God’s Plan

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Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This will be a very transparent message:

Before getting married after I was tired of being homeless, broke, and broken I decided to choose God by starting the journey of going to church. When marrying my husband 22 years ago I thought I had hit the jackpot and I was about to live the dream of the white picket fence with the children playing in the yard kind of life. But, when I say God had another plan that did not fit in my plans or my agenda. My plans became crushed and my journey of learning, listening, and loving begin.
If God would have told me that my husband would be a Pastor of a church before we got married I may have said “I don’t and not I do”. Listen, don’t judge me lol. I would have chosen anything else i f I would have known the pain, tears, and tribulations of a pastor’s wife. Listen…..

Before becoming a pastor’s wife my husband and I experienced some things, but nothing like what we have experienced as pastors within these 13 years of pastoring. I would say this is when the journey of my plans was crushed by God and he had other plans for my life. Let’s Pause, don’t act like you never had a plan and God switch the plan up on you. In your heart, you’re like God I know you have plans for my life, but this was not the plan I had for me. When we started pastoring around year two….I was like wait, what, Flag on the play Lord Jesus help us, please.
When I say this has been a journey. I could write a book about the things we have experienced. Wait for I have written two books about this journey of pastoring lol, Church hurt, but it helped and You are the Fragrance for Pastor’s wives. No for real, I don’t wish this calling or position on anyone, but I would not take away the experience at all. When I look back today I realized that God had a plan when all we experienced was pain that cruised us as leaders. I know that sound contradicting.


Let’s talk …. I am you and you are me

Adversity, pain, or crushing moments are not prejudice, it comes into everyone’s life. We all have to experience seasons of death, dreams destroyed, desperate moments of Lord help me now, relationships that were created that crumbled for no reason and some because it was God’s plan. If it was the business that you started failed and you feel you’re going to die or you were fired from the job that God told you to start. Being criticized and lied own and you wonder to yourself if what they said was true when you know it was a lie. People disconnected from you because they said God told them to disconnect, but in reality, it was the whispers of others’ opinions and them starting to see you through those that whispered about you… eyes, but not their own eyes, so they disconnected. In the words of TD JAKES….. You go through life changes, but it is the….crushing that gives you wisdom.

I am reminded of Paul in the bible being in prison, but while he was there in the prison he never stopped sharing his gift of interpreting dreams with the prisoners or whoever God connected him with, he never stopped even when he did not know God’s plan (Acts 16).

When I look back over the years of pastoring alongside my husband I felt like a Pastor’s wife in prison, but I still had to pour and serve even while hurting. Sometimes my husband could not help me because of what I was experiencing he did not understand the pain of a pastor’s wife. But, there was a season when he experienced the same kind of hurt. If you would have told me as the pastor’s wife that they would have come against him as the pastor of the church, I would have laughed and said you were lying. Why? Every pastor’s wife reading this knows that the members of a church love their Pastor, but the First Lady is just tolerated, but not appreciated. Sidebar, if you just said to yourself here we go she’s in her feelings, or the pastor’s wife hurting again…..you are that person that tolerates the pastor’s wife, no shade, just facts. Please know that the pastor’s wife has feelings and you have no IDEA about the shoes she walks in. The Pastor’s wife has feelings too.


Back to the message:

Listen, really read this and hear me. No matter what you experience it’s nothing like experiencing it with someone that you love… baby when you come out of this crushing moment, your faith, wisdom, and knowledge is on alert and your life will be unrecognizable if you learn to stand in those crushing moments.

You will realize that it is the prison that creates the perseverance to keep you spiritually planet even when you feel like you are spiritually buried. It is spiritual death moments in relationships that make you realize that an individual could not go with you on your next journey in life. It is the low and lonely moments that make you realize you were never alone, just needed a moment with the father to gain direction. It’s the moment that you realized that God has a rhythm to your life and you become aware of his rhythm. You started to realize the bible is real and everything in the kingdom is backward. If you are up, you must come down, If you exalt yourself he will abase you, if you abase yourself he will exalt you and if you see him privately, he will bless you publicly.

The words he gave my husband in 2019 were; you may look like a public failure, but I am making you a private success. COME HERE…. God has a plan that we know nothing about and unfortunately and fortunately, it does not feel good. I don’t feel right, but SIS it’s just right for you. It’s not right that you have experienced pain privately that you can’t tell a soul about because you don’t even know how to explain this pain to yourself. It’s not right that people keep criticizing your name in rooms that you are not in and you hear about it later and say to yourself that’s a lie. It’s not right that he cheated, you were fired, and your grandmother died all in the same month, it’s not right. You may say this is not right, I am confused, I am hurting, I am suffering and this feels like DEATH. This is for you sis.

Come HERE… I have felt all those things while pastoring alongside my husband, but when I look back on it. I am reminded of the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The scripture popped out to me, and God’s plan for my life was way better than what my plans would have been. If you would have told me that after seasons of experiencing my crushing/painful moments as a pastor’s wife that this pain would work out for your good, no way this will work out for my good. Listen, if you would have told me that I would meet women all over the world and some would call me their Mentor or Mommy T aka their spiritual mother, or if you would have told me that I would be invited to platforms and connect with women from the UK, Mexico, to Washington DC, or if you would have told me that I would publish over eight books that would be in places my feet never treaded and start a publishing company or if you would have told me that I would start a business with my husband that has brought more income into my home that I have ever seen in my life and would sit at tables with trillionaires. Last, but not least, if you have told me that I would LOVE pastoring God’s people again even if no loves you, that I would still LOVE pastoring…. Sis, I would have said get out of my face now, because I don’t believe you and you are lying.

Lastly, what am I saying is there are seasons God has to crush you to show that you can handle a setback, a disappointment, a hurt, a lie, and much more because you can tell when a person has so broken, bruised, crushed and criticized because they are SURVIVORS. Baby when life hits you this time you know how to do what God called you to do without the applause or the approval of others. Baby, you learn how to listen to God even when you don’t have an idea what God is planning for your life because you learn to trust him through the process. You learn that his plan is so much better than yours and you wait and listen for the next assignment for your life that will align you with your purpose. Girl you were designed for God’s plan not yours.


In closing, in the words of TD JAKES and from his book Crushing.

You don’t know what is making while you are Aching

You don’t know what God is making while you a spiritually drowning

You don’t know what God is making while your crying

You don’t know what God is making while your lonely

You don’t know what God is making while your suffering

You don’t know what God is making while you are being criticized
You don’t know what God is making while your breaking

It’s only when you look back you realized God had a plan.


Again, when I looked back and as I get older I realized God did not care that people laughed at us when they thought we lost everything as Pastors. God does not care that we experienced pain, trial, tribulation, criticism, and much more. Not only that, God does not care that we were hurting, suffering, and feeling like we experienced the worst spiritual death ever. If he allowed his son to go through spiritual and natural death, who are we to not experience crushing moments? God only cared what he got out of us after we died spiritually, just like what he got out of Jesus, which is us living and serving God. COME HERE…. He was only making us over again and I believe he knew that some things in us had to DIE spiritually so that we could be RESURRECTED in him again as he did with his son. So I encourage you to stop trying to change God’s plan because WE CAN’T change God’s plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11). Thank you LORD for the CRUSHING and I believe I like God’s plan better than mine.

“God’s plans for you are better than any plans you have for yourself. So don’t be afraid of God’s will, even if it’s different from yours.” – Greg Laurie

Your sister in Christ, Love and Prosperity
Tonya Harden