When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan: Guest Post by Author Lisa Jordan

My novel, Catch a Falling Star, asks the question: Is life about accomplishing plans … or wishes coming true … or something more?

Today’s post is the sixth in the “When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan” Wednesday blog series, 11 guest posts by authors and writers, including Deborah Raney, Rachel Hauck, and  Susan May Warren,  who explore the question: What do you do when life doesn’t go according to plan? Today’s post is by my friend, award-winning author Lisa Jordan.

 

In 1998, I took a leap of faith and left a steady job with benefits to open my state-registered in-home childcare program. Hubby was in school at the time, so I relied on God to help us meet our needs.

I drove home the morning after my final day at work, praying and reminding God I was stepping out in faith and expecting Him to catch me.

That same morning Hubby received a call for a job interview. He worked there for 10 years on second shift until he received a promotion for a salaried position that would take him to first shift.

After he went to days, I drove home from someplace and asked God to protect Hubby during the transitions in his company—they started laying off production workers, but we knew Hubby’s position was safe.

In January 2009, a couple of months after his promotion, Hubby came home early with a look on his face that has been imprinted forever in my memory.

His position had been eliminated due to economic downsizing. Again, Hubby was unemployed.

Oh, God, what have you done?

2009 became the Year of Change. I graduated from college with my degree in early childhood education in May. Our oldest son graduated high school in June and left the nest to begin his college career in August. I finaled in ACFW’s Genesis contest, which opened the door to my publishing career—I received a full request from my dream agent and my dream publisher.

But I also went through a period of shaky faith. God put me on hold. I was invisible to Him. He deserted me.

God, why did you allow this to happen? Don’t you remember what happened the last time Hubby lost his job? Do you really want a repeat of that? I can’t risk our marriage again.

Panic and fear of repeating past mistakes crashed over me.

Hubby worked a couple of part-time jobs, but found nothing permanent. Hubby had the opportunity to return to school and graduated in June 2011, but still struggled to find a job. He had first interviews. And second interviews. But no offers.

On June 29, 2012, Hubby received a job offer for a company 45 minutes away. Two days after he started, we received full medical, dental and vision benefits.

The same day Hubby received his job offer, I received a call from Mindy Obenhaus telling me Lakeside Reunion, my debut novel, had finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards.

Though we had gone through a season of winter emotionally and spiritually, God’s promises of spring and renewal came via prayer and encouragement from family and friends. He used that time to kick off my publishing career. My debut novel released in November 2011, and my second released less than a year later.

As we relied on my childcare business as our primary source of income, we managed to pay off 2 car loans, credit card debt and a home equity loan. Money was tight, but God remained faithful in His provision and His promises.

As the spiritual snow melted and crocuses of hope poked through to remind me of God’s promises His whispers of “Lisa, I’ve got this. Trust me.” thawed my frozen heart. His plans for me…for us…promise a hope and a future. We need to trust God before the thaw.

What helps you trust God before the thaw? 

Author Lisa Jordan talks about trusting God before the thaw Click to Tweet

God’s Promises: From shaky faith to trust Click to Tweet

Rafflecopter Giveaway for When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan Goodie Basket Click to Tweet

Married over 20 years to her real-life hero, Lisa Jordan knows a thing or two about romance. She and her husband have two college-age sons. By day, Lisa cares for her Little Darlings in her state-registered childcare program. By night, she writes contemporary Christian romances for Love Inspired. Her debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, won the 2012 Carol Award for short contemporary romance. In her free time, she loves good books, romantic comedies, crafting with friends and feeding her NCIS addiction. Connect with her at LisaJordanBooks.

 

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27 Comments

  1. May 15, 2013, 6:13 am   /  Reply

    When I’m in a holding pattern with God, I rely on the past, those times He brought me through difficult circumstances, those times He sustained me and provided for me. Those are also the times I feel the closest to Him. Great post, Lisa.

