Three practical steps to embracing God’s plans (and letting go of your own)

Written by Laney Rene
Published on February 12, 2024

“Laney, take your shoes off. Feel the new ground. You have no shoes to fill.” 

I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to the pressure I put on myself to be something I am not. As women, sometimes we strive, pretend, or try to control outcomes. There are days when, as a mom, I feel defeated, have no clue what I’m doing, or am really, really tired. When these moments come, within my soul, I know I have a choice to make. 

Will I let go? Or will I muster up the strength to keep going, trying to be something I am not? We tend to gravitate toward stories where people push through, buck up, and show their strength. 

But what if I told you that, out of these two options, Jesus would choose letting go for you? 

Here are my top three hacks to help you release the grip on your own plans and instead take hold of all that God has prepared for you.

1. Look for Jesus in the Story

I grew up as a Christian. I read my Bible and received life from reading it. But then something changed: I started to understand God’s heart for me as I read the Bible because I looked for Jesus in the story.

If you’ve spent any time in church, you probably learned Jeremiah 29:11 in Sunday school. It reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV). The original word in Hebrew that has been translated into “plans” is “mahashavah.” (I dare you to try to say that out loud.) We see this word translated as “plans” or “thoughts,” but this Hebrew word also means to invent, plot, or design, implying that God is always creating something new for us. All throughout Israel’s history, God was planning to give the greatest good, hope, and future to the world — to give us Jesus. Jesus calls us his own, walks closely with us, and gives us life and life abundantly (see 1 John 3:1; John 10:10). The plans God has for you, he is continually making for your good.

Open your Bible, even if kids are running around and it’s crazy. Don’t get stuck looking for what you need to do or to improve. As you read, look for Jesus in the story. Find one verse that speaks to your heart and dwell on that verse for the entire week. Daughter, read your Bible not just to gain more knowledge, but to experience the love of your heavenly Father.

2. Anchor to Hope

My most difficult exercise in letting go and trusting God’s plans occurred 18 months after my husband and I had our daughter, Rhonny. We found out we were pregnant again. A couple months later, we found out we were having a little boy! And one month after that, we found out he no longer had a heartbeat. 

As I searched for words to explain my feelings and emotions to those around me, God led me to 2 Corinthians 4:8, which says, We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair (NKJV). I wondered why. Yet somehow I had a deep knowing in my soul, a deep assurance that I was not in despair. We were surrounded by family and friends, meals and words of encouragement, but nothing compared to the deep sense of our hope. It’s not something you need to chase down. Hope will hold you, speak to you, heal you. The hope we have is Jesus. 

You may have lost a child or someone close to you. You may feel lost yourself. If I could give you a hug right now, I would. And I remind you now, daughter, though you may feel like it, you are not in despair. Anchor to him. In your darkest moments, just breathe Jesus.

3. Show Me Where You Were

Before my son went to be with Jesus, I had a friend text me: “Rory will be a fisher of men.” This troubled me after what happened. I imagined Rory telling people how much Jesus loved them. Then one day, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Laney, that is what he is doing through you talking about him.” Rory’s life is speaking, just differently than I had imagined. 

What seems too painful or beyond recovery in your life? God’s love will surprise you with how it can completely change your mind. His love can rewrite a story for you. Be honest with him, raw with your questions, holding nothing back. Go to the hardest moment in your mind. Ask God, “If you really never leave me or forsake me, where were you then?” Name moments of pain and say, “Show me where you were in that moment.” He will show you exactly where he was. As his daughter, you can know with assurance that your good Father has a good place he wants to take you. Even through your pain, you will have a story to tell of his goodness. 

Open your Bible and look for Jesus. Instead of despair, anchor to hope himself, and let his love rewrite your story. Take your shoes off and feel the new ground of freedom beneath your feet. You are embraced by love himself, daughter, so you can let go and embrace his plans.

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Laney Rene

Laney Rene is a wife, mom, and founder of The One He Loves, a ministry which exists so every woman can be refreshed, encouraged, and reminded of Jesus’ loving-kindness toward them. She’s the author of the new book, Daughter: Becoming Who You Already Are. Laney is known for sharing the goodness of Jesus in a way that is not just inviting but also captivating. After walking through a painful season and into a redemption story only Jesus could come up with, Laney couldn’t keep the good news to herself. Today, as a worship artist, author, and speaker, Laney continues to find creative ways to share the heart of Jesus with everyone she can!

Read more about Laney

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