What do you do when your plans don’t work out?

Have you heard the phrase or idiom “throw a wrench in the works?”  its meaning is as if you were to throw a wrench into the spokes of a bicycle or into machinery which would stop the engine immediately.

close view of woman with red lips biting gray special wrench

Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

I had a wrench in the works of my plan today.  My plan clearly did NOT work out. So let me ask, what do you do when your plans don’t work out? Let me tell you some helpful things I’ve practiced when my plan goes awry. First let me share a bit of the story of this morning.

May I back up a tad bit more? Yesterday I spoke at a mom’s meeting at a church and I felt the Holy Spirit allowed me to be used and we crushed it! As soon as I stepped off the stage it felt like someone grabbed me by the throat like a choke hold. I was to have a meeting after the main session and I noticed my voice was acting up during it.

It was touch and go all day too. I knew I needed to speak this morning again so I was disappointed when I awoke and my voice wasn’t any better. I could whisper but not speak. My husband comforted, “You’ll be fine.” Then asked, “You’ll be miked, right?”

I headed out, tea with lemon and honey in hand and drove to the speaking engagement. I made it just in time to meet a friend, Jodi and her daughter who were my assistants for the morning.

I greeted her in the parking lot, when she heard my whisper she said, “Oh, no!” and prayed for me right then and there. I warned her a bit jokingly through a gravel-like whisper, “Well, I wrote a blog a few weeks ago on the same topic, so if all else fails, maybe you’ll just read it to them.” I suggested.

I greeted the mentor moms with a smile. No words. I drew closer to them and tried to talk. I thought, Oh, golly Rachel this is like:

  • trying to give a power point presentation without a computer.
  • being hired to sing and play the guitar but forgetting your instrument.
  • signing up to provide the treats and forgetting the food.
air analogue black and white business

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The morning progressed with a few more wrenches in the works:

  • wireless microphone wouldn’t work
  • handheld microphone was gone.
  • all of the staff members were out of the building on a retreat
  • precious volunteer didn’t want to move us to another location as the sound board is very complex in that auditorium

As we waited to see if we could get all the different microphones figured out the women watched a video of mine on my youtube channel. (LINK INCLUDED BELOW.) They all really liked it and it warmed them up as they laughed and cried tears of joy.

See I didn’t plan it, but it ended up to be a really positive thing. It wasn’t just because we were stalling but I had a purpose in the morning. We learned all the microphones had been used the evening before and none of them were connected to the power source.

So without the ability to be amplified, we drew them all in real close and I spoke in the middle of them with only a whisper.  I gave them my best. I shared my heart with them.

I said, “Now, I’d like Jodi to read one of my blog posts from a few weeks ago.” She read it beautifully and it tied into what I’d already said.  Good news is they heard an example of one of my blog posts which ended up being serendipitous because perhaps some might subscribe. Yay God! I’m all about spreading encouragement!

The coordinator told me, “Rachel, you were so calm and collected through all the confusion, hurdles and roadblocks this morning. Man, none of our plans seemed to work out, but you really rolled with it!”

Long ago, I used to lead worship on Tuesday mornings, I received “The Flexible” award from the women’s ministry team. So let me just ask again, what do you do when your plans don’t work out?

Here’s a few of my suggestions:

  • Breathe
  • Pray
  • Course correct quickly
  • Adapt to the new plan
  • Recognize God is in charge and has a good plan
  • Go with it & get the best out of it as it unfolds
  • Embrace the results

This morning I whispered one final comment to the audience of women. “God has been teaching me to lean in to Him as I “wait” on Him. The word picture for wait is one of a listener leaning in like when someone is whispering.


Isn’t that fitting? It became clear to me as I watched those precious women lean in to every word I was saying. I praise God he has a way of getting said what he wants said. One of the young moms came up to me and said, “I can’t stay because I have to run to pick up my son, but I wanted to be sure to let you know that was completely amazing! Really… just amazing!

My reply was simply whispered, “Thank you!”

Then, in my spirit I hurried to Him with the love note. Thanks for this God, glory to your great name.

Here’s the YOUTUBE LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liPNH6L-xDE&t=642s



  1. Michelle · November 15, 2018

    I think nothing could have been more needed that morning then God’s words through you and quietness. I don’t often get to sit in such peace. It was truly one of my favorite mornings at Mom’s Connection. Thank you for your words, your flexibility and for being a blessing to so many people. I look forward to hearing you speak every year! And yes… I subscribed!


    • rinouye · December 14, 2018

      I’m so delighted you were blessed. Thanks for subscribing to the blog I will also start a podcast “the real deal” in 2019. I hope you’ll check it out. I pray it bring life and encouragement to many. Merry Christmas to you!


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