Friday, November 18, 2011

He Knows the Plans - {Guest Post by Melanie Bailey}


Melanie Bailey
Writer of

I am a planner. I like to plan out how I need things to happen and then act on that plan. That’s how I live—it’s all I know. So what happens when my plans fail? Easy, I have a backup plan, and a backup to the backup plan. But what happens when you run out of options?

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. Jeremiah 29:11

Several months ago I found myself in an impossible situation. At one time, we had hoped to buy the house we were renting and all was amicable. When it became apparent that the house wasn’t right for us and we were no longer interested in buying it, things fell apart. The owners no longer wanted to rent it to us and we needed to find another place to live. Rental property in our small town is hard to find. There was absolutely nothing we found that would fit a family of 5.

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. Jeremiah 29:11

A few weeks before, I was asked to help a young couple find a house and had approached a couple at church about a house they had that wasn’t for rent, but it was empty. When I had first asked about the house for this couple, Kay, the owner, asked me directly, “But where are you going to live?” I was thrown off a bit because we had not really made our needs known to many people. How could she know that I was facing a similar situation? I assured her that everything was under control with us and that we would be fine. I was lying.

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. Jeremiah 29:11

Some time passed and it was time to move. It was Wednesday—we had to move that weekend—and we didn’t have a place to move into. On Thursday, we talked to Kay and her husband Jerry about moving into their empty house. They were unbelievably accommodating. We worked out the details and were ready to move. Financially, it was going to be a blessing for us and them both. On Saturday as we were moving our things, Kay and Jerry came by and asked if we could all sit down and talk about the house. I have to admit, I was afraid. What if they were backing out?

I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer that God would get me through this. And Kay started talking…she and Jerry had been talking and praying and they really felt like God brought us all together for a reason bigger than just the house. And then she said something unbelievable—“Me and Jerry are old and we just can’t do all the things we need to do anymore without help. If you guys will agree to live here for a year and help us when we need it, we will only charge you $350 in rent.”

I was completely speechless and almost in tears. $350 a month is a bargain for any rental house in town, much less the size of the house we were moving into. God had worked out my impossible situation in a far better way than I would have ever imagined. Because I let Him do it without me.

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. Jeremiah 29:11

You see, for the first time in my life, I completely let go of my problem. I gave it all to God. In my heart I knew that He would come through, I just didn’t expect it to be in such a grand fashion. I had been keeping God in a little box—I gave him boundaries and rules by praying for what I wanted Him to do in my life. I was forcing Him to be my co-pilot instead of allowing him to be the pilot. God used this problem of mine to strong-arm me into compliance and submission. I can’t say it has been easy—old habits are hard to break—but my struggle with losing control reminds me daily of God’s provisions and His plans. The verse says, “For I know the plans I have for you” not “the plans you have for you.”

Sadly, Jerry suffered a massive stroke and died a few weeks after we moved in. Now more than before, Kay needs us to help her, physically and emotionally. God brought us together at the right time for something bigger than just a house.

More About Melanie:
I'm mid-30s, married for almost 15 years to my best friend who is a high school teacher and military veteran. I work full-time for an attorney and a judge so there's never a dull moment at work. We have 3 pretty amazing kids, Meghan is 11, Hannah is 9 and Ethan is 7, and have recently taken in a teenager whose guardian moved away. I'm a magnet for stray cats and dogs and we have several of each to keep us company. I love to read and cook and I waste entirely too much time on Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. What a beautiful story of faith and trust!

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony to God's faithfulness! Your honesty is refreshing and I smiled as I read how God provided a home-then I cried when I read of Jerry's passing and it's just so wonderful that although Kay was doing something kind for return...God has blessed her with your family to help her in her time of need. Bittersweet.
    Blessings to you all!

  3. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. How incredible that you trusted in God and He blessed you in such a mighty way!

  4. Sweet, Sweet, Sister!! What a wonderful testimony. I just LOVE to see God work! What a blessing to have God work out your housing arrangements and allow you to help someone in the process. Reading about your miracle from God, just makes me want to come give you all a big ole "Love em' like Jesus" HUG!!

    From one planner/controler to another....God is definitley a persistant teacher. He finally got through my thick skull and taught me to stop trying to fix everything and to give it all to Him.

    So happy to meet you! Thanks for introducing her to us Melissa. She's a jewel!

  5. What a beautiful testimony of God's love and provision. Thank you for reminding us that God's plans are better than ours.

  6. What a testament to believing that He DOES have a plan for us even when we don't see that plan. I have struggled so often (I am the same way, thinker planner, etc.) and have learned to let go of certain things and just rust in Him. Thank you for sharing!!!