When What We Want and What We Need Aren’t the Same

We all face choices. What can we do when what seemed like a good plan starts to fall apart?

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros

When I got home from my mission, I had it all planned out. 

I wanted to leave for college early to see my friends, find a place to live, and settle into a routine again. But my dad presciently suggested, “Why don’t you just stay here until the new semester starts?” At first, I didn’t want to follow his suggestion because life back home felt like it was at a standstill. But as I thought it over, I knew he was right. Trying to find housing and a job right in the middle of the semester would be difficult. Despite my disappointment, I adjusted my plan and stayed.

Fast forward now to two weeks before I left for school—I met the man who would later be my husband. I realized that if I’d chosen my plan to leave for college early, my husband and I wouldn’t have crossed paths. What I wanted was so different from what I needed. I believe the Lord knew that and thus inspired my dad to encourage me to stay home longer.

Sometimes, through no fault of our own, the plans we make start to crumble. In Stephanie J. Burns’s article “When Good Plans Don’t Work Out,” she highlights the importance of remembering that the Lord is always in the details. 

When our plans fall apart, we must trust our Heavenly Father and his plan. We can have hope and trust in his ability to see far more than we can. Burns shares, “Regardless of the turns life’s journey may take, the final destination of eternal life is what Heavenly Father plans for His children (see Moses 1:39). Some may even find that ‘plan B’ was simply a way of making His ‘plan A’ a reality.” 

When we turn everything over to the Lord, we often find that what we want and what we need become one. 

Read more in “When Good Plans Don’t Work Out” by Stephanie J. Burns to learn about the stories of Todd, Sung Eun, Tina, and Alessia and the lessons they learned in trusting God’s timing. 

Source: Ensign

—Oakli Van Meter, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Read Natalie Kokol’s insights on knowing we’re heading in the right direction. 

Discover Ann M. Dibb’s thoughts on Joshua 1:9 and remembering that God is always with us.

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One Comment

  1. This is something I think about a lot. Sometimes a good decision isn’t always the right one. Following God’s will will always lead us in the right direction!

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