When Not Making Sense Is the Best Thing

Gold Brush Stroke

Surrender: We can't find our life by planning it.

I thought I became a scientist because I loved biology and nature and studying the living.

But recently I realized it was more than that. I became a scientist because I like everything to make sense, to have its place, to work together in a certain way to get a certain result.

But life isn’t like that, is it?

Our days aren’t wrapped up in nice neat packages. Everything doesn’t have a perfect place. Not everything happens the way we think it should. Circumstances get in the way.

Life’s unexpected happenings muddy our ideals of

  • marrying the perfect spouse,
  • giving birth to just the right number of children,
  • raising said children in the perfect home environment of consistent love and encouragement,
  • having jobs we love and adequate finances,
  • and even handling any obstacles that pop up with grace and poise.

These are the ABCs of the life I had planned. Maybe the one you had planned too.

But life threw me a curve ball in the form of miscarriages and a child who is teaching me that less is more.

And life no longer worked the way it should. It quit making sense.

Yet a startling thing happened. When I could no longer figure it out, when nothing any longer made sense, when I quit trying to make it conform to my plan, then my life took on a far richer meaning.

When I quit trying to make it conform to my plan, then my life took on a far richer meaning. Share on X

When I was willing to surrender my life, I gained it.

I gave up my ideals of what life on earth should look like for a far more lofty goal of serving the Creator. I left behind my understanding for His.

I gave myself to the majestic One I can never figure out (the Three-in-One). I said yes to the sovereign One who does’t always make human sense (the least is the greatest?). I surrendered to the mysterious One who can’t be proven by the scientific method (raised from the dead!).

No matter how hard we try, we can’t find our life by planning it. 

No matter how hard we try, we can't find our life by planning it. Share on X

That might be the scientific way, but it’s not God’s way for us. Our lives are kept in His hands, in His heart.

So when we surrender ourselves and give up our plans to the Lord, that’s when we find our life.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

Reflections: When did you realize your life wasn’t going to go as you had planned? When did you realize that was for the best and surrendered your will? If you haven’t yet, what is stopping you? 

I’m happy to link up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart and Suzie Eller for #livefree Thursday and this week’s prompt, #selfie. To be filled with encouragement; just click on one or both of the images below. 

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By His Grace,



  1. Jodie on January 22, 2015 at 8:43 am

    For this girl who likes to plan these words speak loud! Today I am studying Hebrews 11 and 12 and in looking at the life of Sarah I think we see this very example in her life. She wanted to lay out the plan because God’s was unusual and taking a lot of time. Thank you for reminding us that we must surrender to the plans we can not see! 🙂

    • Julie Sunne on January 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      I’m only reminding you of what I needed reminded of too, Jodie. But, you’re welcome. 🙂 Sarah is a perfect example.

  2. Kim S on January 22, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Julie, what a beautiful post. Love the reminder of Jeremiah 29:11 – lots of ups and downs in our lives but we can count on God’s truth and his plans for us. Have a great day! Kim #livefree kimstewartinspired.com

  3. Kristi on January 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Hi Julie,
    I’m joining you today via #livefree.
    “When I was willing to surrender my life, I gained it. ” Yes indeed. This is such truth and is a good reminder for me today concerning a Starbucks conversation a friend and I had this morning. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder.

    • Julie Sunne on January 22, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Happy to be providing the reminder, Kristi. God’s timing of course. 🙂

  4. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on January 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I learned a long time (eons) ago that my life wasn’t what I thought it would be.I have spent a long time searching for what God wanted it to be.There have been some ups and downs as I went through calamaties but He was always there, showing me what I had to do and guiding me through those rough spots.

  5. Heather Walker on January 22, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I’m not sure I ever had my own plan, Julie. life did not make sense to me for a long time. I spent the first three quarters of my life saying, “I don’t understand.” Learning always seemed to be delayed and then I was diagnosed with some type of organic brain dysfunction and life became even more confused. This was followed by an abusive marriage and a subsequent suicide. Out of it all, I developed a new and surprising to me interest in mind/body medicine and researching my own diagnosis and beginning to understand how God has always had a plan for my life. Thanks for this post and giving me more food for thought. I struggle to write my own story.

    • Julie Sunne on January 22, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Dear Heather, I’m honored you chose to share a bit of your story here and am sorry you had to walk through those long years of suffering. It may not always feel like it, but you are loved deeply and eternally. God loves you!

      And yes, He has a plan for you. And it is a good plan, although it may not make sense to our finite minds. We only need to walk hand-in-hand with Him to tap into His unsurpassed peace and contentment. If you haven’t dug into the Apostle Paul’s letters yet, you may find them comforting.

      You are beginning to share your story; this comment is evidence. You may want to read Jo Ann Fore’s book, When A Woman Finds Her Voice: Overcoming Life’s Hurts & Using Your Story to Make a Difference. Jo Ann walked through some similar ordeals and can offer insight and encouragement as you search for your voice.

      May God bless you in your journey to better know who you are in Him.

      • Heather Walker on January 22, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        Thank you for your note back to me. I have contacted Jo Ann and hope to read her book in the near future. Books have always been more readily available to me than people. I am beginning to accept and believe that I am loved deeply and eternally and it has made all the difference in my world. Though I have not completed my manuscript, God has given me the courage to speak of my journey publically several times last year and once this year. I know he has a plan because people in the congregation thanked me for sharing so deeply and also remarked that people don’t generally share at such depth though it is needed.During my last speaking engagement I broke my own silence in regards to my past struggle with suicidal ideation and the attempts I made to end my own life. It is my deepest desire that my book will be published with the title DARE I SPEAK: Daring to Mourn Restores Mental and Physical Wellbeing.

        • Julie Sunne on January 22, 2015 at 11:18 pm

          Captivating title, Heather. Your courage is inspiring.

          • Heather Walker on January 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm

            Thank you Julie. I’ve added you to my list of “enlightened witnesses” those individuals who come alongside of me through part of my journey and have fanned the ember of fire in my heart to testify of God’s faithfulness to me.

  6. Suzanne Eller on January 23, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Our days aren’t wrapped up in nice neat packages. Everything doesn’t have a perfect place. Not everything happens the way we think it should. –> This describes our life right now. Thanks for the encouragement. <3

    • Julie Sunne on January 23, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Praying for you and your family, Suzie.

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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