Never According to Plan


Warning: Some of this post may echo a bit from past posts. But it’s what I’ve been hashing out in my head lately, so I had to get it out on the page….Just in case someone new (or someone old) needed to hear it today as much as I needed to write it. So here it goes.

For all those who have ever felt like they must be broken because their story didn’t fall in line with expectations…

There is an undiscovered storyline waiting out there, just for you, if you have the courage to learn how to see it. Another possible ending that could stun even the most negative of cynics.

There really is.

For a rare few, life tends to generally play out according to their master plan… or, at least it appears that way to the rest of us mere mortals. For the rest of us, the truth is, life isn’t really known for sticking to plan. I know more people with a list of detours than I do those who have stayed on course and fallen in line dutifully. Unfortunately for some of us more cynical folks, we learned early on not to even bother making plans at all. For these, of which I have been a long time member, there will come a point when courage becomes crucial… a point where courage becomes necessary to live, really live, regardless of “a plan”.

Plans, in and of themselves, aren’t bad things. But, the truth is, real beauty, real life…the really good stuff, doesn’t come from these well-intentioned plans. It actually comes from how we handle the road blocks and pot holes that inevitably fumble us along the way.

For most of my life I’ve been the odd man out. My life has never followed the usual patterns of most of the friends and family around me. My journey so far, has been scattered with a series of road blocks, detours and traffic jams; many as a result of my own fear and a lot that were simply just unfortunate circumstance.

But, I’ve always had a choice.
We all do.

We can choose to see ourselves as broken.

Or….we can choose to grab hold of our courage and learn to dream again….to seek the beauty in the detours and embrace the random for the potential refining moments they can become.

For a long time I chose broken. I let circumstance wreck me in so many ways and saw everything through disappointed and fearful eyes, believing I would never “get it together” like others around me. I felt like I was just born broken….a hopeless mess.

In reality, all I did was refuse to embrace who I was created to be…. An out-of-the-box thinking, creative, passionate person that didn’t need a conventional plan to be beautiful or worthy or serve a good purpose in other’s lives. I harbored so much unhappiness in my need to be what others thought I should have been or tried to make me.

In my journey towards finding my brave the last couple of years, I’ve finally let one of the most valuable lessons sink in…I’ve learned to give myself grace and choose to find the beauty in the struggle.

Because the really good stuff in life comes from that struggle.

It comes from the letting go of things we cannot control and from the redemption of scars. It comes from grace and determination. It comes from the unexpected encounters caused by roadblocks and delays. It comes from choosing to stand back up, not having it all together in the first place. It comes from forgiveness of the ugly others hand us and learning to love ourselves despite the ugly we hand ourselves. It comes from endurance and blood and tears and patience.

And it comes from a hope that is anything but logical.

And if you’ll allow, it can become bigger and brighter and more inspiring than any plan could ever imagine.

Chelsey Whitlow


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