The plan

18 Nov

I have been thinking a lot about vision, no not the state of being able to see (although this is part of it and is important) but the plan for the future for me in Burundi.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18

A few months ago I asked God to show me the plan before I left Burundi at the end of September. I was convinced He would tell me.


I arrived back in the UK in October and He had not told me the plan. Well, not the plan I was expecting. You know, the one with aims and objectives and structure and timing and details such as where I will live and what I will do.

That was my agenda to know. To have a clear answer when people ask questions. Especially the answer to “what will you do when you go back to Burundi?”. Our identity is so often determined by the way we define value or measure success. “Who am I? How do I become successful? What do I do? What do I have?”

Going back to vision and the plan, this is what was revealed to me as I prayed and journaled one August evening and I continue to process:

I was reminded of the teaching I had listened to by Mike Bickle based on Song of Songs and I quote:

‘Our primary identity (value/success) is found in who we are in our intimacy with God, which consists of being loved by God and in being a lover of God. We find our identity or success in being desired by God and in loving Him instead of seeking our primary value in how much we accomplish or the impact we make. We are most successful because we are desired by God and love Him. We no longer need to fear being a failure. Our primary identity is not what we do with our hands but what we pursue with our hearts.’ (emphasis mine)

So my primary vision has to be pursuing God with my heart. Seeking intimacy with God. I put this at the centre of my journal page and updated my vision page:


I was then reminded of my calling of ‘Isaiah 61 for Burundi and Beyond’ and started to think of all that this chapter says about ministry and mission.

Only after this did I start to think about and pray through all the different options for the doing stuff. [I have not included these on the photo].

I still do not know the doing plan and I go back to Burundi in one week. I have a flight reserved. I have somewhere to stay temporarily. I have friends to catch-up with. I have a new baby to meet. I have little Samuel waiting to high-5 me. I (hopefully) have remembered Kirundi to speak. I have a wedding of friends to attend. I have the certainty that there will be sunshine, rice, pineapples and motorbikes.

I have the plan and primary vision of pursing God with my heart. Do you?

I will end with a story that someone shared with me on my return to the UK and the following day I read on Patrick Regan’s blog which I quote:

‘I find encouragement in the story of the ethicist John Kavanaugh, who visited Mother Teresa in Calcutta, looking for answers on how to spend the rest of his life. Mother Teresa asked him, “what can I do for you?” and he responded that he’d like her to pray that he would have clarity. To his amazement Mother Teresa refused. Instead she said, “clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.” When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity that he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity, what I have is trust. So I will pray you will trust God.”’


7 Responses to “The plan”

  1. Abigail Ward November 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    I’m currently reflecting on my 2013 vision board and planning/prepping my new one for 2014. This blog is extremely encouraging and insightful to me. Thank you sister! 🙂

  2. Sian November 19, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Mother Teresa, wise words indeed. Sometimes, I find trusting God hard, I like to see the bigger picture too. But have faith – God has a plan for your life, even if he hasn’t revealed it to you yet. Best of luck in Burundi. xxx

  3. Colin Dickinson November 19, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Keep walking on the path. Your blog encouraged me before I left for DRC. We always seek to understand rather than trust, but trusting surrenders control and life then gets exciting.

  4. Charlotte Best November 20, 2013 at 12:31 am #

    God be with you, behind you and in front; guiding you and keeping you all the way, Ruth! Sending much love, Charlotte x x x

  5. Judith Price November 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    I agree with you Ruth. Success and blessing and our ultimate security is being at the centre of God’s will for our lives but sometimes we have to dig deep and trust and get on with it until we see a bit further of the way. God gives us his knowing and peace but not always clear cut answers. God bless you as you return to Burundi and keep seeking God’s heart. Watchman Nee says all we ever need before God is an honest heart and he will do the rest Love and blessing Judith (and Ray). xxxx

  6. davebapd November 21, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    You may not agree with me, but I think God is dangerous! Not because He cannot be trusted, or that He is out to harm us. But trusting Him denies us of the power we so crave. The power to manipulate life / people in order to make ourselves feel secure and safe. But faith / trust in God denies us of such power. I think there may be two reasons why God chooses not to reveal the fine details of His plan for our lives: 1) because we (human beings) are control freaks, and trusting is not about controlling, 2) we just won’t understand it!

    ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,’
    declares the Lord.

  7. Gwyneth Thornton November 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Ruth
    Just read your blog and the words of a hymn “trust and obey for there’s no other way” popped into my head.
    Much love Auntie Gwyn xxx

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