When You Don’t Like God’s Plan

If God has a plan for your life, and you have a plan for your life, whose plan do you think is better?

During my senior year of college, I attended a conference called Senior Panic. The term aptly described me. Graduation loomed just months away, and I wasn’t sure which path to pursue. But I knew what I didn’t want—ministry.

So, when I sensed God’s call to join Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), I resisted. Strongly. I was sure our perfect God had made His first mistake. He had the wrong gal.

Like Jacob, I wrestled all night with God. Like Moses, I offered up every excuse why He should pick someone else. Not only was I not qualified, the idea of living in a hut in the jungle didn’t appeal to me. And I was sure, if I completely surrendered to God, that is exactly where He’d send me.

But God wouldn’t relent, so worn out from resisting, I surrendered.

During my staff interview, a woman asked me how sure I was of my calling. “100%,” I said, “because this is not something I would choose.”

Cru accepted me—on PROBATION—of course. Hadn’t I already told God about my limited Bible knowledge and lack of ministry experience?

Training and Transformation

At staff training in Fort Collins, Colorado, my heart softened. I wanted to serve Christ wherever He decided to put me. On completion, they assigned me to a team in Boston—instead of a hut in the juggle.

Our team director modeled a close walk with the Lord. He taught us how to study the Bible in a simple format. He assigned us to spend two hours with God every morning before our staff meeting. The Scriptures began to speak to me like they never had before.

I learned to savor my time with God. His Word became fuel for my soul. It’s no exaggeration to say my life was transformed. As my love for God and His Word exploded, a passion to connect others to God’s heart was born.

After 11 years in youth ministry my husband and I sensed the call to pursue training in biblical counseling. That eventually led to our starting Lighthouse Ministries, a non-profit Christian counseling, coaching, and Bible teaching ministry. I served as a Christian counselor until God moved me to write Bible studies to help people experience the wholeness and healing that come from abiding in Christ.

After serving God in vocational Christian ministry for many decades I can say, God didn’t make a mistake when He called me. I now realize, He doesn’t call us for what we can do for Him, but for what He can do in and through us.

God’s plan is not always easy. Sometimes it includes setbacks and suffering. But we can be sure it’s always best.

Do you have a plan for your life that collides with God’s plan for you? Let’s go back to our opening question, whose plan do you think is better?

Do you have a plan for your life that collides with God’s plan for you? Whose plan do you think is better? #Devotion, #Trust Share on X

The only way to live a life without regret is to live a life of surrender and obedience. If Larry or I can help you better experience God and find your path, please contact us.

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jer. 29:11 NIV).

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Click here for a free copy of the Bible study method I use. Click download button on our resource page under How to Get a Personal Word From God.

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth,

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

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  1. Ann Musico

    That is a wonderful story and just illustrates that God always knows best.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, it encourages me to remember how God worked in the past and that He still knows best!

  2. Pam

    Such a great testimony to share the point of your post. Thanks! For me, there was something I had told my hubby and others that I would never do (a dream my parents had for me that was not my own) and yet at one point in my life I did it….for 14 years!!! God used it in many ways even though I didn’t love it and moved toward a graduate degree in counseling and left teaching junior high special education. I learned it’s important never to say “never” because God may have a different plan (at least for a season).

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, I agree. It seems when we say never we have to face that thing to change our attitude or something??

  3. Melissa Henderson

    God’s plan is always better. Sometimes I need to be reminded of this fact. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Melissa. Especially when it’s painful for the moment. 🙂

  4. Melody

    So good! God’s plan is always best yet I do still to try and push my plan upon him at times. I’m thankful he is in complete control. I have learned to lean into his goodness and sovereignty. It’s so worth it. He’s so worth trusting. Love your heart for ministry!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Melody. Isn’t it crazy how we think we need to counsel Him on what’s best! 🙂

  5. Vicki Richbourg

    God couldn’t have picked a more perfect gal for his mission and ministry than you, Debbie. So grateful you answered His call! You’ve blessed so many people with your Christian counseling, teaching and writing. Thank you for saying yes to God’s plan, even when not easy!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Vicki! You are so sweet. Keep using your gift of encouragement!

  6. Anjelica

    When I surrender, the path is everything and more. It blows me away! I don’t know why we hold onto our ways sometimes when there’s a path that aligns with who we are and the gifts we can offer. Ahhh to be human haha

  7. Debbie Wilson

    I agree, Anjelica. Why do I still resist?

