When Trusting God Doesn't Seem Like Enough of a Plan
By Heidi Mills
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Heidi's Story
I found myself facedown on the scratchy beige carpet of my bedroom, praying as if my life depended on it. I needed clear direction, and God seemed silent.
It was the spring of 2020, and the upcoming school year loomed on the horizon. As the director and founder of a small private school, I made decisions that affected dozens of families.
The upheaval of the pandemic created a lot of uncertainty, and to make matters worse, all three of my employees were moving on to new things. As a result, I faced a familiar feeling. I was all alone.
God, what do I do? Can I move forward like this, or do I shut things down? How do I run this program on my own?
As I waited for some profound revelation from heaven, all I heard was a gentle whisper, “Trust me.”
I pouted like a toddler and threw a little fit, even slamming my fist onto the floor. Trust me was not the response I wanted. “I DO trust you,” I said, “but can you throw me a bone for crying out loud? People need answers. They want to know what the plan is for the fall. Help!”
What kind of strategy is, Trust me? When the parents of my students asked for my plan, they didn’t want to hear, “Oh, I’m just trusting God.” I needed clear steps to take, and I needed them now!
I gave up praying and left the house frustrated once again. With my five kids, five bikes, and our dog, Max, in tow, we headed down to the walking trails by the river, a short ten-minute drive from our house. As I drove, the children started planning which route they wanted to take once we got there. They didn’t know I had planned a surprise meet-up with friends at a specific spot on the trail. It was going to be sweet as it had been weeks since we’d seen friends and we were missing socialization terribly.
“Let’s go under the bridge today!” one of the childrend declared excitedly. They loved riding under the bridge.
“Not today,” I said. “We’re going the other way.”
“But why?” They all moaned in unison, telling me all the reasons they didn’t like that part of the path. It was a cacophony of complaints and whining. I felt heat rising in my chest. Instead of reacting, I did my best to stay composed and took some deep, calming breaths, attempting to regulate my emotions like a mature adult. It didn’t last long.
As I turned right onto the next street, my seven-year-old moaned, “Why are you going this way?”
How ludicrous is it when a child offers backseat driving advice? As if he knew a better way to get to our destination? Finally fed up with the complaining, I burst out, “Can you just trust me? Can you trust that I know where I’m going and that it’s going to be good? That I have your best interests in mind?”
Oof! As the last words exploded from my mouth, I stopped short. Isn’t this precisely what I’d been doing with God? My frustration gave way to laughter as I remembered my little facedown tantrum from just minutes before.
“Why are we going this way? Why this path? Why not this way or that way? What are you doing, God? WHAT IS THE PLAN?”
He was trying to work everything out, and I was complaining, confident that I knew a better way. But trust does not come easily to me. Sometimes I wonder (and loudly question) why God doesn’t step in. Why does it sometimes feel like darkness is taking over?
After my explosions, I have to remind myself, His ways are not my ways. As wise as I may believe myself to be, I’m not God and the universe does not yield to my command. I am that seven-year-old in the back seat trying to direct the vehicle, and He is my loving Father planning out a better way for me than I could imagine.
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.
Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.
Learn more about each of these five postures:
1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens twice a year. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Heidi Mills is a writer, speaker, wife, and mom. You can usually find her curled up in some corner of her Texas home, writing, with a decaf coffee in hand. She has fallen a lot, failed, and through God’s grace, gotten back up again. Yet, through every trial, she's discovered her life motto is truer than ever, Jesus can do anything when we surrender.
She is currently working on her first book about her journey of transformation from entirely broken-hearted to whole and healed. Her greatest desire is to help women live lives full of joy, belonging, and connection.