Everyone had their to-do lists, booked their summer vacation and scheduled their children’s appointments. Suddenly, the world shifted significantly and their plans along with it. While this season has been difficult, it is also a unique opportunity to plan for a hopeful future. According to directors at Kanakuk Kamps, a large, Christian summer camp based in Missouri, there are a few ways to keep future plans grounded in hope and positivity amidst a season of unpredictability and uncertainty.
Planning Ahead with Hope
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented change that came with it, it is difficult to hold onto any expectations. It is important, however, to remain hopeful for future plans… but being hopeful isn’t the same as having expectations.
“Planning ahead is so important as a mom and as a Christian; sometimes when life gives us an unexpected curveball, we can get bogged down in the difficult circumstances or the chaos,” says Executive Women’s Director Trish Barnes. “Choosing to remain steady and hopeful gives us the reminder that we can stand firm when expectations aren’t met and look forward to what’s ahead. Even though God’s plan might look different than what we expected, we know that His plan is perfect, and we can find joy in trusting God’s ultimate desire for our life! ”
When plans have to change, people who planned ahead with a spirit of hope can still thrive and keep moving forward with a positive outlook because they aren’t solely focused on missed expectations. A focus on hope gives them the ability to adapt and alter their previous plans to fit the current situation while remaining hopeful for what is in store.
Planning for the Unexpected
How does one plan for something they do not expect to happen? Ultimately, it boils down to approaching every aspect of life with an attitude of preparedness— tactically and emotionally.
Lindsay Rother, Assistant Women’s Director at K-West, digs a little deeper into how to be prepared. She says, “Adversity creates opportunity for creativity, and truly, it’s all about perspective. If we’ve prepared our hearts and minds with a positive perspective, we can shift from focusing on the things we can’t do or wish we had toward the things that are actually right in front of us, it changes everything. God is right in the middle of the unexpected and while we might be surprised, He is not! Take a breath, a step back to gain perspective, find ways to laugh, enjoy the journey and lean into the Lord.”
Lindsay also points out that you might just be surprised how God shows up in ways you never would have chosen for yourself. Rooting your heart and mind in faith can redirect an unexpected setback or disappointment into an opportunity for growth and serves as a great comfort in the midst of uncertainty.
When Plans Change…
No matter how much you’ve prepared, it can still be hard to cope with the disappointment of altered plans. This is where perspective is key. While preparedness is important, perspective is the secret ingredient that determines how people respond to disappointment.
Just like aligning the heart and mind to see unexpected situations as opportunities, it is also crucial to view significant change as an opportunity. Keeping a positive perspective and looking at the bigger picture rather than zooming in on one mishap can make a significant difference in how people handle unexpected change.
Director of Discipleship, Patrick Cone, says, “This year has definitely been a storm, but trust and perspective have helped my family remain anchored through it all. As a result, I am in a place where I can effectively disciple Kampers, staff, and most importantly, my own family. May we all trust the Lord with all our heart this year! May all of us keep a perspective that the Lord is good!”
Staying Hopeful After a Season of Disappointment
As previously discussed, maintaining a good perspective and being hopeful are healthy ways to approach making plans. When unfulfilled plans leave feelings of confusion and disappointment, it is especially empowering to lean into a positive perspective and look at every situation as an opportunity for growth.
Clinging to the faithfulness of God provides encouragement and comfort in seasons where circumstances have changed and decisions about the future are made one step at a time. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” God remains faithful and the source of hope no matter what happens…that alone is encouraging.