Release: Releasing My Plans

By Jeanne Takenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—Release. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out Lisa-Jo Baker‘s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!


I used to think I had control of my life.

Get my college degree. Check,

Get my first teaching job: Check

Life had gone according to my plans. I walked with God, grew with Him through my twenties.

I prayed until God brought me an amazing husband. Checked that off the list.

Then, according to our plans, we began trying to have a baby. No check.

Unless you count the one that went on my calendar each month when my body declared I was not pregnant.

It was during those early days on the infertility journey that I began to discover I was not truly in control of my life. God is sovereign. He revealed to me that in HIs sovereignty is His love.

How did I reconcile this with the fact that I wanted a baby to cradle in my arms?

I fought Him, of course. For awhile.

He let me. Until I came to the point where I could release my desire for my plans and embrace His plan. Even though I didn’t know what it would be.

Even if it might not include children grown in my womb.

Releasing my plans and looking to His gave me the peace and the strength to walk through the journey of infertility.

It prepared me for when He did sew motherhood into the fabric of my story, through adoption.

Releasing my plans for His is one way I live my love for Him out loud. Trusting His plan, trading good for best.

Release all I clung to so I could embrace all He had for me.

It was definitely worth the trade.

What about you? When have you released something in your life? What was the end result?

Lisa-Jo Baker Five Minute Friday—Release

14 thoughts on “Release: Releasing My Plans”

  1. Hi Jeanne! This is such a beautiful post. As a proud adoptee, I can honestly say that while my heart aches for your infertility struggle, it’s full of joy at your decision to adopt. My mom always said that she birthed me in her spirit, rather than her womb. I’ve always loved that. Happy to have found you through Five-Minute Friday! Blessings to you and your family!


    1. I love what your mom told you, Dara! I’ve told our guys they were the children of my heart. It took time for my hubby and I to be united in the decision to adopt, but once we were, God moved quickly and perfectly. Thanks so much for stopping by, Dara!


    1. You’re right, Raquel. I’m so glad God’s patient with us as we come to the place where we’re willing to release our plans to Him. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Great post, jeanne.

    As I was reading it, I wondered about the intersections of God’s plans for us, and Hisplans for others. You were clearly a part of His plan for your boys, just as they were part of His plan for you.

    I had to release so much of my self-image when my academic career ended, and the strength to rebuild it vanished with ebbing health. I had to let go of my status as the breadwinner, to give Barbara a chance to shine – and shine she does!

    I was a builder of airplanes, and while I still try to work on them, I really don’t have the strength. I just can’t do it. It hurts too much to work on that stuff.

    But in the releasing, something else has grown. I’ve tried to maintain a presence in the world by commenting on blogs, and writing my own. It’s my way to stay social, because I really can’t leave the house much any more.

    And in those connections, something happened. People find comfort and hope in what I write. It’s intensely humbling, that I can make a difference that way.

    It may be that these will be my last months, or last years, and it seems that in releasing life I’m finding it, for the first time.


    1. Andrew, I love, LOVE how you share what has grown as you’ve released more of what used to make up—you. God uses you daily to encourage others. I have been greatly encouraged at needful times by your words. You have solid wisdom to share, and as I’ve said before, you always make me think about things when you share from a different perspective. 🙂

      You continue to be in my prayers!


  3. I enjoy reading Andrew’s replies, but I don’t like posting after them… makes mine sound trivial. (Andrew, I will pray for your health … And yes you do touch people with your comments. – Dara, I like what your mom said about birthing you with her spirit.)

    For me, it was (and is) giving up moving to a sunnier/warmer climate several times. Each time it looks like God is opening the doors so I get going on the plans, thinking I’m following His, and thinking how nice it is that they coincide with my own. Check! … But then He shuts the door again and I am just confused. It feels like a bait and switch, but I know that doesn’t align with God’s character, so I look deeper for the reasons behind the red-light-green-light game of stay or go that I feel we’ve been playing. What is he trying to teach me?

    Interesting that you should post on this Jeanne, because during this most recent “almost move”, I realized that maybe God is just trying to get me to release it all to Him no matter what that means. I have to accept that it may never be. What if it would be worse? Since I don’t know, but He does, I have to trust Him to lead me where I should go. I love the scripture “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” as I heard it explained one time, a lamp only gives off a small circle of light, but it is enough to see your next step, even if you can’t see where the entire path leads. God will give us enough light to ensure stable footing each step of the way.

    So, I continued praying even when the doors looked wide open, I continued asking if it was His plan and to help me accept it if not. I think I was able to hold it more loosely in an open hand this time. I realize that I need to be content where I am and find ways to cope with the gloom and rain until God decides whether or not to move us. And to look for the silver linings instead of the clouds. Maybe this whole go-round was just to get me to let go… again!


    1. Melissa, I’ve been there. In that place where I think I have the green light to move forward, and then it turns red. Holding our plans with an open hand is great wisdom. Being willing to release them and cling to God can be difficult, but when we do, contentment is what we find. It’s hard to look forward to something and not have it happen. I’ll pray as you release your desires to move to a sunnier place that God will be your Sun in the waiting. I’m so glad you stopped by, Melissa!


    2. Melissa, thank you for your kind words, and your prayers. They’re needed – I won’t mince words.

      But please, never feel that there’s anything trivial in what you might say. We face different things in our lives; but a comparison doesn’t do the situation justice, and can lead to ignoring a lesson that God has planned for one’s life.

      My experiences enable me – I hope – to illuminate a part of God’s love that acts in the world. But my vision, and the reach of my electric torch, is limited; you’ll have to illuminate another part, and Jeanne has the responsibility for her sector.

      No one part is more important than another; like the story of the blind men and the element, our own witnessing is woven together to describe a whole. And as one can’t dismiss part of the elephant as being trivial (the elephant would surely be displeased!), so we can’t think that way of any of our God-planned experience.

      And I will pray for you – that there will be a transition from cold and gloomy!


  4. I love the five minute writing, Jeanne. And I love your heart here. You know I understand. I always say that I thought having a family was my childhood dream, until I realized it was knowing God. Much love to you.


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