09 Oct

Five pairs of old tennis shoes smiled up at the jeans, leggings, and sweatshirts swaying above. A sea of moving boxes surrounded us. Partially built furniture obscured our walking paths. 

Torn-down rooms called out with memories. 

I first soaked up grace in that conference room behind us. I leaned countless times upon that front desk with questions, laughs, tears, and memories of merely being welcomed and accepted. That large office down the hall allowed me to work through my past, eventually becoming my gateway into helping others hear about the finished work of Jesus Christ. Behind me in the stuffed hallway was the office where I began to share Jesus. 

And now my gray mesh shoes, in our early-morning circle, stood for the last time in the old building.

We were moving—not only into a new space but into countless divine appointments where we would continue to experience the faithfulness of Jesus Christ and communicate it with others. 

Our prayers lifted as our voices bounced between cardboard boxes and shiny new Amazon treasures. We would walk into whatever Father had for us. 

We didn't know what the next 12 hours would entail as we said "goodbye" to the old and "hello" to the new. Where will all of these files go? What should we give to Goodwill? Will we need new artwork? Which tables should we use in each discipling office? 

Our joyful leader stood across from me, leaning on the blue and gray rims of her paint-splattered shoes. The words from her smiling mouth hit me so profoundly that I snatched my phone from my back pocket and typed out the words.

"No plan survives the battle."

Her poignant saying, adapted from the Marines, made a clear point. We all walk into an unknown day. 

If you have walked on this earth for over a hot minute, you know that our brand-new days often greet us in one of two ways. 

First, we may face minor battles among joyful occasions, making it too easy to sweat the small stuff and major on the minors. 

Here, we lose sight of the bigger picture. As my dear friend and incredible leader so often says to me, "Tuck and roll," which is her non-bougie way of saying to 'go with the flow.' I have lived it out with her as we have all planned for upcoming ministry events, thought through how to say something on paper, and missed yet another turn on a road trip. These are fun reminders not to let the small things of life ruin the overall delightful greater purpose. 

Our prayer circle lifted our voices to thank the Lord for the blessings in the old and to praise Him in the upcoming new. Among the amens and words of thanksgiving and prayer, I couldn't help but snap a picture of feet ready to walk into the "now" blessings of Jesus Christ. Even though we had a mountain of work ahead of us, the overall atmosphere of joy was palatable.

Yet, life often throws us battles that threaten to overtake and consume us. 

In this type of place, there is no joy. No peace. No rest. Life seems like one continuous battle where we'd almost give anything to be able only to sweat the small stuff again. All we can do is desperately hold on, knowing Jesus, who can walk above the water of circumstances, is one with us and will never let us go. 

He doesn't even need to hold onto us, really, either. We are now one spirit with Him. All we can do is hunker our thoughts down to grasp truth, even when it is sprayed with tsunami waves of pain. It is the only waterproof way. 

Holding onto a plan will only drown us in the moment because anything other than one select person takes on water. 

Plans were never meant to last—only Jesus Christ. 

As you go through life these next twenty-four hours, keep your eyes on the Lord. Can you hear Him calling to you with tender eyes, the same ones that looked upon Peter as he walked on the water toward the One his heart loved? The same words now land squarely in your new heart whether you face joyous stress or anxious storms. Can you hear them? 

Keep your eyes on me, child, in whatever you encounter today. Remember, I am facing it with you. My presence will never reject you, never forsake you, or never abandon you. I will not leave you to deal with this day alone. Your old life is gone and you have been made brand new. Trust that my faith and grace are empowering each step you take, for it is. I have everything you need in this challenging moment and freely give it to you. Life is found in Me, dear one. Never anything or anyone else. I will get you through. Eyes on Me!

Plans were never meant to last—only Jesus Christ.

And [the Lord] will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end. Luke 1:33

Hope is never found in checklists, agendas, tactics, or plans but in Jesus. In this sacred space of living "in" and "from" the life of Another, I can exhale in whatever type of day I find myself. 

I pray you can, too!

Jesus—not a plan. 

Let's keep our eyes on Him today, friends! 



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