Is this Plan B … or Part Two of Plan A?

In a 2015 post, I wrote about driving from Oregon to southern California and being escorted off the Pacific Coast Highway by two highway patrol cars.

It struck me as odd that there was no traffic on the PCH. None behind me, none ahead. But I enjoyed the show as the sun painted a watercolor sky and then bowed off stage behind the Pacific Ocean.


Out of nowhere, two patrol cars with lights flashing charged in, pinning my vehicle so I couldn’t make a quick get-away.

The officers wanted to know where I was going, where I was coming from, and why I’d ignored the flashing signs that indicated the highway was closed. Um … there were no signs.

And then they provided my very own private escort—one in front, one on my rear bumper—back in the direction from whence I had come.

It was an impressive welcome to southern California.

I had just stepped into widowhood. In that 2015 blog, I wrote about how life has its Plan B’s and how I never intended to live in the sunny land of SoCal but since I was there, I was going to make the best of it.

In time, I came to think of this detour not as Plan B, but as “Part Two of Plan A”, a phrase coined by Bo Stern, author and speaker.

Part Two of Plan A. I like that kind of thinking.

When we lose something of deep-seated value—a loved one, our health, a marriage—God whispers to our hearts, “My Plan A for your life isn’t messed up. This didn’t catch me by surprise. Watch and see what I can do in Part Two of Plan A.”

I love that about God.

Nothing ever catches Him off guard so that He has to quickly come up with a sloppy Plan B for us.

We get His best plan. Plan A.

After a bleak season, I am in an overflowing space. I couldn’t have imagined being cherished by a new husband—this considerate, funny, adventure-loving man who wakes me up every morning with hot tea. That his friends and adult children would become my friends. That his grands would become my grands, and his home my home.

But God imagined it all for me.

He knew, as I walked through the long wilderness years—financial reversals and caregiver to my mom with Alzheimer’s and a husband with cancer, followed by widowhood—that I would come out into this bountiful place. 

Yes, God has to deal with our choices and the choices of others around us. But He is a Best-Selling Author, and I think He finds great delight in inviting us to help Him write the remaining chapters of our lives.

This from an author unknown:

God is still writing your story. Don’t let go of your faith because of what you have yet to see.


How not to be anxious


What are you homesick for?


  1. Tanya


  2. Amen. I love this, Marlys. It gives me hope as I wait for my Part Two of Plan A.

  3. Pat

    Love the inspirational blog that you write. I pray that Dan is healing well.


  4. Jan Kimbrough

    Thank you for such an important reminder that God does have a Part Two of Plan A. I just entered my 5th year of widowhood. God has blessed me with wonderful friends and family. I am happy most of my days but I crave male companionship. I wish I could be satisfied with where I’m at.

    • I was content as a widow, as well, Jan. Until. Until there came the time when I longed for male conversation and companionship. I get where you are.

  5. Patti Ann Ridgway

    God’s perspective is so much bigger than ours….

  6. This is a wonderful post. So true. God is at work in amazing ways. ❤️

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