Sunday, February 8, 2015

When Life Doesn't Go As Planned (thoughts on pressing on)

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In The Midst of Life: 
When Things Don't Go As Planned

Thoughts On Pressing On

Even with the best laid plans, life has a way of throwing us surprises...

We can plan for A, B & then hope/pray/wish for C, 
however there is no guarantee we'll get what we want.

I can honestly say that in the last number of years, 
the Lord has been teaching our family this lesson, 
through a diverse number of 
unexpected experiences. 

The lesson: to lean on Him. Wholeheartedly.

I believe negative circumstances can come to us in a variety of ways:

*our choices (sometimes reaping for things we previously sowed)
*the choices of others
*the fact that there is evil on the earth 
*a season in the wilderness (we may never know where it originated from)

Even positive circumstances, when unintended, can feel out of place when it was not 
within our hoped for time frame.

In any case, it doesn't help to beat ourselves up, 
or others for that matter, when life gets scary, unpredictable & feels 'dark'.

We long for the calm of yesterday to return, but in some seasons it eludes us.

What can we do when this happens to US?
How do we move forward & not get stuck in a downward spiral??

I believe there are a few choices we can make to press onward:

  • We have to refuse to get stuck in a self pity party. Self pity can be destructive & unhelpful. While we may need to mourn & grieve for a season over personal loss (*note: I find that with extreme loss & trauma this often comes in waves or cycles as we move forward), there comes a point where it is actually preventing us from moving forward. 

  • I believe it is SO beneficial to surround ourselves with those who will stand with us in our journey to the 'other side'. There have been many times in the past where I felt overwhelmed with the disappointments of life. In a weak moment, the temptation to give up & throw in the towel became immensely strong...if not for the grace of God and a great group of friends, mentors & those who understand where I was 'standing' (& believing with me for a better future). Experience has taught me these are necessary to help us move forward.

  • We need to turn to the One who can ultimately bring us HIS comfort. Comfort from others is nice, but let's be honest, in severe distress it is limited. I mean it's hard for others to imagine how the emotional turmoil is affecting us personally. However, we are promised that Jesus was the One who can sympathize with our pain, because He LIVED through so much pain Himself (see Hebrews 4:15, Isaiah 53: 4-12) Praying, reading the Word, building relationships with His people (the church), and listening to sermons that build up & edify, are all ways I have felt built up in the last number of months. I don't always see a difference immediately, but more often than not I feel refreshed after completing one of these activities.

  • Lastly, learning to let go of control...we should be proactive to make changes, but that again doesn't guarantee that we will always see what we desire come to pass. Learning to let go & surrender are both acts of obedience that ultimately leads us to a life of greater fulfillment than we ever before.

I have to ask you, what do you do when life doesn't go as planned?
What has helped in various circumstances?

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  1. This is so honestly written and beautiful. It's the truth. You can't get bogged down in the "woe is me". You've got to have faith in God's plan and pick yourself up and walk in your faith.

    Thank you for this.

  2. I agree, this is so true and written beautifully and simply. When once we went through a financially difficult time, I first prayed for it to pass and for God to help in solving the problem. Later I started to pray: Lord, show me what You want me to do in this situation, how must I act or react, how must I support my husband. I also prayed: Lord, whatever we need to learn in this situation, whatever need to be pruned in us, please let that come to pass. I used this also when my son struggled with croup attacks which also did not go away with prayer. So I would ask the Lord when he got an attack, "Lord, you put me here as his mom, I am the one who has to assist him here, please help me make the right decision. Do I call the doctor, do I give him cortisone or .... Living through these trials in the presence of God together with all the good advice mentioned in you blog post is the only way.

  3. Love this! Life certainly has its ups and downs but relying on Him and having a community encouraging you to continue to rely on Him really does bring so much peace! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love the advice! I have found that in life, a lot of things DON'T go as planned - but it is still good, and there's a lot to be thankful for. I believe my faith in God has a lot to do with this perspective. Stopping by from the Mom2Mom Link Up #20.

  5. Beautiful and so true. We can set our plans but He is still in control. I have to tell myself this all of the time when I am feeling everything is hopeless.

  6. Surrender is a huge thing on my heart at the moment - your post is what this tired and weary soul needed to read today! Thank you for sharing at Grace & Truth!

  7. Probably because I am Catholic, but I think of Mary when I am in distress. She watched Jesus die. I can do anything, if she could do that.

  8. It is when life is rocky that I find I turn to Him more than ever because it is the only certainty in life.

  9. Thank you very much for this writing.

  10. This was exactly the reminder I needed to see this morning. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

  11. Great and practical post. The title caught my eye because my husband and I have had a life where things haven't gone as we expected. It's a good reminder that God - not us - is the one in control.



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