Have you ever felt like your life had gotten turned upside-down? Like things weren't going your way or playing out the way you envisioned? When things go in an entirely different and unexpected direction? Broken dreams hurt. Rejection and redirection are painful.
But that doesn't mean we can't learn from them or try to make the best of them.
I'm not going to tell you that it's all okay because "everything happens for a reason." While I do believe there's a reason bad things are allowed to happen, I don't think it's that simple, or something I will ever fully understand this side of Heaven.
Just because we don't understand the way things play out before us doesn't mean those very things can't be used for our good. It certainly doesn't mean that we should cower in fear and hold back from fully engaging in our lives because we're too scared of what might be lying around the next bend in the road.
"We have a God who stands on His head, who does things backwards from the natural way of things. 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdowm of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they will inherit the earth.' (Matt. 5:3-5)" -Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl
So let's press on, let's keep moving forward despite obstacles, despite surprises and challenges that come along the way.
Things won't always go according to our plans, but that truth can be liberating if you let it. Instead of being disappointed when things don't turn out the way we want, we can rejoice knowing we don't have to sort things out or hold them all together-- that's not our job, and what a blessing that is!
We're free to entrust our whole lives to a God who loves us so abundantly and wants what's best for us, weaving our lives into His ever-greater plans for the world, knowing that He is the one who will work it out; we don't have to worry about that. We get to just take one step at a time; we don't have to have the whole story written out yet-- we get to live it one chapter at a time. How beautiful is that?!
So when it seems like our stories are taking unexpected turns or going backwards or flipping upside down, let's remember that we're not seeing the whole picture, and that our stories aren't over yet. When we get to the end, they'll make much more sense than they do now, from our point of view from the middle.
Let's just commit to following God, the author of our stories, one step, one chapter at a time, trusting that He's writing a beautiful story, one that we are privileged to be a part of, one that we will be proud of and come to love in the end when we see how it all comes together.