Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The non-plan plan

"Hi, my name is Amber. I am a recovering planner." I may as well admit it: for all of my twenties, for all of my image of being a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl, I clung to having a plan. It's what propelled me forward, provided me with security and identity and purpose. It's what validated my educational pursuits.

Now, I'm not entirely knocking having a plan. I am, however, knocking my old way of approaching life. On the outside, me with open hands; on the inside, tight-fisted hands wrapped around my agenda.

I was afraid. Isn't that why we wage this war of control in the first place?

Even now, I fight not to hang my head in shame when asked what my plans are for using my degree, for getting "out" of my Starbucks job, for pursuing a career in writing. I stammer a little, quietly confessing, "Well, I don't have a plan."

Not anymore.

I had one of those wonderfully real lightbulb moments yesterday in the counseling office. Another moment of eyes being peeled back, wider, clearer. A vision adjustment. I won't lie and say as of yesterday I'm magically cured of being a control freak with my life. But I did realize something that has been influenced by this change in my sight, which is changing the way I live.

It's ok not to have a plan.

In fact, it may well be the most freeing, adventurous, faith-filled, open-handed way for me to live the full life. Abandoning my life agenda to live in day-by-day trust, no attachment to a specific end result.

This is my plan for writing: To lay it out in the palms of my hands every day, to put into words what burns in my heart, and then to see where it goes. To not value "success" as having a published work selling thousands of copies more than the one life that may be touched and changed by a blog article. To have nothing to prove, no need to validate my work or pursuits. Simply to write my heart out until I have written all that is needed, and to thank God for wherever it goes.

This is success: faithfulness, surrender, diligence, patience and gratitude. No plan required for these.


  1. You're a wonderful writer. Can't wait to see where God leads you. You are an amazing, unique individual, and I know God will use you in a special way.

  2. Thank you, Aunt Angie. You have always been such an encouragement to me.

  3. What a wonderful journey you are on, Amber. It has been such a joy to observe the metmorphasis. God has plans for you that are beyond what you in your humanness could ever imagine. He is a God of wonder and awe and everything He does is a reflection of Who He is. Continue to sit at His feet and see where He takes you. I'm so proud of you!