    • May 15, 2013, 7:49 am   /  Reply

      Pat, you’re so right–God’s past experiences show the truth in His promises. He’s never going to leave us nor forsake us. Ever.

  2. May 15, 2013, 7:23 am   /  Reply

    Lisa, thank you for sharing your story today. It definitely inspires hope. I knew part, but not all of it.

    During the difficult times, I find that I go through a bit of a tailspin before I remember to look to God for His guidance and settling of my spirit. He oftentimes gives me a verse to cling to during the frozen times. And I think on all the times He’s been faithful before, remembering that He is unchanging, and He’ll be faithful again.

    I love what God is doing in and through you and your writing, Lisa!

    • May 15, 2013, 7:51 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, friend! God used a good friend to share a note of encouragement written on the back of our church bulletin to begin the thawing of my heart. She gave me a verse and prayed for me during our pastoral prayer time….silently in her heart, but her words reminded me God hadn’t forgotten us. He had something better in store.

  3. May 15, 2013, 7:26 am   /  Reply

    I love this, Lisa. “Trust God before the thaw.” YES! It’s often easy to look back and see how God was working behind the scenes all along while we were waiting. But I want to get better at believing, knowing, trusting He’s at work even when nothing seems to be happening. I love how you help on to faith as you waited… 🙂

    • May 15, 2013, 7:54 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Melissa! Looking back, that time gave me strength to face today’s trials and struggles. His promises are new every morning, and they are unfailing. He allows us to go through difficult circumstances to draw us closer to Him. Like you, I want to get better at believing, knowing, trusting while I’m waiting.

  4. May 15, 2013, 7:40 am   /  Reply

    I am so glad I got to hear this story, Lisa! What a long, chilling winter! What a gracious, never-a-minute-too-late God! Trusting Him in the unseen is a challenge for any of us, but oh how beautiful the rewards!

    • May 15, 2013, 8:26 am   /  Reply

      Funny thing is, Cynthia–I was praying for God to give Hubby a steady job, but God was also working to open the door to my publishing career. The waiting was so hard, but the reward was incredible!

  5. May 15, 2013, 8:19 am   /  Reply

    Amazing story Lisa. Thank you for sharing it!

    • May 15, 2013, 11:05 am   /  Reply

      You were one of my greatest prayer partners and encouragers, so thank you!!

  6. May 15, 2013, 9:42 am   /  Reply

    Your beautifully distilled summary statement–that we must trust God before the thaw–is a powerful admonition to us all, especially those of us living in Iceland. (I have this friend…) 🙂 Thank you for sharing your personal story–which is part of God’s grand story–and for sharing the wisdom you’ve drawn from your experience.

    • May 15, 2013, 11:51 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Dave. I’ve had many trips to Iceland, but I’m hoping those experiences will help me to trust more and worry less. I love what you said about God’s grand story…we don’t always see it that way, but it’s true. He’s the true Author of our stories.

  7. May 15, 2013, 10:31 am   /  Reply

    Lisa, you did an amazing job here. That’s quite a testimony. Thanks for sharing & I know you’re enjoying this spring & summer past winter season now.

    • May 15, 2013, 11:53 am   /  Reply

      Thanks, Dee. I never did like that cold. I’m a warm weather kind of person, so I’m hoping I will see the spring during those cold months.

  8. May 15, 2013, 10:42 am   /  Reply

    Memories of past struggles and the subsequent victories have become great lessons amidst the thaw.
    God has not asked me to forget what He’s taught me, He’s taught me to forget what I tried to teach myself.
    Lately, watch this will change tomorrow, I’m getting better at waiting on Him.
    I think.
    Maybe.
    I am, I know it, because I’m not panicking as much as I used to.

    • May 15, 2013, 11:54 am   /  Reply

      I love this, Jennifer: “he’s taught me to forget what I tried to teach myself.”

      So true. We think that God needs our help when He’s moving too slow for our comfort. But, in reality, He’s moving at just the right pace. I’m so glad you’re getting better at waiting on Him. I am too.