  8. Laurie

    What a wonderful and inspiring story!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Laurie. It is good to look back and remember God’s faithfulness.

  9. Lois Flowers

    Debbie, I love how you answered the interviewer’s question … that you were 100 percent certain of your calling because you never would have chosen this path voluntarily. This is a powerful testimony … God’s plans for our lives are good because HE is good, not because they always live up to some definition of “wonderful” that we have in our minds!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Well said, Lois! He sees the whole picture.

  10. Beth

    Thank you for sharing your own experience. There was a location where God placed us that I really struggled. It was a hard place and difficult. I did learn lessons and most of all I am thankful that God has moved us. We have been so blessed in England.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, I’ve been in those places too. Hope I don’t have to return, but what I gained was priceless. Thanks for telling your story.

  11. Maree Dee


    Thank you for sharing you obedience to God. It helps as I step out into a territory God has called me yet I feel ill-equipped. I am in fact dragging my feet. I loved your remark to the woman who interviewed you.

    Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Christian Link-Up.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Maree Dee, One day you’ll be looking back and recalling God’s faithfulness in this place where you feel ill-equipped. It comforts me to know even Paul was aware of his inadequacies. Blessings!

  12. Christine Wood

    A life fully surrendered to Jesus is a beautiful and powerful tool in His hands. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you for reading, Christine. Blessings to you.

  13. Debbie Kitterman

    Hi Debbie – I just wanted to let you know that you are going to be the most clicked on featured post tomorrow at #TuneInThursday – Yay you! Loved your post too… I find that even though I know in my heart God’s plans are always better than mine, I still want to try it my way on occasion. You post resounded with many. Blessings

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Debbie. Blessings to you. I’m glad God used my experience.

  14. not happy

    oh God Debbie, how can i say this. i feel like i am pressed to go into a ministry that I don’t want to do for the rest of my life because it is full of pressure and I am not interested in it. I also don’t feel that I have the talent that other people swear I have for it. Yet I feel threatened that if I don’t do it I feel threatened. I don’t feel anointed to do it, I just feel threatened by God.

    • Debbie Wilson

      2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” We are never adequate for what God calls us to. Our adequacy comes from Him. It’s easy to project that if we follow God to the next step we know where it will lead. We are called to obey one step at a time and trust Him with the outcome. I suggest you spend time asking God to show you His character. Jesus came to show us the Father. When we dread God or His will we usually are believing something that isn’t true. Blessings on your journey of faith.

  15. Steven

    I have been living God’s plan for my life for 58 years and I can say for certain my plan that I had hoped for my life is 1000 times better than this miserable road that He has forced me to travel. My plan didn’t include being sexually abused as an 11 year old by. My plan didn’t included a child with Cerebral Palsy, who is legally blind and has so many health issues. My plan didn’t include divorce or an ex wife alienating me from my children including my son who I love and cared for for 32 years. It didn’t include missing my oldest daughter’s wedding. Or my other daughter’s graduation from college. It didn’t include having no Hope.

    I can say with certainty that God is cruel. He does not have a great plan for everyone’s life. If He can do everything and anything then He had the ability to create a different plan full of joy and peace and hope and still arrive at the same conclusion.

    The fact He chose this road for me just proves He’s a sadist, unconcerned with our pain.

    Had I known at the age of 17 what He had planned for me. Had I been able to peer into the future and see the horror and harm He had waiting for me I would have killed myself then to spare me from all this pain and I’ve only shared a portion of my troubles.

    I have begged Him, pleaded with Him aim, but He just stays silent. He’s too above us to condescend to answer. But what can I do? I can’t hurt Him like He’s hurt me. My rejecting Him is of no consequence to a Being who has been killing humans since life began. I am hopeless because He is my executioner. Who can escape Him?

    Looking back over my Life I see God’s true character.

    God loved David and He demonstrated that by His actions towards David. We read in the Bible how God treated David. If my life was written in a Book people would rightfully conclude God did not love me. God has favorites.

    Job complained bitterly, even after he said “though he slay me…” he states God’s character in Job 19, 23, 24, 27, and 30. And God even agrees Job was right in what he said about God.

    My life is poured out. What prospects do I have that I should still hope? Since my youth God has made me His target and I have no future. That is the reality of God.

