I love planning. Like, really, I love planning. I like starting something from scratch and seeing it through to the end. I like seeing an event in my imagination and then getting to go through the process of making it happen in real life. So when my boyfriend’s mom, Anne, texted me to ask me help her plan his 17th birthday party, I was more than thrilled to agree. A party to plan? I’m always willing.

First things first: A day. Anne and I decided on September 17th, the weekend before his birthday. I decided an afternoon would be good for a come-and-go setting where people could stop by and say hi as they go about their normal Saturday plans. 2-6 pm on Saturday, September 17th.

Next: A venue. Where should we host this shindig? I called so-and-so at such-and-such place and booked a beautiful park with a lake and a dock and a shelter and hiking trails. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon.

Step three: Activities. I stressed over this one for a while. What do you do at an outdoor party? Obviously we could walk the trails. There would be food, but Anne was taking care of that. What else? I called a friend and asked him to bring his outdoor games, which include cornhole and hillbilly golf, also known as ladder ball. I mean, this is southern Indiana, after all, and no outdoor party in southern Indiana is complete without corn hole.

I made invitations and printed them and Ben and I passed them out at school and on the 15th, two days before the party, I decided that everything was set for this perfectly-planned party on Saturday, September 17th from 2 to 6 pm.

But… wait…

Saturday, September 17th… 2 to 6 pm…

That date, that time… It sounded so familiar. But why? I didn’t have any plans, right? I mean, I’d been planning this for months. How could I have other plans?

But alas, I did indeed have other plans. I had to work from 2 to 5 pm. 2-5! And Ben’s party was 2-6! What did I do!?

I texted every single person who works at Orange Leaf and not a single one could cover my shift. And we have a lot of employees.

I was a mess. I was stressed and freaking out, and I just didn’t know what to do. I told Ben that I would miss most of his party, and I told my mom that I was working, and I prayed to God that the whole situation would work itself out. I just could not get over the fact that I’d planned my boyfriend’s party during my shift at work. How could I do that!?

Friday night came, the night before the party, and still no one had said they could work anything out. I texted a friend and asked if she could go in early so I could at least get off work early and stop by a little sooner, but that wasn’t going to work either. I was heartbroken. I was going to miss Ben’s party. I trudged my way to bed and fell asleep stressed and upset.

And I was awakened that morning by a call from my manager. “Hello?” I answered the phone rather tiredly, holding a yawn in the back of my throat.

“Hi, Katherine, this is your manager from Orange Leaf. How are you?”

I was so confused. “I’m good, how are you?”

“I’m good. I was actually calling to let you know that since business is slowing down I’ve been cutting shifts, and I had to cut your shift today.”

I. was. shocked.

“Oh? Ok.” I tried so hard to contain my excitement. She explained apologetically why I wasn’t needed at work, and it was all I could do to pretend to be at least a little upset about it, but in my head I was screaming with joy and relief that I wouldn’t have to work.

Did you get that? I wouldn’t have to work. 

So this time my plans worked out. God somehow told my manager to cut my shift instead of anyone else’s, and I was able to go to the party I planned. All of my stress and worry and prayer and hope and effort actually worked out. I planned a party and I got to see it through, beginning to end.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:6-8

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