Thursday thoughts: Finding happiness in God's plans


Have you ever felt like you just had a bad week and you caught yourself complaining? I hope you can say yes to that question because it will make me feel better. I have had one of those weeks.

It reminded me of a story about my granddaughter, Lottie, when she was around five. I would put her to bed most nights. She would ask me to lay in the bed with her and she always wanted to watch a “video” on my phone. She would sometimes choose songs off YouTube and other times she would choose these crazy videos where people video themselves unwrapping toys.

A side note on this is that she loved these little dolls and each doll came with at least five accessories which were all wrapped in separate packages. I guess this is what makes it interesting to watch a video of people opening them. Who knows?

On one particular night, I had let her watch two short videos and I had warned her before the second one that she would have to go to bed after it. She was all agreeable at the time. However, when the second video was over she started asking for another one. She begged. She pleaded. She cried, and I said no. It was bedtime and I had already let her watch one more than normal.

After her pleas for another video, she finally said to me “Well Mimzy I guess you just don’t want me to be happy.” I told her I loved her and it was bedtime and eventually she gave up the fight and went to sleep. As I lay there with her laughing to myself about what she had said, it hit me.

How many times have I begged, pleaded and cried out to the Lord for things that I was sure would make me happy? I might not have said that out loud but in my heart I probably have felt that way. I think I can get caught up sometimes in the prayers that could be my plan instead of God’s plan. I think I know the best thing so that is what I pray for, but the truth is I don’t know the best thing. Only God does.

I can remember years ago when I was working in the secular world. I prayed, begged, and pleaded for God to provide me with another job. It was a very stressful job and really an unhealthy environment. I wanted the easy way of having a job to go to before I quit the job I had. I kept feeling like God was asking me to step out in faith, quit my job, and trust Him to provide. I was afraid to do that because I wanted the sure thing.

After several months I stepped out in faith and put in my resignation. Two weeks after I resigned I received a phone call from a friend who happened to be working at the Mission Board asking me if I was interested in a full-time job, and the rest is history. It wasn’t about my plan for happiness but it was about God’s plan.

Several years ago we decided to sell our house in Loganville and the “plan” was to move closer to Buford because that was where our grandchildren lived. We searched, we prayed, and we could not find a house in or near Buford. We must have looked at over twenty houses.

At the time Wayne was traveling a good bit with work. He called me one day and said he had found a perfect place that was in the process of being built. It was a huge lot that backed up to the woods and it was so new in the building process that I could pick out all the colors, cabinets, floors, etc.

I was so excited. Of course, I was assuming he found something in Buford. He then said it was in Jefferson. To be honest, I don’t know that I really even knew where Jefferson was. He took me out there and reluctantly I agreed to move. It just seemed so far away (and of course, it didn’t help that my favorite store didn't have a location nearby).

I can honestly say I love where we live now. We have the best neighbors in our cul-de-sac who would do anything for us. We have a screened-in porch that backs up to the woods and we see all sorts of wildlife. We have built a firepit in the backyard. It is just a sweet neighborhood with sweet friends. Again, it wasn’t about my plan for happiness but it was about God’s plan.

There is so much going on in our world, our homes, and our personal lives. I don’t know about you but I can be heartbroken for my family, and friends for the things they are all dealing with. I have begged, pleaded and cried many tears asking the Lord to change some things in our world and in my personal life. Maybe things will change but then again maybe they won’t.

I just have to trust God’s plan and stay on my knees and in His presence to get through the tough times. Life is really not about my plan for happiness. It is all about God’s plan for my life. I have to remember that He knows exactly what is around the corner when I don’t. He knows what is best for me when I just “think” I do. He knows the entire plan when I just have a small piece. He cares about me and because of that I can have joy.

Does this mean I won’t beg, plead, and cry out to Him? Of course I will! But in the midst of it all, I will remember He is in control. He is enough. He has a plan. He is my joy and happiness.

Just like I loved Lottie enough to know she didn’t “need” one more video that night but “needed” to go to sleep, God knows and loves me enough to take care of me in every aspect of my life. We are so blessed! We might not know God’s complete plan this side of heaven but we do know that he loves us more than we can imagine.

I love my husband, my kids, my grandchildren and my friends so very much. I have and will continue to beg, plead, and cry out to the Lord on their behalf all the while trusting that God knows and loves them more than I do. He will provide a happiness that I can’t.  I will trust His plan over mine any day! The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. God’s mercies never come to an end. He is faithful! I just have to remind myself to trust His plan.


Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at