On missing the curve

Sometimes when you step out in faith, surrender and hope – you won’t always get the result you expected. That happy ending might not be there yet, and in fact, a big curve ball might be ahead instead.

What do you do when everything you expected God to do turns out to be wrong? When an entirely different (and unwanted) path is before you?

Those prayers that you sent up, when they brought back peace, was it all in your mind? When you felt God put it on your heart that things would get better – was that you making it all up?

Oh girl. Will you take a big, deep breathe with me?

Exhale.

Here is what I know for sure.

The truth is, sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes we hear God wrong. And many times things go wrong, and it’s not at all what we wanted or expected.

And that is OK.

It really is ok.

Those things you were wrong about? That was just the beginning of this beautiful path you are on. That curve ball is headed at you so that you can learn to stretch and bend and avoid the hit.

There is so much grace. Grace for being wrong, grace for having the expectations of our own plan instead of His, and grace for stumbling around and — yes — even grace for losing hope. And those prayers ALWAYS are heard.

God wants to pick us back up, gently dust us off, and set us off onto the next path (that might hold another curve ball for us, still).

It’s that growing and stretching (and oh, it’s so uncomfortable) that strengthens the soul muscle more and more. Makes us so much more like Him.

So today as I see that curve ball coming at me, I’m remembering these words on grace and stretching. It’s the beginning, not the end.

***By Arianne, To Think Is To Create

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  1. 1

    Thank you Arianne, for this special and beautiful post! Your are a blessing: so open you write tings like this. “Grace for being wrong, grace for having the expectations of our own plan instead of His, and grace for stumbling around and — yes — even grace for losing hope.” This time you touches my soul.

  2. 3
    Elizabeth says:

    I really needed to hear this! I have been wrestling with guilt and embarrassment over making what I thought was a God-led decision, but which turned out to seem like a bad idea. Thank you for this post.

    • 4
      Arianne says:

      Oh I hear ya. It’s so important to separate making a mistake from shame. I don’t believe God wants us to live in shame, but rather to learn from the mistake and let it go!

  3. 5

    This was amazingly timed, Arianne. Thank you, so much. I usually take hope in this, that God knows that we “only ever know in part;” we aren’t called to the “perfection” that says we must get everything right all the time, because this induces anxiety, but we are called to the “perfection” of God, which is perfect faith. :) Any way, thank you for reminding me of this. Curve balls are real, do happen, and the real moment of faith is in how we deal with it and move forward. Thank you so much for giving me the encouragement to pick myself up from guilt / confusion / frustration, and giving me the strength to begin seeking God’s purpose, again. :) Much love to you.

    • 6
      Arianne says:

      It’s absolutely about how we pick up and keep going – hugs to you! Xo

  4. 7

    thank you for sharing this….a reminder that we the church and we the child need so often. his grace covers even those moments. xo –kris

  5. 8

    Yes grace covers all.
    It is also true that God does not say we will finish the thing He led us to start. Maybe that is His intention. In the starting or in the middle is when we can see the thing He really wanted to teach us.
    And sometimes it is hard to see why it did not go the way we thought, but we still choose to trust Him and that is His grace enabling us to do so
    Thanks for writing this

    • 9
      Arianne says:

      Chills – yes! Absolutely. We may have been right about the beginning of the path, but wrong about where that path would leave. Thank you for this. Xo

  6. 10

    And then there are the times others around us are sure God wants us to do something, and it turns out they were mistaken, I think the important thing is to keep seeking the Lord, He will grow us in this area, even if it is baby steps much of the time…

    • 11
      Arianne says:

      Yes totally. And we have to lean in and be ok with the baby steps too! Xo

  7. 12

    Oh I’ve been there. It’s such a hard place! Thank you for sharing, that it’s not only me, that there is still hope and a future. It’s so true!

  8. 13

    This is so needed this morning – I am still racked with guilt over having to pull my college freshman son home from a semester at a too-expensive Christian school. My husband and I prayed and prayed about this, and it seemed like God’s direction and provision, but once he was already halfway through the semester, my husband and I realized were were looking at two different numbers when it came to the actual costs and the light bulb went on like a lightning strike and it was clear he’d have to leave. He is home now, and continuing on at community college and is very agreeable to the situation, fortunately . But the guilt I feel about having to yank him around and take him from a life he was enjoying bubbles up in me from time to time. I always assumed God would physically, somehow, stop me from making a wrong decision, but it seemed that somehow we were allowed to proceed with this one. Granted, my husband and I have been through a LOT of stretching and growing due to this mistake, but it’s at the expense of my son.

