Submitting to the Plan


“Father, create in me a clean heart… and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

I sat beside my 13 year old today as she got braces. We’ve been talking about this day for months – and, now, no more waiting: the process to straight teeth has begun.

We had a long talk with the orthodontist before today where we learned the transformation of her smile will happen without her even knowing it. He explained the wires and bands he’d apply would push and pull things into place – that it wouldn’t always be comfortable, but that she could be sure work was always in progress. He said what is crooked will be made straight; and what’s out of line will be brought into order. Slowly… slowly… slowly. He said he wouldn’t have to force anything to ‘right’ itself, but with the ever-so-slight pressure he’d apply over time, she’d eventually end up with ‘perfection’.

So at 7:35 this morning, my daughter walked into the office – willingly… a little giddy even. She sat in the chair – willingly. She opened her mouth – willingly. She gave in to the discomfort, dry lips, and multiple hands in her mouth – willingly. They didn’t have to hold her down, or bribe her, or scream at her, or pull rank. They simply said, if you want straight teeth, here’s what we have to do. And, since she wants straight teeth, she showed up and said ‘let’s do it’… willingly.

I was so impressed by her and her maturity. But, even more important, as I sat the foot of her chair with my mommy hand on the calf of her long, lean leg, I was impressed by a very simple truth I often strive to forget: sometimes I just have to submit to the plan.

HIS plan, not my plan. HIS way, not my way.

I know, I know. “Submission” is a dirty, loaded word these days. “Submission” brings up pictures of doormat women, and weak people, and images of everything most of us dread of being. But watching my daughter submit to the plan this morning wasn’t weakness – it was beautiful STRENGTH. She had a heart that understood the greater plan and she willingly said, “I’m in.” No one would call her a doormat because she submitted to the leading of the orthodontist; she wasn’t coerced or pushed around or belittled because she’s taking the opportunity to ‘perfect’ her teeth. To the contrary: by willingly submitting to the plan she can now sit back and allow the ever-slight-pressure to do it’s work for her good.

Just like my girl’s path to straight teeth began by her willingly sitting in the orthodontist’s chair, my path to ‘better’ – God’s ‘better’ – starts with my willingness to place myself before Him and His word. Yes, there will be troubles. Yet, in spite of the tests and trials He may use to make me uncomfortable and mold me through the process, if my heart is right and humbled before Him, I can know with certainty it will all work for good.

When we walked out of the office this morning, my girl had a Starbucks gift card in one hand and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in the other – two gifts to ‘celebrate’ the day. And me?  I walked out praying for courageous willingness to submit to the ‘treatment plan’ my Father’s laid out for me.  I admit it’s so hard sometimes… it’s hard to let go of me and MY way and submit to His spirit and HIS way – especially when things around me aren’t changing as fast as I want them to. But just as the orthodontist promised my girl his work will make a difference over time, my Father promises that, just as the heavens are higher than the earth, HIS ways are higher than my ways, HIS thoughts higher than my thoughts… and, His plan will make me more joyful, more loving, more forgiving, more patient, more kind, more powerful, more EVERYTHING than I could ever be without Him.


9 Replies to “Submitting to the Plan”

  1. What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing! I have to remind myself many times – “it’s not in MY time, but HIS time” when it seems my prayers are not being answered as fast as I would like. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!

  2. I am realizing this more and more each day: that my life is for HIS WILL!! Thank you for this post! I want to thank you for being an answer to a prayer. As a carb lover, I have struggled my entire life with the horrible effects of loving carbs. I received your book yesterday so I had the tools in my hand (literally my phone). However, I had a bag of chips that I LOVE!! I opened the chips and began to eat and felt somewhat ugh! So I went to my local co-op to get some quinoa, cooked it, and made a sweet version with coconut milk. This was soooooo satisfying that I threw the chips away! This morning when I got up, I made your quinoa scramble with egg whites(I don’t eat yolk), and it was so amazing that I didn’t even realize that I did not have meat. EVERYONE BUY ELISHA’S BOOK!!!!!! I am taking some quinoa to work to enjoy with salmon and grilled squash and zucchini. I cannot wait to try more recipes and come up with new ones of my own! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

    Btw, are you gonna start up the smarty bars again?

    1. Hi Chasidy! WOW!! I’ve shared your story several times now – so thank you 🙂 You blessed my heart with this comment – and I really hope you’re still enjoying the recipes! Is there one or two in particular you’re finding ‘the best’? As for SmartyBars, no plans at this point. I do have ideas perkolating in my mind for some sort of quinoa line, though. If it happens, you’ll be first on my list for samples! Thanks for being such an encouragement to me. Many blessings, sister. Let’s stay in touch!

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