Stories for H: Man Plans, God Decides

“You may make your plans, but God directs your actions.” Proverbs 16:9

Dear H,
“Man plans but God decides, so sometimes you’ll make plans, but things won’t always go your way”
I had the rare chance of studying while young thanks to your grandparents who enrolled me in Primary one at the age of 4.

This, with the good fortune of not repeating any class, meant that when I joined Campus in September 2014, I was only 17, short of becoming of legal drinking age two months later in November.

Because I had enrolled for a three-year course, the writing on the wall was that I would graduate in 2017, at the age of 21 with at least another nine years to spare before I hit the third floor.

So I made a plan, two years into my course I’d decided that I was going to pursue a Master’s degree right after my Bachelor’s, I was going to study while working as my dad before me had done.

I earned some money as a bookkeeper, ghostwriter and had just got my first paycheck from web design so I wasn’t worried about how I would make money, figured eventually I would save enough money to pay for it on my own.

Once I graduated, I figured I’d drop all my side gigs and establish myself in a journalism career plying my trade diligently for the Daily Monitor (for me there was never any other newspaper), I saw myself seated in a cubicle in that building on 8th street scribbling myself into stardom like greats like Mwenda, Obore and Mwanguhya had done.

Everything seemed to be going to plan until it just wasn’t.
From losing important people in my life to a bout of writer’s block that got me fired, a robbery that took my very source of survival and left me reeking in debt, then depression chipped in, and stuff I’d thought I’d buried returned to haunt me, my world crumbled.

In the space of a few months, it changed, I’d thought my problems would come in 3’s but they didn’t, they came in 10ths, fear crept in and so did doubt, esteem issues took advantage too and came to devour what was left of me, everything that could have gone wrong did, then nothing was ever the same, the journalist dream became a labored thing, I didn’t think I’d cut it.

A year after I should have graduated I walked the lanes of my university a broken man, disillusioned and zoombied through to attend my lectured, I was 22 and still in school, life hadn’t worked out, I failed to graduate, had lost the side gigs and was barely surviving since the little I got was spent trying to repay my debt in uneven inconsistent installments and that hurt, my plans hadn’t materialized, in its place something else had.

I’d messed up big time, the world, it turned out as Augustus waters had once blurted out amidst tears in “The Fault in our Stars” was not a wish granting factory and for me it had all become pointless.

So I lived on with my disappointment, lived in shame, whined a great deal about the things that were not going right, gave up all that mattered to me including writing and withdrew from friendships and relationships.

This went on for a while and it dragged on for months and while I didn’t always acknowledge it, I had people all over me, from your grandmother who prayed for me and ways my spiritual campus and hype woman, to your granddad who never stopped believing even when I did.

I had friends too who still loved me regardless, friends who without judging told me I could do better and even helped me better myself, a boss at work who sat with me till midnight so I could submit a course work, I was short of love.

I finally accepted what had happened and made peace with my role in it, my screw ups didn’t go away immediately but slowly it fell in place.

At the age of 23, I graduated, spent a year home as a freelancer, not as a journalist but as a Web-designer cum marketer. Before I knew, my first job post graduation cme through in 2020, not as journalist again but as a Business Development Officer- years spent freelancing as a bookkeeper and then later marketer came in handy and I embraced the opportunities regardless of what I thought I should be doing, life really had a strange sense of humour.

But if I thought it was done, I’d never been wrong H, as I tell you this chapter of my life am amazed at how far from my original plan I am.

As I write in my small room, housed in Adjumani, more than four hundred and fifty kilometers from 8th Street in Namwongo, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come, have no hard feelings for not being in a newsroom, feel privileged to ply my trade as a humanitarian worker, take pride in showing up every day and making the lives of refugees better through the work I do.

Hope you’ll pardon me for saying too much but In my own detailed way, I wanted to tell you that as a person you’ll make plans, but not everything you desire shall mature to fruition and that’s part of life, I would argue it’s one of its more beautiful perks- its unpredictability.
And I’m not trying to underscore the importance of planning and having dreams.

Far from it, I’m still a huge dreamer and I’d gladly quote for you all the thought provoking things greats like Pablo Picasso and Allan Lakein have shared on the importance of planning which I’m still a huge fan of.

I just hope that unlike me you’ll have the flexibility to adjust course when you come to a crossroad and what was your planned road turns out to be closed.

I’ll take it an inch further and quote some random internet guy or was it girl who said “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.”

In all honesty, I have no doubt that you’ll be discouraged at times, I just hope that when the picture you’ve painted of your future loses meaning, you find the will to draw another one, that you won’t get lost in the tide of disappointment but ride on top of it.

I hope you always remember than man (and woman) plans but God decides, so yours will be to tread the path set before you by God and by knowing what is within and what isn’t within your control, you’ll be spared of a great deal of disappointment.


Hi dear reader, as always thanks for reading, in case you’re reading for the first time I’ll have you know that I’m currently writing a series of stories for my daughter which will run for three days in a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can check out previous stories by clicking on the links below.

Apwoyo matek (Thank you very much)

5 Comments Add yours

  1. conniedia says:

    All I can say is indeed God decides. Am glad you can tell the tale.. very needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s something I had to experience to understand


  2. Very beautiful piece indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Emmanuel, means a lot🙏


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