About the Author

Jo Myles is a mother of two equally darling and conniving children (ages 6 and 4) , married to her high school sweetheart, and a newly minted Ohio resident, hailing most recently from coastal Maine. She's a naptime freelancer, a recovering corporate hamster wheeler, a sometimes runner, and a frequent...

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    • I see it! Okay, not really, of course not. But up here in Ohio, we are seeing the sun for the first time in what feels like 20 years, so I’m starting to believe anything is possible. Thanks for your company on this foggy New Year’s Eve. 🙂

  1. I’m a planner, too. In fact, I had my whole life planned out. Then, I met my husband during my senior year of college, and we married 10 months later. He’s not a planner. He’s relaxed and a bit of a dreamer. And it drives us both crazy – all of the time. We too are in a bit of fog. We’ve been here for two years now. Maybe longer. And I struggle with trust. I’m just waiting for the next bad thing to happen as it seems that’s all that does happen. But I try to pray for guidance and peace. Every evening and morning and in the middle of the day, too. I know God is there, but I struggle to see Him (and everything else) in this fog. Thank your for your words. I know I needed to read them.

    • Leslie, I’m so with you–there’s nothing even remotely easy about trust, especially for us planner types. It is such a struggle to see God’s hand at work, especially in the midst of suffering or limbo. But when I look back far enough (say, 15 years), I start to see the most amazing things–HIS plan taking shape, HIS purposes being fulfilled. And even when so much of the struggle doesn’t make sense even now, I find hope, that HIS plan is perfect.
      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

  2. I understand too well! My favorite past time is making lovely lists. You’re right about giving Him control in our lives, especially since He has it anyway!

    I pray all of you have a blessed 2011.

  3. Great post! I feel blessed this arrived in my inbox today as we are going through some major life changes in 2011! Good luck… never stop trusting! Our God is an amazing & loving God!

  4. I absolutely understand and both hands are raised high here in Texas! We’re not even sure what country we’ll be in this time next year… My husband is in the Army and is ALSO a dreamer type. It sure does make life interesting though and I have learned to appreciate the different perspective from a non-retentive planner. But it doesn’t matter to me where we’ll go, because I trust the Lord will place us where he needs us!

    • Oh Lauren, an Army wife? So OF COURSE the word “limbo” is cemented into your vocabulary! My little sis is in your shoes right now–only her “not knowing” relates to when her husband will finally come home from the desert. What would we all do if it weren’t for a sovereign, gracious God? Blessings to you in 2011, no matter where you end up!

  5. Kindred spirit, you have GOT to stop crawling into my head and writing it out! It’s getting a bit freaky (check my post today about my word for 2011 – you guessed it, it’s ENOUGH!). This is gorgeous and honest, some of your best writing this year. Maybe because it was born and refined for a year in your soul? Who knows. But this speaks to me, ministers to me and, since I am a charismatic at heart, makes me want to wave a white hanky and shout AMEN! a bit.

    • I’m sorry, Sarah, but your brain is such a beautiful place to be, I just can’t bring myself to leave. 🙂 But seriously, I did read your post today, and yes, I feel like we’re forever hanging out on the save wavelength. I don’t have a white hanky to wave, but you can bet I’m yelling a hearty AMEN right back at ya.
      Love to you, sweet friend, and may your 2011 be a year in which you find that you are Enough, that He is Enough.

  6. Both hands raised here! God is teaching me to choose trust and have faith in Him as I’m waiting and obeying even when I don’t feel like it.

    • Carrie, can I tell you a secret? I NEVER feel like waiting. And I rarely feel like obeying. As simple as it is, trust and faith do not come naturally for my wayward soul. Thank God for His grace, His patience.
      Best wishes for a faith-filled (and obedient even when we don’t wanna be) 2011!

  7. Beautiful, Jo, and so right. I’ve come to a similar realization this year. Plans fail, health fails, I fail, other people fail me, but God never will. And if God is the only one of those I can really count on, that’s where I’m putting all my hope and faith. Or at least, that’s where I’m learning to put them. 🙂

    • I’m learning too, my friend. This is the type of learning that lasts a lifetime, I think. (Too bad we can’t just defend our thesis and be done with it, eh?)

  8. Simply love this post! It ALWAYS helps to “season” the batch with humor, doesn’t it? He is enough, and more than enough!!! I must remind myself that His Perspective is perfect, mine is incredibly limited, and He is completely Trustworthy!! Happy foggy 2011!! 🙂

  9. Without the specifics, these could easily be my words. We’ve been in limbo for two years now, something I never expected. We live far, far away from any family; both own and rent houses while scraping by on one teacher’s salary. If I think about it too much, I crumble. BUT GOD. That’s it!

    • I remember reading a post you wrote here a while back and thinking the same thing—change a few specifics and this is my story.
      BUT GOD. Yep. That’s it.

  10. Wonderful post; in my case, I’m married to the planner and he’s married to the other. And yes, it does create an…interesting…environment :).

    Your words encourage; your faith-eyes give your circumstance substance and significance in spite of fear that threatens to creep in.

