Transformation: God's To-Be Plan by Debbie Putnam for The Consilium

It seems everywhere I turn, someone–in a seminar, a book, a sermon, a blog post, a conversation–asks me what my dreams are. Big dreams. Where do I want to be in two years? Five? Ten?

I used to be able to answer that question without hesitation.

Now I freeze. Panic.

I don’t have an answer.

Seven years ago, my world changed forever. My daughter passed away. For two years I felt like I lived underwater. Never quite able to find things or remember what I needed or wanted to do.

I hated it. Longed for the day I would get back to normal. When birthday cards were ready a month before they needed to be mailed. No piles cluttered my desk. I followed a schedule for marketing and cleaning baseboards.

Today, seven years after Kimberly passed away, I still feel lost much of the time. The person I used to be, the me I knew and was comfortable with, is different. Not so organized. Forgetful. Easily distracted.

I waited for God to put the broken pieces back together into what I knew.

What I saw as the best version of me included accomplishment. Completed To-Do Lists. Constant activity. I knew what my dreams were and how to get them.

I expected God to bless each and every dream. After all, I served Him. I loved Him. I knew He loved me. Therefore, He would do whatever was on MY list. My dreams were my Future To-Do List.

In the last seven years, God showed me His plans were not the same as mine. He doesn’t need my To-Do List. His plan is a To-Be Plan.

And it isn’t a list. Lists are neat and tidy. They line up. Each item crossed off as it’s completed successfully.

God’s To-Be Plan doesn’t make sense to me.

It’s messy. Every time I think I can cross something off, I realize I still haven’t mastered it. Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-Control. Something happens, and I don’t respond with any of those. No matter how hard I try. If I do show love, I can’t cross it  off my list of things to do, and think I’m done for the day.

My own effort can never grow this fruit. The fruit of the Spirit belongs to God. They are His character. His very being.

Only when I surrender to Him, allow His Spirit to transform me, can I bear His fruit.

I no longer have to panic when I don’t have a concrete, To-Do List answer about my dreams. I trust God to transform me day-by-day using His To-Be Plan.


Can you let go of your To-Do List and embrace His To-Be Plan?

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I am a child of God, traveling in uncharted water, trusting God for His goodness in the storms and doldrums of life. Wife, mom, nana, daughter, teacher, and friend, I love to read, write, bake, and count gifts.

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