    • 14
      Arianne says:

      Oh Beth ((hugs)). I just want to encourage you – that even though you are feeling shame over this, you can really let that go and have God take it. Know also that while He sometimes allows us to make mistakes for learning, He also takes is down paths that won’t always end up making sense. In both scenarios it’s a curve ball for us. Praying for your heart. Xoxo

    • 15
      Beth Williams says:

      Beth,

      Prayers for you and your family. Do not feel shame over this decision–be proud of your son for being agreeable to community college and leaving some friends. If God wants him at a Christian college–He will make a way@!

      Blessings to you all!

      Beth

  9. 16

    Oh I have so been right there this past year!! But praise God as we trust him with each step, he lights the path for the next part of the journey. Always asking us to look to him to see the way – and when we do – something truly beautiful happens!

  10. 17
    Suzanne says:

    Wow…I am so right there. Curve ball hit me this morning. Thank you for writing this. It’s good to know that others have been in the same place and feel the same way.
    Blessings:)

  11. 18

    And sometimes we needed to head on that path that seems like a mistake to ultimately get us where we are supposed to go. God wastes nothing, right?

    • 19
      Arianne says:

      Oh man, yes yes yes. Totally! Both times it’s that curve ball we need to stretch and learn from. Thank you. Xo

  12. 20

    Thanks for this. I too am struggling with this – my husband started his own business a few years ago, and it is very difficult financially. I sometimes wonder what the next step should be – though I have learned that God provides for needs. It has also been a growing experience in learning not to be envious of what other people are able to do and how they are able to live. I too am always encouraged to read that others are dealing with the same issues, and that it isn’t something that I personally am doing or not doing that is causing our prayers to seem unanswered. And, I know that Romans 8:28 is true. Thanks for your wise words this morning….guess it is time to do some more stretching!

    • 21
      Arianne says:

      Oh Lynne. I so relate to this and am going through similar things. Lifting you up today will remind me of what I need to keep in my heart as well.

  13. 22

    Great post, I’ve found that sometimes God says ‘no’, and I don’t listen. I think I throw my own curve balls.

  14. 24

    Thank you for this post. It was exactly what I needed to hear as I’ve been dealing with broken hope at the start of this new year…it was a wonderful reminder that God does throw curve balls and that His grace is enough for today, and for whatever He has before me tomorrow.

  15. 26

    So… I’m so stretched I must look like Gumby.
    I will ever be thankful for overflowing, consuming grace, because what I have perfected is thinking I know best and then falling down.
    God is good, faithful and True. Praise God and thank you for the gentle, loving reminder today.

    • 27
      Arianne says:

      Hang in there sister. I know what you’re saying. But you are also becoming stronger and stronger each time, I have no doubt. Xoxo

  16. 28

    Theres a curve ball headed right for the bulls eye that is my life. A 1st time foster mom with a 1 year old that knows only us but is very likely to be reunited with his mom in the coming months. I was sure God would make him ours forever. We were following His path, taking the leap of faith into foster parenting; surley He wouldn’t allow this kind of pain of saying goodbye to one we love so much but thats the way it goes. So, we wonder if this was His will or ours? Do we continue when there is such a desperate need but when the pain for our little family is so big?

    • 29
      Arianne says:

      Stacy, this is so hard. I can feel the pain in your words. I wish I had something to say that would balm it all, but just lean into the Truth that God has you, He has that sweet baby, and He knows the desires of your heart. Love to you. Xoxo

      • 30
        Stacy G says:

        A Bible verse from a school meeting tonight….do not grow weary from doing good. Spoke right to me just like your post did. Thank you.

  17. 31
    Anonymous says:

    Awesome word, Arianne!

  18. 32
    Rosemary says:

    Totally awesome word, Arianne!

  19. 33
    Rosemary says:

    I’m new on this site and I can see that I’m really going to enjoy this site.

  20. 34

    What a beautiful post and reminder that we don’t always get it right. I think you wrote this just for me today as some big things happened last year that have me moving in a different than I expected (like back to work). So much growing and stretching in a different direction than I imagined. But I know He still reigns. He is full of grace and compassion even in the midst of the curve ball! Thanks for writing this post!

    • 35
      Arianne says:

      We are in a similar surrender place and its so hard! So much stretching, right? Thank you for sharing this! Xo

  21. 36

    I really needed to hear this exact thing. Right this very moment. Thank you so much!

  22. 37

    God used you today to speak truth into my life. My soul has been aching for months. I just needed to hear again that even though I messed up…His grace is enough.

