Why I Let Go of My 5 Year Plan

So much of 2020 isn’t what I envisioned. I know I’m not alone in this.

I’d like to think of myself as a person who embraces change and likes to shake things up. However, I’m learning this is only true when I think I’m in control of it. When I’m defining what and when something is changing. When I’ve “prayed about it” and seemingly aligned my vision with God’s will.

This will forever be something I struggle with. I’m a planner, vision caster, and overall daydreamer. Sometimes I imagine myself as an excited child running around with my ideas, and God holding his hand up saying, “no running in the house.”

In my experience, even when I’m confident God has given me a vision for something, he always moves slower than I’d prefer.

I’ve been asking God for direction on several big things this year.

Should I be looking for a new job? … Should my current role change? … Should I reduce my hours to carve out more time for writing?

These questions aren’t new, I’ve been asking them for over a year, and they’ve only become more amplified over the last few months.

I’ve been hoping and praying for some kind of direction, some kind of “lightbulb moment” about what’s ahead… which *surprise* hasn’t happened.

The truth is, I struggle with buying into what our culture tells us. We’re told we need to have a 5-year plan… but that’s not at all biblical.

Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

If I remember this Psalm was written 1000+ years BC, I can imagine slowly walking a dark path with a tiny candle – the kind that only helps me see one step ahead. (No battery-powered lanterns here.)

Most of the time we don’t get a vision for a 5-year journey with goals and action steps on how to get there. We only get to see one step ahead – usually one thing at a time.

And those next steps might not even seem directly related to the stuff months or years down the road. If I look backward five years, I couldn’t have imagined this is where I’d be – and that’s a good thing.

Lately, I’m learning to make decisions and choose a direction based on what I know, based on what’s in front of me right now.


“Our next right thing will often be to wait. Give time to allow the clutter to clear. Create space for your soul to breathe. Make room for your desire to show up at the table. Begin to name the unnamed things. Wait. Listen. Repeat. It’s not a black-and-white world, which means decisions are rarely right or wrong. It doesn’t always matter which road you choose. What matters is God is with you. Sometimes I wonder if the reason he seems to move so slowly within and around us is because he knows we need time to let our blacks and whites move toward a more layered gradient of gray.”

– The Next Right Thing by Emily Freeman


If you like this article, check out: https://www.harnessmagazine.com/lifes-what-you-script-it/

by beckyhowe

I'm a writer from Chicago. I write to share about my experiences with faith and travel. Both have impacted my life by growing me, and challenging my perspective. Whether you’re soul searching or adventuring (or both), I hope to be a resource for you.


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