When Your Plan Isn’t God’s Plan

We had plans. They weren’t fancy— but still…there was a plan. 

After work, my husband and I were to take care of some adulting stuff—mapping out finances, thinking through schedules, and making dinner— including the beets and carrots that were freshly harvested from our backyard garden.

We went to bed, knowing the next day’s plan…and then… the waters came. 

I was supposed to wake up in the morning with refinancing a mortgage on my mind. I, instead, opened my eyes to the sound of my husband urgently calling, “you need to get up.” I sprang out of bed, remembering that we had warded off torrential rain the night before. Some water was collected, but it had begun receding when I retired for the night. I went to bed thinking, “See. It’s just another pesky storm”. 

That next morning, the panic in my husband’s voice told me something had gone terribly wrong. I ran to the window to peek through the blinds. I saw rushing water—water where the grass was just a few hours earlier. I ran to the back porch to get a bigger picture of what was happening. I saw explosive water coming through the berm; man-made boundaries meant to protect us from this very thing. The people who built the dike near our home had a plan for stopping water from invading the living space of the property line. 

In the following moments, as we quickly escaped to higher ground on our second floor, knowing everything on our first floor (including our vehicles outside) was a complete loss, the words from the author of Proverbs kept ringing in my head, “..we can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps…”

Why had God determined that my steps that day included losing our home to flooding rather than making dinner for my husband? I have no idea. While it doesn’t make sense to me, I know that I can trust Him. I know that Jesus, who is in charge of the order of my steps, is still far better than me having complete control. 

After those waters came for us, we were rescued by local heroes from Franklin Township. Since the surreal boat ride— across what used to be a street, we met two girls, complete strangers to one another, Cynthia and Illiana. These girls were bound to one another because they had both escaped the flooding waters. They were bound by both circumstance and experience—the same circumstance and experience we found ourselves in.

We got to experience firsthand how our community of coworkers, friends, and strangers can come together and walk beside us in the midst of catastrophe. They wrapped their arms around us and carried us, providing for our physical, emotional, and financial needs. 

It has been a truly beautiful and humbling experience. 

If God had gone with my plan, I would likely have experienced more mundane, run-of-the-mill, life stuff. But, instead, I have a wonderful story. A story of being rescued by heroes. A story of being carried by God’s people. An account of the Lord’s faithfulness. 

I would have never made plans to lose my home to a flood and have to rely on others for some of my most basic needs. But because the Lord ordered my steps that way, my faith has grown stronger. For that, I am most thankful.

Cari Kates
Director of Digital Content
Star 99.1


Posted in

Unlock weekly devotionals, contests, and
more in your inbox – Become a STAR 99.1 Insider today!

STAR 99.1


  1. Kat on September 30, 2021 at 7:23 am

    Thank you! I just needed it this!!!

    • Cari Kates on September 30, 2021 at 11:41 am

      Hey you’re so welcome! That’s how God works. 🙂

  2. Dominick Regina on September 30, 2021 at 7:34 am

    That is one amazing story! What struck me most was how you responded and worked through it all. You are truly an inspiration! God Bless you and your family!
    p.s. you still owe your husband a dinner 🙂

    • Cari Kates on September 30, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Ha! I do owe him dinner! Thank you so much for saying that. God definitely carried us.

  3. Sara on September 30, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Beautiful. May you continue to discover God’s bigger plan for His growth in your heart ❤️

    • Cari Kates on September 30, 2021 at 11:44 am

      Thank you. And I hope so! My faith has definitely grown through this.

  4. Barbara Stewart on September 30, 2021 at 8:44 am

    What a wonderful testimony. I’m always sad because I don’t always see the love of others, but your story shares they are there as God orders. Learning that I seem to experience abandonment or rejection but as taught by this pastor, it’s God redirecting my steps. This is a strong and spiritual testimony how you lost your home but you never lost Jesus. Blessings for you and your husband and family. God is our rescue as Psalm 91 clearly states.

    • Geraldine Pollice on September 30, 2021 at 9:03 am

      Wow! Just wow! You turned something so tragic into something so wonderful. Gods plans are bigger than ours. We may not understand it while it’s happening but God has a way , at some point, to put a positive spin on something so horrible.

      • ckates on October 1, 2021 at 5:43 pm

        There has been so much good that has come out of the flood! We just have to remember to look for it, sometimes. Or expect God to move in positive ways.

    • Cari Kates on September 30, 2021 at 11:46 am

      It’s helped me to ask God to help me see his work in my life. Sometimes, I just breeze past it, but other times, I’m able to see his hand in the most intricate details. He’s there all the time, but I often miss it.

  5. lisa on September 30, 2021 at 9:02 am

    Amen. I love how you took what could have been a mundane day to being able to see God’s hand in it. As Christians putting on God’s lenses confirms our belief in the truth. I pray that we can share these OPEN EYES with others and bring them truth and freedom in Jesus Christ! AMEN

    • ckates on October 1, 2021 at 5:42 pm

      “God’s lenses” that’s a great way to put it!

  6. Arlene B. Muller on September 30, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Floods are not God’s ordained will but God’s permissive will. Roman’s 8:28 still rings true: God makes ALL things, even bad things like floods, work to good for those who love Him & are called according to His purposes.

    I would like to think that GOD did not cause the flood–the flood is one of the negative consequences of living in a fallen world–but He knew it was coming & instead of choosing to stop it, He prepared the hearts & minds of those who got involved in rescuing you & others in a most loving way. I guess He also allowed it as a reminder that we are not as independent & self sufficient as we think we are, but we need Him & need one another. In the letter of James we are reminded that when we make our plans we are to add “if GOD wills”, so when I state a plan I add “GOD willing”.

    GOD bless you for your beautiful faith that enabled you to focus more on the good He was doing through the flood than on your losses. And may GOD see you through to recuperate from your loss & receive the good He has in store for you through it all. You have experienced the fulfillment of Isaiah 43: GOD was with you through the flood & though the floods overtook your possessions they did not overtake you or your husband!

    • Cari Kates on September 30, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      Yes and Amen! Thank you. We’ve seen God’s work through all of this and it has taught me so much.

  7. Rose on September 30, 2021 at 10:42 am

    God bless you and Husband . Inspirational testimony
    As well as the comments posted .
    Thank you , there’s always time in our life we need to be reminded that God is in control .
    Let’s continue to pray for one another .

    • Cari on September 30, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      Absolutely! Thank you, Rose.

Leave a Comment