    • Ann

      If it helps at all, know your are not alone in how you feel. I’m right there too. I wish I could actually not believe in God at all, than to know that He is just cruel. I just wish He could be bothered to just own up to His cruelty and say, sorry but this is what I need you to endure. It would still suck, but I could respect that. But only saying the lies about God is love and He has a good plan for your life, or that He will provide is BS

      • Steven

        Ann, I’m sorry you’re enduring endless trials too. My biggest complaint is God says “is anything too hard for Me”? The obvious answer being No, then why can’t He soften the blows and still get us to the same destination? Why did He design you and me and countless others to live a life of despair?

        When David sinned God had the prophet say “‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more…”

        I know God loved David by His actions and words. God has never declared to me such wondrous things. I genuinely can feel the hurt from God. Sure David had difficult circumstances, but God made sure David always prevailed. Be it the lion, the bear, Goliath, when his wives and children were kidnapped, or Saul, or his own son. David always came ouT a winner.

        I just wish God loved me like He loved David.

        I will say I am not letting go of God. I am still wrestling, still hoping one day He decides it’s enough and He can lift me and restore what the locusts, that He sent into my life, have destroyed.

        Please keep wrestling Ann. Challenge God to keep His promises. I truly hope you have your breakthrough.


        • Debbie Wilson

          Thomas, I’m truly sorry for your pain. I think it was Donald Grey Barnhouse who said that this life is the closest a believer will ever know of hell and the closest an unbeliever will ever know of heaven. Hebrews 11 describes those who didn’t receive the promise in this life. But they were looking for a heavenly city. This life is but a splat on a highway in comparison to heaven. Pain can distort our view of God. His word washes and transforms our perspective so we can see Him in the darkness. I hope you can find a group of grace-filled believers to help you through.

  16. Ann

    Just because it worked out well for you doesn’t mean it does for all and your flippant way of promising it will is belittling. Gods plan for my life has been horrendous and I held on to his promises for 26 years, but they were all lies. I will still do His bidding out of obedience, but what His will was for me has killed all love for who He is. All there has been is suffering offered by God, no peace, no strength no comfort. Not even the thought of heaven brings even the slightest hope anymore. I’m stuck knowing that I had a life forced on me that I would not wish on Satan himself, but my creator wished it on me. Many stories in the Bible did not turn out good for the people involved, God put them through tremendous suffering and then they died. People may talk about it for centuries making it good for God, but what about them? What do you say to the person where there is no reward in heaven that will ever be worth what they endured here? To the people who would choice to cease to exist a million times over heaven?

  17. Darren

    I have always felt like God was calling me to something greater I can never figure out exactly what it was I was given visions and prophecies from age 4 a lot of times they seemed way too big too fantastical for me but now I find myself totally alone 3000 miles from where I grew up I believe God called me out here but I don’t understand why he’s leaving me alone my struggle to make enough money to eat I have no place to live I sleep in my car I am so so lonely I was married for many many years but now I’m single and I don’t want to be single I’ve had people say this is God’s will for you to be alone but yet scripture says that it is not good for man to be alone. it is also written that man that finds a good wife finds a good thing and favor in God’s eyes. But I have no comfort I don’t even have a friend to go to someone to go out eat with let alone a companion a wife can I am so confused if you have such a great calling for me why do you hate me why do you leave me alone no friends a job that barely gets me by and nowhere to sleep and my heart longs to serve you but I can’t do it alone father forgive me I need help me either your words are true are there not either you have been showing me that I am going to be used by you or it was all a lie help me forgive me for not trusting you but I don’t like this season I’m in I don’t like where I am and I definitely am not serving you and showing your glory eye hurting all the time help me to trust your faithfulness I went to see the truth don’t leave me alone I know people are going to say you are never alone God is with you but that does not help we can’t see God we can’t feel God our life will go one way or another if God is there or not even Jesus said don’t believe me I believe the signs that follow me God is with me forgive me for my lack of faith help me to trust your way one last time I asked for a wife I seek a companion a helpmate they can help me fulfill the visions I’ve had I seek you I seek you Lord.

  18. Jd

    Once I was dating someone very special who was divorced and God told me that remarriage is adultery. It was the first time I was ever happy in my life. Anyway I obeyed God and broke up with her and now she’s remarried and I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. What a wonderful plan

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