When the Plan Changes


I met Andrew the summer before his senior year at Murray State. Before he would officially ask me to be his girlfriend, he sat me down to tell me about his future plans. He was applying to dental school and planning to enlist in the Navy for the Commissioned Officer program. I was impressed that he even had a plan, let alone a good one. He wanted to make sure that I knew what I was signing up for if I dated him. I was already head over heels for him by this time, and the Navy would allow me to travel the world like I had always dreamed. Needless to say, I said yes to being his girlfriend. Over the next several years, we began to build a life around serving in the Navy. Then, one day-as happens in so many lives that are going according to plan-the phone rang.

In the summer of 2018, we got a very abrupt call that Andrew would be receiving a medical discharge from the Navy. To make a long story short, a very minor medical issue was detected during one of Andrew’s Navy physicals. After doing everything we could to plead our case, it became very clear that a discharge was unavoidable. I’m leaving out a lot of detail, but suffice it to say it was a very stressful time in our lives. We were confident that we had made the right choice in joining the military, and it was so confusing when God closed that door. We also felt like we were scrambling, having received this news during Andrew’s fourth year with very little time to make alternate plans for after graduation.

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So, for those who are keeping up with The Cudes, Andrew is no longer in the Navy. He has been accepted into a residency program with the University of Kentucky, which means we will be living in Lexington for at least one more year. We both feel so much peace and gratitude about that now, but we didn’t feel that way when we first got that phone call. Serving in the military was not just a way to pay for dental school. For Andrew, serving in the military was his dream. We know there are much worse circumstances out there. We’re grateful for God’s re-direction. But this was the biggest curve-ball we had been thrown as a couple, and it represented the death of a dream we had for our life together.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m a girl who likes a plan. In seasons of my life where that plan is taken away, I feel so lost. The years between graduating college and getting married were so tough for me, because there was no clear-cut path. Even though I “know” I am never in control, I tend to forget that fact until I am confronted with the reality all over again. I feel like God has been gently yet clearly reminding me of the truth that He alone is in control and knows what is best for my life. Even things that seem good from our human standpoint pale in comparison to the glory of His plan for us. I don’t know what circumstance you are in, and I know there are many circumstances FAR worse than what we have been through, but I hope it’s comforting to know you’re not alone. My prayer is that the Lord would continue teaching me to hold my plans with open hands, to find peace and rest in my lack of control rather than fear and strife, and to trust Him as a sovereign Lord and generous Father who gives good gifts. Maybe you need to pray that, too?

What wisdom has God given you in this area? What Bible verses have been helpful to you? Let me know in the comments here or on Instagram and I’ll share those verses on my Instagram story so we can all be encouraged!

5 thoughts on “When the Plan Changes

  1. I loved this Ashton! How wise beyond your years you are!! I copied the prayer you stated at the end and plan to make it one of my own….thanks! One of my favorite life verses that gives such comfort is: Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In this crazy world full of transitions and change, HE’s our constant anchor. The last verse I’ll share which hangs on my wall and is an encouraging favorite is Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, HE who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
    Keep up the good work…I’m a fan for sure!!😘


    1. Thank you so much Carla! Those verses are very encouraging. We’re so thankful that we can trust God with our future, and we see now that he spared us from a lot more than he put us through. Funny how often that’s true. We are blessed and feel really excited for what lies ahead. Thank you for your encouragement!


  2. I love this! Ashton, you are truly wise beyond your years. I would love to share a couple of my favorite verses with you. The first one is Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In this crazy world of transitions and change, this verse has meant so much to me. It has been a reminder of my constant anchor in Him. This last one has been such an encouragement to me through many stages and changes in life. It hangs on my wall as a piece of art and is a constant reminder to me. It is Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that HE who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
    Keep up the good work, Ashton, I am definitely a fan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Someone told me during a very uncertain time in my life that nothing takes God but surprise. I found that very comforting. Your faith has always been an inspiration to me. Thanks for showing me and everyone else what it looks like to blindly trust the Lord.


    1. Thank you so much sweet friend! Your faith is a blessing to me. You love like Jesus and that has been such a wonderful thing to experience and to see in your life.


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