and I just never linked any thought in my head to how that might mean busy, busy, shops and Shopping Centres. 

I had arranged to have coffee with 2 friends from church at 2.30pm in the town where our church is which is 20 mins from our home.  Then on Thursday night I decided that I would also go to a large Shopping Centre on Friday 10 mins further on from the town and get some Christmas Cards (there's another story for you sometime too), a wedding gift, some other little things and also post my Christmas cards that were ready to go to the US and South Korea.  I worked out the timing and knew what time I would have to leave home so that I would have plenty of time to do that and be back to meet my friends for coffee.

So on Friday morning after breakfast, my bible reading, emails, list made out for what I wanted to get, checking my blog post was finished & scheduled for that afternoon and a couple of cups of coffee I was ready to get my handbag and keys and head off.

That was when I couldn't find

(no not my keys)

 my little wallet with my credit card and debit card and store cards in it.

The search began!

I searched upstairs and downstairs and in the last few handbags I had used, then pondered over in my mind the last time I could remember using any of my cards and I couldn't remember.

Not having found it and not remembering anything to help me I prayed that I hadn't lost it outside the house and felt sure that I hadn't. Then I prayed that God would remind me where to look.

No inspiration came, and I have to say that type of inspiration has come often enough in the past, so I just started and searched all the same places again because I knew I must have just overlooked it.

Again no joy.

Now that had taken me quite some time.

I would not now have enough time to do all that I had intended and indeed did not have enough cash to do all of it.

My plans were ruined (well would at least have to be changed).

So I decided I would just go to the Post Office to post my cards and call in at the Bible Book Shop to get more Christmas Cards before that Coffee Date with my friends.

But even that was not going to happen.

As I drove along in the car I heard a message ding in my phone which lay in the front seat beside me.

I don't normally stop for a message but there was a good spot to pull in just a bit ahead so I did just that.

It was a message from a friend who had got some news that bothered her and I could tell she was quite upset and wasn't sure what to do about it.
I messaged back and said where I was and if she was home I could be with her in about 15 mins.
She said yes please and off I drove again.

I really did not have much experience in the matter that was troubling her so I prayed about what to do and suddenly remembered that another friend would know more than me.  This other friend lived on the way and I knew she was probably at home so I called her, explained briefly what had happened, and asked if she would like to come with me.

Give me 5 mins and I'll be ready, was her reply.

Well an hour later when our friend was feeling much better and things had been set in motion to sort out her situation I mentioned about how I had been planning to go to the Shopping Centre earlier but couldn't go because I couldn't find my cards.

The two of them laughed at me and said I wouldn't have wanted to be there because there had been trouble between shoppers because of Black Friday Bargains and the police had been called.

Not only would I have not wanted to be there when there was fighting over products but I would also have hated it being so busy.

So not being able to find my cards had stopped me being there.   

Good Change of Plans I was thinking.

Then I realised that if I had been at the Shopping Centre my phone would have been in my handbag and I would not have heard the message come in (anyone that knows me well will know that sometimes I don't even hear calls coming through).  I would not have known our friend needed help and I wouldn't have been available to take my other friend (who cannot drive at the moment) to help her .

So not being able to find my cards not only kept me from being at the Shopping Centre but meant that I was in the right place at the right time with the car to be of help.

Good Change of Plans I was thinking.

No. Great Change of Plans!

These are the things that may seem like little things, but these are the things that demonstrate how much God cares for each of us.

God cared that our friend was getting news that would upset her.
 He had the whole process in His plan so that she would know she was not on her own and by this I don't mean about us, I mean that God was with her and that He was in control of the situation.

Over an hour and a half later than arranged I was sitting having coffee with my friends.  Were they annoyed?   No, they were very gracious because they knew someone had needed a helping hand.

I really enjoyed that coffee and the scone with strawberry jam, that I probably should not have been eating, as we all laughed about the fact that I didn't know it was Black Friday.

Oh and the cards?

Well I found them on Saturday of course.