    • 38
      Arianne says:

      It’s so hard to just say – I made a mistake. It’s ok. It’s human. My job is to learn from it and move on (and ask forgiveness if applicable) — but my job is NOT to carry shame around with me. The shame is not coming from The Lord, we are not doing some noble thing by staying ashamed. I’m so working on this topic myself!

  23. 39

    And sometimes it may not be the wrong path at all…just that we didn’t see yet what God was doing!! That has happened to me several times so I am more at peace when the curve balls do come after having stepped out in faith. Thanks for a great post!

  24. 41
    Heather says:

    God’s grace is so amazing. Thank you for sharing. I am so thankful I can rely on Him when the curve balls whizz by! A wonderful post, bless you.

  25. 42

    This is timely for me. Regardless how sometimes I try to avoid being stretched or having to adapt to change, the Holy Spirit always reminds me the last verse of Psalm 23 “Grace and mercy shall follow me everyday.” I love the last line “it is the beginning not the end”. Thank you for this.

  26. 43
    Beth Williams says:

    We don’t always get things right-you pray and think you know best. Sometimes the curve balls come from the wrong choices we make–thinking it is God’s will when all the while He has other plans for us.

    I have made several wrong choices, but each time God’s grace is there for me to bail me out and put me on the right path.

    Thankful He knows best for us!

  27. 44

    Ain’t that the truth. :-) I have to make peace sometimes daily with the fact that no matter what, God’s the only one who can see the big picture, so even if I don’t like His answer, it’s still the right answer.

  28. 45
    Deborah says:

    Arriane, Allow me to share a verse that strengthens me~ Isaiah 45:3 There are purposes beyond our miniscule understanding and vision. Beautiful blog!

  29. 47

    Thank you for such a raw post that carries the hearts of many. This is something we all experience and need to be able to see with graceful eyes.

  30. 48

    Thank you for this post. We are expecting our fourth child. We have four healthy children, so OUR expectations for this child were the same as the other three. At our 20 wk ultrasound we found out we are having another girl and then the curve ball…she has hydrocephalus. We were shown in an instant that our plans are not always in line with His. My faith has never been tested like it is now and we trying to remember to be thankful for all the growth that is about to happen in our family, and to learn what real trust in God is. “Grace for having our own plan instead of His…” :) Thank you.

  31. 50

    As a long ago softball player I know that you CAN hit a curveball out of the park! Unlike a meatball fast pitch that is easy to rip, a curveball takes more thought as you have to put more effort into correcting your swing just so. Same with our trials, they DO take more effort & most times a correction of our “stance” but if we stay strong can make the needed corrections & overcome our trial vs letting it strike us out :)

    • 51
      Arianne says:

      Love this! Thank you so much for extending the metaphor even more, it blessed me. Xo

  32. 52

    Thank you, Arianne. This was beautiful.

    Just thank you!

  33. 53

    Thank you, Arianne, i needed this, this early am. just needed to open up to God and say , Ok, i messed up. HELP is all i can say!

  34. 54

    Thank you for that word! I am going to put it into my encouragement folder so that I can come back to it when I get discouraged. I know all too well what you are talking about. I prayed and trusted God to save my first marriage and my husband wound up walking out on me and our son. I’ve been divorced for 8 years and remarried for almost 5, but I still struggle sometimes with trusting God for not fulfilling what I thought he was telling me. And now, just a month ago, my current husband was assaulted and would up with major injuries that put him in ICU for 2 days and unable to go back to work even now. Through this I am learning to trust God again, that he will take care of us, he is for us, he is our provider, he is our healer, he is our refuge. He will never leave us. He hasn’t left us. This is the hope that I cling to now, that through this major curve ball, he will lead us and teach us and bring us out more able to rely on him and trust his character.

  35. 55

    I’m so seriously tired of all the curve balls though. In order, it was: the sudden death of my husband, the losing/closing our new business, the extreme grief – to the level of at least thinking suicide might (emphasis on might) be an answer, losing/selling my house and moving, falling into a deep coma followed by a week’s hospital stay (no cause found) and recuperating from that over several months, then a breast cancer diagnosis and all it’s treatment. I can’t make this stuff up. I feel stronger having gone through it all and that I’m still standin’. God bless ‘em, I have amazing family and friends to help me but it’s absolute traumatic stress wondering what’s possibly could be coming down the pike now to stretch and bend me now. I remember when my prayers consisted of just “God help me please” when I had no other words. I can only hope that God will use these experiences for something good later on.

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  1. [...] Think is to Create blogging at (in)Courage asks this vital question in ”On Missing the Curve”: “What do you do when everything you expected God to do turns out to be wrong? When an [...]