  9. May 15, 2013, 10:46 am   /  Reply

    Such a great post, Lisa. We’ve been there, done that, about the same time you guys were going through it. I love this: “we need to trust God before the thaw.” I didn’t do that well in the beginning, but I’m learning. I’m learning. Wonderful to hear the story behind your publishing story.

    • May 15, 2013, 11:56 am   /  Reply

      Deb, I didn’t realize you were going through your own season of winter. Sometimes when we’re facing trials, we feel so isolated and alone. But we’re never alone because God’s always with us. And I’m learning too. Slowly at times, but still learning.

  10. May 15, 2013, 11:47 am   /  Reply

    Hi Lisa! Thanks for sharing how God has worked in your life. It’s so encouraging to hear how others have made it through winter into spring, how God was there with them, though His voice was not heard.

    What I remember (or try to) during such silent moments is that, even when I can’t hear God, He’s holding my hand (or better yet, carrying me) during those difficult days. There are times when all I can do is crawl into my rocker, lean into God’s shoulder and cry. He knows my pain because He’s felt it, too. He’ll comfort me because He knows my pain. He’ll bring me brighter days because he’s comforted me in my dark moments. He’ll fulfill His promises because those brighter days are glimpses into the storehouse of blessings He’s got for me.

    Here’s a verse that has kept me steady the last couple of weeks:

    2 Peter 3:9a
    “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.”

    Hugs,

    Andrea

    • May 15, 2013, 12:04 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea, thank you for that verse. It’s so perfect. Sometimes I didn’t hear God’s voice because I wasn’t listening–I was too busy trying to “help” God that I ended up missing out on unexpected blessings.

      • May 22, 2013, 1:14 pm   /  Reply

        I have a feeling it’s God whispering that verse to you, Lisa, just like He did me a couple weeks ago. It seemed perfect for me at the time, too, which is typically when I know it’s a message from Heaven. 🙂 I know what you mean about having the “helping” bug. Sometimes I wish I could just get out of my own way!!

  11. May 15, 2013, 12:13 pm   /  Reply

    Tremendous words of encouragement today, Lisa! (And waving at you, too, Beth!)

    I can relate somewhat. After 20 devoted years with the same company, my husband was downsized, too. (And you’re right. You never forget “that look.”)This came on the heels of: our son’s 5 year struggle with a chronic illness and subsequent surgeries, my father’s anuerysm, and a host of other “testing points.” It was also the season I acquired my wonderful agent and began to re-enter the writing world. And another “season” began last year for my husband, as well, as he accepted a position with a different company.

    The thaw began…

  12. May 15, 2013, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

    Wow, I really love your quote, Lisa! Trust is hardest to maintain during life’s winter seasons. Sometimes our winter seasons are the result of a broken trust. But that’s on a human level. Making it through those seasons happens only by God’s grace – trusting that He never forsakes us and has our ultimate good in mind. Thanks so much for hosting Lisa, Beth!

  13. May 15, 2013, 6:00 pm   /  Reply

    Lisa, thank you for your terrific, heartfelt post. I think it’s interesting how so many of our posts here have involved job loss and learning to trust that God WILL provide (with some doubt thrown into the mix since we’re only human, after all). I love hearing about how He provides for our needs in ways far beyond our wildest imagination. Awesome! It was during the winter I was between paralegal jobs that I was able to slow down and find a publisher. Without a steady paycheck during that time, the Lord took care of me in unique and marvelous ways when I sometimes didn’t know how we’d make it. He sustains. Always. I so enjoyed reading more of your personal journey. Big {{hugs}} to you and blessings as you continue to write for His glory!!

  14. May 15, 2013, 9:31 pm   /  Reply

    Lisa, what a wonderful post about taking the long cut (as my daughter used to call it) to a happy ending. Only God could time things so perfectly. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.

  15. May 15, 2013, 10:47 pm   /  Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story, Lisa. It is encouraging to read the about the different challenges you faced and how you found the answer in your faith. The answer which is the same for all of us, no matter what our struggles.

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