In one of the places I had searched twice on Friday!   Where else?


  1. It sounds like you have some terrific friends, and since they mean a lot to you, you drop your plans and come see them. How nice! I'm reading from Holley Gerth's blog.

  2. God has a way of changing my plans for the better too. :) I'm glad you linked up for #ThreeWordWednesday.

  3. Hi, Sandra
    That is a great story. I love the part how you lived in the US you didn't go Black Friday shopping because of the crowds, I stop going to it because it was getting bad. People fight at the stores, to me that is just sad. Glad you had a great time with your friends over coffee. Those times are special.

  4. Great story, isn't it wonderful how God works everything out. I will try to remember this next time I am running late and things aren't going to plan. Merry almost Christmas, oh and I have always wanted to got o Ireland, someday maybe. :)

  5. What a great and amazing God we have, who cares so much even the little things, but He also gives us great friends. x

  6. That is too awesome, Sandra. I love how God uses little changes in "our" plans to accomplish His. I commend you for not freaking out AND being obedient to what He set up for you to do. That is wonderful. Thank you.

  7. Wonderful story. I'm glad that instead of just getting exasperated, you felt the nudges of the Holy Spirit and responded to your friends needs! It is a blessing when God orders our day.

  8. Anonymous19:25

    Definitely God's work! I wish we would all take the time to see our changed plans differently.

  9. I love how God works out timing in our lives. I used to get frustrated when things happened to prevent me from accomplishing my agenda--now I realize that God has a reason and I just need to stop being so impatient!

  10. His plans are always better than our plans, if we will just take time to slow down and recognize it! Fun story!

  11. Anonymous02:21

    Sandra, you visited me tonight and I am so thankful for I came here. God knows exactly what we need and when we need it. He wants us to follow His will and you did by caring so for your friend. God worked everything together for good.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  12. God's plans are always far better than our own! Thank you for sharing your story that illustrates this concept so well.

  13. Things do work together for GOOD even when it seems our plans are messed up. I enjoyed your story! Thanks for sharing at "Tell Me a True Story."

  14. Great story. I love it when God interrupts my plans with something better. There's such a sweetness that happens when I realize He's in control like that.

  15. I found you on Titus 2 Tuesday. I really appreciated the verse. We do make a lot of plans, but God will have His way despite us. I think I have been experiencing this truth a lot lately :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. God gets us where he wants us even when we try our hardest to do something else! Visiting from Testimony Tuesday

  17. God's plans are always so much better than ours. I'm learning that when I lose my keys and those kinds of things, I just say, "Well, God - you know where they are so would you show them to me." - and He usually does. You are so right - that we plan appointments and sometimes they get turned all upside down. I'm learning to not get so wigged out - and realize that God has the day's plans - and just go with it. Some days I'm really good at that - and some, well, I'm still learning. I'm so glad you were able to help your friend!

  18. I often get so annoyed when God changes my plans...until I realize that He did it all for a very good reason. I especially love when He alters my day so I that I can be available for my friends. He is good!

  19. Sandra, I so enjoyed this whole story!! My house has been turned upside down because of having carpet put in three rooms. That meant all our books had to come off the shelves!! What a disaster. As I put them back I got more and more confused and could not remember where they went and not all of them would fit between the shelves.It seems to me that there are more books than I took off the shelves, LOL. Your paint part of the story reminded me of my week. It has taken me more days that I thought it would and Christmas cards, shopping, and cookie making has had to wait.

  20. Your day sounds like some I've had recently! I've resolved to get better about reminding myself that God's plans are perfect WHILE I'm frustrated and looking for what's lost or missing something I thought was important. I love your reminders!

  21. Anonymous05:01

    What a wonderful post about God's perfect timing! I love it and it makes me smile! I think it goes along with my favorite Bible verse....Romans 8:28. It truly is a blessing knowing God has His perfect timing for our lives! Thanks for this great reminder. God bless.

  22. I love how God sometimes stalls us so that we can be in the right place at the right time for something better!