    So beautifully written…I wish everyone would have opportunity to see it! 🙂

    • Thanks, Robin. I’m thinking when God came up with the “opposites attract” law of physics, he thought just that, “Well, THIS should keep things INTERESTING!” 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words, and happy new year to you!

  11. Thanks for writing this post. I have a hard time trusting and with fear of the unknown. God also had much different plans than I did. 🙂

    • Danielle, I’m starting to think the struggle to trust, the fear of the unknown, that it’s a universal struggle, to which very few of us are immune. I’m getting to the point (after much banging my head against the wall) where I actually am glad God’s plans were different than mine, and that He is at work in fulfilling them–for both of us–even now.

    • Corinne, do you remember being there in that kitchen with me in one of those late December days? I remember stammering out the explanation about how I didn’t know what next year held for us–all the various possibilities–while I steamed milk for mochas and wondered out loud about the future.
      And now, you’re in a very similar spot with so many possibilities for 2011. I just wish I could return the favor, sit down with you for coffee while you talk through the fears, the future, the possibilities. I wish we still lived close enough to make that happen!
      Happy new year, friend!

      • I do remember 🙂 have thought of that playdate quite a bit today, as it was right around now when we were in Maine for New Years! It’s amazing what a year can bring…

  12. Hey Jo!
    This New Year’s Day passes One year in this church and parsonage… how long we are here for? as much as I would like to say, “30 years or more”, I have learned not to say…. 7 years ago I was sitting in the Philippines thinking I would be there for the rest of my life. My plans are all in God’s hands, I have to take them one moment at a time. I have lived a long time in constant upheaval… it sort of feels normal now so I don’t really make many long term plans anymore. 🙂
    {hugs} and Happy New Year!!

    • One moment at a time, leaving the moments yet to come in God’s hands. You’re right, Sharon, I think that’s the only way to live.
      Love to you, and best wishes for a wonderful 2011 (in which–Lord willing–I’m finally gonna get to meet you!)

  13. Thank you for this post – it’s so good to know I’m not alone! I have passed so many New Year’s Eve’s in exactly those same foggy places with all my diligent plans smashed yet again. I too married a dreamer (mine’s in the Air Force), and though God has blessed us mightily He has never once done it in a way I expected or could have imagined. I finally got the message and stopped trying to plan, and am now in the process of actively learning to take whatever comes gracefully. Ann Voskamp blogged two days ago about learning to live in each moment as it’s given to us this coming year and it really touched my heart! If that sounds helpful to anyone else too, you can find it here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/12/the-only-place-to-really-live-the-year-of-here/

    • Jamie, yes, I LOVED Ann’s post about living each moment as it is given. Thank you for pointing us to it here.
      As someone also married to a dreamer/air force guy, I am right there with you. The foggy places are so familiar, have become almost the norm. God rarely works as we expect Him to, and I’m coming to see that as evidence of His grace.

  14. I am raising my hand and waving in the biggest fogginess that I have ever been in. Thanks for your words of encouragement and your “I’ve been there” attitude! It was a breath of fresh air for me starting out this new year.

    THANKS SO MUCH!!

  15. Amen… sister. Thank you for your honesty and candid comments about the tension between faith and the reality of living in this world.

  16. oh jo, i’ve been here… and God too has linked me with an opposite who both drives me insane and drives me into heaven’s arms. what a beautiful post. what a post filled with promise. thank kyou.

  17. See my hand in Maryland? This year left me reeling. Here’s to trusting God with 2011. Thanks for this beautiful post!

  18. This is so well-written, Jo. I found myself nodding and laughing and humming with every paragraph. I am waving my hand so hard, it’s liable to fall straight off.

    I’ve often looked back at my college self and I can see SO CLEARLY that I had “God’s will” all figured out for me by the time I was 20. I had written it down, carefully scripted the goals and dreams, and I held it up to him like a contract and sad, “Sign here.”

    He didn’t sign. I think He might have laughed and sighed at the same time.

    And I’m so thankful He knows more than me. I’m certainly not a black-belt in faith yet. But I’m getting there. His plans are better than mine. Always.

    • I think our college selves would have gotten along beautifully, almost as beautifully as our current (hopefully wiser and not just older!) selves. Love you, my friend. Glad to be in this journey together.

  19. Jo- I can’t tell you how much I needed this today- this year. This is the first glimmer of insight the Lord has given me as I look into the unknown of this year. Thank-You. This is going in my journal right. now.

    • Jess, I’m so glad it encouraged you. I know the uncertainty you’re facing– and I’m praying God brings it all together in an unmistakably sovereign way (and also that He brings you within a few miles of me!)

  20. Jo! I’m so very glad I caught your guest post here — though I am way, way late. I think you already know how much of a Type A planner I am, so you know how much I can relate to this. I admire your honesty and your courage in writing about fear and trust here. It’s something not many of us are brave enough to share, but most of us battle as well.

    And by the way…the mention of the Forenza skirt really took me back! I laughed out loud when I read the brand Forenza!!!