There’s a quote attributed to Actor/Director/Writer Woody Allen that goes, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” For most of my life, this phrase conflicted with the biblical principles drilled into my head by my grandmother and others: “you reap what you sow,” “ask and you shall receive,” and “the lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.” I understood these to mean that if I behaved and carried myself a certain way while making an effort to achieve dreams, goals and overcome obstacles, nothing was beyond my reach.
I forgot one crucial thing ; that, as I believe, God also plays a role in my future. Therefore, I, alone, don’t determine my destiny. Thus, I now realize Allen and the biblical quote, “a man’s heart plans the way but the Lord directs his steps,” seems to explain the twists and turns my life has taken.
My plan was simple. It was to live a long, happy, wealthy life that would allow me to buy a house, get married, earn an advanced degree, have children, write books and retire from my chosen profession by 50 so I can spend my layer years teaching and doing charity work.
However, despite my best efforts, my life has not unfolded as I planned. I developed an autoimmune disease that saps my energy and money. It’s also hindered my ability to have children of my own. It’s made me question if I’ll reach an old age.
Yet, every day I rise, or at least the majority of them, I thank God for my blessings (my ability to walk, talk, to see, hear and taste) and ask that I’m allowed to live as well as I can, learn as much as I can and love as deeply as I can.
I do so because I know that even the best laid plans can require adjustment for proper execution. And, I’m determined to live the best that I can regardless of how many changes to my original vision must be made. After all, what’s the alternative? Giving up, accepting failure and unhappiness. Yeah, those are not options for me. I know I deserve, have and will always fight for better.
About the Author:
Nika C. Beamon is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House. In 2009, her first non-fiction book, I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful, Single Black Women Speak Out was published by Chicago Review Press. She’s also the author of two mystery novels.