Posted by: bellissimanh | October 19, 2007

I AM – Not Like I Planned – Part 2

 Enjoying Lisa’s study more than ever! I love the way she dissects the Word and brings out truths that are so applicable! I’m seeing Moses with a fresh perspective and learning so much… about him, and about myself!

Here are some highlights from this week for me…


“Now when he [Moses] was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.” (Acts 7:23)

Godly stirrings will always cause a desire for action, or else a sense of misery for the thing not being done.


“And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, adn struck down the Egyptian. For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand. And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’ But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?'” (Acts 7:24-27)

“This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.” (Acts 7:35-36)

Man’s rejection will never trump God’s acceptance!




Discussion Questions:

1. I am going to present to you a little acrostic to begin our discussion today. What is your latest NLIP? (Not Like I Planned?)

My latest NLIP involved others, so I don’t want to go into it too much here. Suffice it to say God’s ways are so much higher than mine. His plan is so much bigger than anything I could hope for or imagine. And I’m am grateful.

2. How did you react to your NLIP? Are you still upset about it? Happy about it? Baffled by it? Explain.

I am amazed by it. Period. I was stunned. Once the shock wore off I was treated to a beautiful picture of God’s grace and redemption. I think I was numb at first (I felt like a man… you know… they need DAYS to process anything…lol), but the numbness has given way to an awareness of how truly awesome this God I serve is. Astounding.

3. Have you ever attempted to step into an area of ministry and found your desire rejected? Did this cause you to question God and yourself? Perhaps distrust what you perceived to be your calling?

While I am gifted musically, and the Lord uses me there, over the past five or six years the Lord has put a desire in my heart to come alongside other Christian women and encourage them in their walks. I automatically assumed this meant the Lord was leading me to Women’s Ministry (the catch all – in front of everyone – leader kind). For a time (a couple of years ago)  I even stepped down from our worship team because I was so sure that God wanted me to do this… but I knew I had so much on my plate that I couldn’t possibly do it ALL (although I have definitely been known to try… type A personality all the way). I took a break from the worship team and began to see about stepping into that kind of role in my church.

The Lord shut the door on that. HARD. I was confused and disappointed. I wondered if I had heard the Lord incorrectly. I was so SURE that He wanted me to do this… help my sisters learn to study, help them learn to apply God’s Word to their lives, help them get excited about being in His Truth on a more consistent basis. I just didn’t get it.

Soon the Lord brought three very special women into my life. We had always been friends, but now each of them came to me – separately – and asked if I would consider discipling them. All of a sudden it clicked. I hadn’t mistaken the NATURE of the calling… the Lord definitely had given me the desire to mentor women. I had mistaken the FORM of the calling. I began studying with each of these women (individually) and the growth that occured… in them AND in me… was simply beautiful.

An added blessing for me is that I discipled with these women in the afternoons, so it didn’t necessitate me being out of the house any additional nights during the week. That was one of the reasons I had left the worship team as I sought God’s calling. What I discovered was that I could do BOTH, when I was operating in His plan, rather than the one I had formulated… and I felt at peace because I knew I was exactly where the Lord wanted me.

In retrospect, as I look at our Women’s Ministry at church, it is more about larger social gatherings (Christ centered, of course) than it is about deeper teaching. It’s not bad, it’s just not what God was calling me to. I never would have been happy in that position, because I’m really not into planning the lighter side of things (ask my friend Fran, current Women’s Ministry leader – she has to tell me what color napkins to put with clear plastic plates!)… but give me a Greek lexicon and let me at it! We’ll have some fun THEN! See what I mean? One isn’t more important than the other… it’s just better suited to my gifts and abilities, and the desires the Lord has planted in my heart. I think when we can come to a place of realizing that… and accepting it… we are so much happier! There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will for your life!

4. Do you harbor any bitterness towards any individual or situation which you believe waylaid your best laid plans?

Not at all. I know the Lord works all things for my good and His glory, and that He is sovereign and in control. And that’s a wonderful thing. He’s so much better at it than I am!

5. Have you had a life experience or trial that left you with a shaken faith because it ended in an NLIP? Please share if you feel free.

I don’t believe I have. I have been through some trials, and they have shaken me, for sure… but the Lord has always spoken so strongly during those times and taught me so much. I have never come out of them with my faith faltering, but rather stronger. I think a love tested is a love matured.

6. Based on Moses’ response of faith to his own rejection, how will you re-evaluate your own experiences or look at future ones differently if a NLIP presents itself?

I am not ruling out that God could still use me anywhere He chooses (Even in that “what color napkin” – planning the Christmas party kind of way). I know that sometimes He radically alters the course of our lives.  Sometimes He shuts the door on our plans, because we have totally misunderstood, or are asking for something that He knows is not in our best interests. Sometimes we need to be reminded that His timing is not ours and, like Moses, we may have the call right, but be out of sync with His time table. And every once in a while… we hit a perfect, wonderful, rhythmic stride and we walk WITH Him. I live for those times.





  1. Hello, my name is Xandra and I think you are my doppleganger. Wow! You and I have so much in common when it comes to how we like to study the Word and what we expect from others when they study with us!

    “Give me a Greek lexicon”…LOL! I heart my interlinear New Testament…..

  2. LOL, Xandra.. I said that too (paraphrased) “I heart my interlinear Bible…” here…

  3. Okay, first I’m giggling because we ALL *heart* our Lexicons..:)) My favorite book ever!

    I love how you point out the differences in the Nature and Forms of our calling. It is a wise woman who will accept God’s form instead of jumping into our misunderstood assumptions of what he wants us to do with our gift. It’s so great for you to share how God used yours…I know He is so pleased with you! 🙂

    Thanks so much for being a part of this study! Group Two Rocks!

  4. and womensbiblestudy is Lisa..:))

    I’ve started a new WordPress to move the bible studies too and didn’t notice wordpress picked up that log in! 😉

  5. Hi Heather!

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. It’s nice to “meet” you!

    I love your responses in this post. Great thoughts and truth!


  6. Sounds like a good study.

  7. Hi Heather. Good to find your blog. I have to come back another time so I can read more. Socks are a piece of cake! I love to kniw them on two circular needles. Once you get started, it is so much fun! I always have socks on the needles. I’ll be back to visit soon. Meg
    P.S. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  8. LOVE your answers – especially what you said in Q.3, God knows our heart so well and when He leads us into something it’s always something that suits us to a tee isn’t it! 🙂

  9. I like the phrase itself that comes together in your title, I am sure unintended,… if you drop the capital A (as in, change “I Am” from a name to a verb form!), it becomes “I am not like I planned.” Ha! My sister and I discuss this a lot. And just the other day, I wrote on a scrap of paper to myself,
    “I am not the same as I used to be. I am not the same as I will be.”
    As my Claire says, “You never know, you never know.”
    Things happen that we don’t expect, and somehow we’re changed, little by little, and suddenly it seems, “we are not like we planned!” But one day, it will come together and we’ll be better than we ever imagined. In the meantime, it’s interesting to watch the pieces fall into place, miraculously. Sometimes it’s easier to see it in other people’s lives, or to see it in hindsight, but it happens.
    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Thanks for your comment on my blog!

    I loved your answer on #3 and how God worked everything out (not like you had planned!). He always amazes me!

    Thanks again!

  11. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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