The Plan Came First - Girlfriends in God - May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015
The Plan Came First
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you (Jeremiah 1:5, NCV).

Friend to Friend

Beginnings are very important. In fact, the place of origin has much to do with the quality of the journey as well as the final destination.

My journey - like yours - began in the heart and mind of God. Before I took even one breath, God wanted, loved, and planned me. That same truth applies to you. You are not an accident. You and I were created in response to the love of God and according to His plans. God did not “accidentally” create us and then step back in alarm and say, “Oops! I made her. Now what am I going to do with her?” 

The plan came first.

There have been so many times in my life when I have doubted my worth and questioned my value. I filled every waking moment with activity – really good things – thinking that if I did enough good things, I would be good enough. It didn’t work.

When a doctor told us that we could not have biological children, I was devastated … but honestly, not completely surprised. I didn’t really deserve that kind of happiness.

A two-year crash-and-burn battle with clinical depression left me absolutely broken and helpless, sitting at the bottom of a very dark and lonely pit. It seemed like a fitting place for a loser like me.

Looking at my MRI, the doctor said, “I understand why you are in so much pain, Mary. You have severe scoliosis.” Why not? Just one more confirmation that I am one badly flawed vessel.

Like many of you, my life has been anything but easy. All I have ever wanted is to be the woman God created me to be and to do what He created me to do. And that is exactly what I am doing and being … pain and flaws and all. God uses even my weaknesses to accomplish His plan for my life. In fact, I believe that each broken place is the perfect spot through which His light and sufficiency shine best. Those are not just words. They are fact.

When we realized we could never have biological children, we adopted a boy and a girl … and I cannot imagine our lives without them. Today they are amazing adults with families of their own … both walking testimonies of God’s grace and perfect provision.

The battle with clinical depression continues … and keeps me on my face before God. Those two years at the bottom of that pit redefined me and freed me from so many fears and insecurities.

Scoliosis is very painful and can only be managed … not cured. But it allows me to relate to people dealing with chronic pain. It also makes me rest when I don’t really want to rest … but need to rest.

No … I can never be good enough to earn the love and favor of God. But the good news is … I don’t have to be! My worth and value rest in the fact that I am chosen by God to be His very own child. I am loved, wanted and planned by God Himself. Wow! God Himself supervised my formation – and yours.

Psalm 139:14-16 (NCV) “I praise You because You made me in an amazing and wonderful way. What You have done is wonderful. I know this very well. You saw my bones being formed as I took shape in my mother's body. When I was put together there, You saw my body as it was formed. All the days planned for me were written in Your book before I was one day old.”

When you begin to understand and live out the eternal truth that you are loved, planned, wanted, and chosen by God, His perfect plan and highest purpose will naturally unfold before you each day. In His eyes, you are special. His plan for your life is second to none. Don’t settle for anything less!

Let’s Pray

Father, I want to know You and find Your plan for my life. I choose to see myself through Your eyes of love, forgiveness and grace. I want to be the woman You created me to be. Thank You for loving me. Help me to walk each day in the knowledge that I am Your child.

In Jesus’ name,


Now It’s Your Turn

  • Do you really believe God loves you unconditionally? 
  • What proof of that belief is evident in your life?
  • Do you consider yourself worthy? Why or why not?
  • Read Psalm 139 each day for one month. Record each new truth you learn, the changes in your perspective, and any fresh insights in your journal. 
  • At the end of the month, write Psalm 139 in your own words and share it with a friend. 

More from the Girlfriends

I have spent many years trying to earn the favor and love of God. I worked very hard at being the person I thought God wanted me to be instead of seeking Him to discover who He created me to be. Rick Warren once asked me, “Mary, who is going to be you if you don’t be you?” I had to stop and think about that question for a minute. I realized that God really does have a special plan just for me and that my highest act of obedience is to seek that plan each and every day. My book, Hope in the Midst of Depression is the story of my struggle to see myself as God sees me and in doing so, to be set free from the bondage of darkness. Check it out!

Be sure to take a look at the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.

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Huntersville, NC 28070

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Originally published Monday, 11 May 2015.