When Plan B is Better Than Plan A
The year was 1983. Standing on the stage of The Miss Virginia Pageant, my relationship with Trust went to a whole new level. Having spent every ounce of energy preparing for this moment in time, I was expecting great things. For years, coaches, trainers and well-wishers urged me forward in my pursuit for the crown of Miss America. I thought of nothing else.
Preparation was all-consuming: running eight miles a day, dieting, exercising, reading up on current affairs and social issues, mock interviews and practicing my talent until my blistered tap-dancing feet said, “Enough already!”
Now, the moment of truth had come. The announcer’s voice filled the auditorium, “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fourth Runner Up is……….The Third Runner Up is………………The Second Runner Up is……………..The First Runner Up is………………….and our New Miss Virginia 1983…………”
“Wait a minute. He didn’t call my name. Why didn’t he call my name? What is happening here?” I stood frozen in time. Trying to remain composed and forcing my well-rehearsed, on-stage smile, I remembered the television cameras were rolling.
“Keep it together, Janell, just keep it together. Whatever you do, don’t fall apart, For heaven’s sake, you are on TV. A few more minutes and this will all be over.”
Everything seemed to move in slow motion.
But, then, without any warning, a warm, flowing peace melted over the top of my head and flowed to the bottom of my feet. I had never felt anything like it. Tucked inside this surprising peace was a love note from my Heavenly Father. This might sound a bit crazy, but I sincerely heard his soft whisper-of-a-word: “Trust me, my daughter, I am in control. This is not my best plan for you. Trust me.”
Sometimes God’s dreams for us are far better than our own
I will never forget that moment on my life’s map.
I bet you’ve had a moment like that, too. When time stands still and you wonder, what just happened?
Tonight, I will be thinking of that moment, yet again, when ABC airs The Miss America Pageant 2017. But this time, I will be watching with deeper gratitude and immense satisfaction. Several months ago, I received a call from a lovely young woman named Michaela. She was seeking some coaching for an upcoming pageant. Yes, you guessed, The Miss Virginia Pageant. I had helped her years earlier and she wondered if I might be interested.
At first, I thought, hmmm…..I haven’t really done that in years. But then, something inside of me said, Say yes. And I did.
Over the course of the next month or so, Michaela and I spent several hours together. Sitting at my kitchen table, we talked and prayed and dreamed. I can only hope that Michaela received as much from our time together as I received from her. God gifted me with the surreal opportunity of being able to “call back” and invest in a young woman whose future is as bright as a shooting star.
Before we met, there was still a slight sting when I recalled my second attempt at becoming Miss Virginia. Having been misguided and a bit off center, I truly didn’t compete in the way I felt I should have to win the title. I’ll spare you the details, but some thirty years later (and a great deal of life lessons and experience), I was able to share with Michaela what I had learned along the way.
Lo and behold, Michaela won the title of Miss Virginia. Because it wasn’t televised, I had to wait and watch for the details via Facebook. This time, when the announcer’s voice filled the auditorium, I heard him say, “Miss Virginia 2016…Michaela Gabrielle Sigmon.”
I gasped. She won! Oh my goodness!
Tears filled my eyes and joy overwhelmed me.
Without a doubt, it was even more joyful than if I had won myself.
You see, God’s greater plan for me was to marry, have children, develop my teaching gifts, write and speak, and help others develop their God-created capacity and potential. And truthfully, nothing makes me happier.
So thank you, Miss America Scholarship Program, for a critical life lesson on trusting in God. It has served me well over the years. Taught me that God holds every single moment of my life in his hands. Ah, what peace that brings to the soul.
AND, so, on this celebratory night, I want to gift you with a short study I’ve written on trusting in God.
It is my hope and prayer that the lesson I learned that fateful night on the stage of Miss Virginia will maybe help you remember that God is trustworthy. Sometimes His plan (Plan B) is much better than our plan (Plan A.)
Share Your Thoughts
Have you ever experienced a time when Plan B was better than Plan A?