It seemed like during the spring and summer months, I’d told friends over and over that when fall and winter came, I’d have more time. Certain projects would be finished, stress would be relieved, there would be more time.
Fall came. Followed by winter. Work projects that I’d hoped would be finished had carried over for one reason or another. Somehow things never slowed down. Then came the car accident. I was rear-ended on my way to work while sitting still in traffic, and suddenly my car was totaled. I stood on the side of the road, thinking, Are you serious? Is that really my car being taken away, obviously never to return to the road? I thought my stress level was high before I left the house. Lord, please help.
Something like a car accident, a rushed project, a sick family member — suddenly our lives and schedules look different from what we thought they would. And we’re overwhelmed.
To be honest, I’d been planning out a perfect winter season in my mind — you know, dinner parties and play dates, activities with my children, starting the new year fresh, date nights with my husband.
It wasn’t the season I expected.
Soreness and stiffness from the accident lingered. Add a work overload to that mix and the worry over a beloved family member who was ill, and you’ve got a recipe for an overwhelmed wife and mother.
After the car accident, I had to have an MRI. Lying there with my neck in a tube and earplugs in my ears because of the loud sound, I had twenty-five minutes to myself. If you’re a busy mom, you understand the rarity of this. I used all twenty-five minutes for prayer. I was still and immobile and suddenly God was there, willing and ready to listen to me pour my heart out to Him.
And I realized something — God had known all along that it wasn’t going to be the season I was envisioning. He was waiting for me to surrender that over to Him and roll with what had happened. It was time for me to let go of the disappointment and frustration and cling to what He was offering: an abundant life, rest for the weary, fresh mercy, hope for the brokenhearted.
Even for a tired mom down to one car, I remembered that those life-giving gifts were at my fingertips. It takes faith, and honestly, sometimes I’m lacking in that department. But every day is a new opportunity for surrender, for God to work miracles, for life to be lived. And even if I’m a little low on energy and my to-do list has gotten crazy, there’s a Starbucks caramel latte available and all I have to do is go through the drive-through to get it. We have to look for the joy in even simple things sometimes!
Life is unpredictable.
In my opinion, God is unpredictable too. That’s why faith isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be. But it’s worth it. When we’re overwhelmed and nothing is going the way we’d hoped, a few minutes of stillness and prayer (and a latte!), a request to the Father for help for the weary — those things can make a difference.
I may not be able to have the winter season I’d pictured; I probably won’t be following through on that resolution to host more dinner parties. That’s okay. Sometimes you have to rearrange the schedule, scratch things off the to-do list, give yourself room to breathe. God might be unpredictable, but He’s always faithful. He’s there even when things don’t go quite as planned.
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Yes, I can relate so well to the disturbances and the unmet plans. And like you, I know that those projects and those dinner parties aren’t truly what it’s all about. It’s about being in Him, expecting Him, working on the Jesus Project after all! Thank you dear sister in Christ for your inspirational word!
Thank you so much, Christine! You’re so right, it’s the Jesus Project!
I love your point about looking for joy in the simple things. It goes right along with my gratitude list. Bless you and your words today.
Yes, we have to cling to the little things. Thank you for the reminder. God has shaken up my life and turned it upside down. I loved my plans, but He is the ultimate Planner.
EXACTLY what I needed to hear today, right in this moment. Can’t thank God enough for sharing through you. I love it when He reveals Himself in these ways.
Love this: “That’s why faith isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be. But it’s worth it.” Yes! Thank you so much for sharing your words today!
You had me from the title…my life, all of it, as been “not what I’d planned.”
And yet…full of blessings, even in the hard times.Especially in the hard times.
It’s so easy to TELL someone to just “have faith” that it will all work out. It’s way harder to “have faith” when you just don’t understand.
After the birth of our first child nearly 28 years ago (he was born with Down Syndrome), I had a “Jesus, Take the Wheel” moment. Turns out, that philosophy works for every area of my life. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your heart today.
I totally understand “Jesus, take the wheel” moments! Thanks, Marty!
Ashley Ditto says
Amen. I love how you said it wasn’t the season you expected. I am there too. God bless you!
Yeah, so many things didnt go as planned for me. I struggled for a long time then i realized this is what ive been dealt. Better make the best of it. Nothing i can do. Life goes on.
Blessings to you, Alli! Thanks for stopping by!
Last year my daughter got engaged and married her beloved 3 months later. My hopes and dreams of planning my daughter’s wedding were nothing like I had expected…. “And I realized something — God had known all along that it wasn’t going to be the season I was envisioning.” There was so much stress and anxiety, fueled by lack of money,my daughter did everything herself and I was left out of most of the planning. I was so hurt. But God was always there and “He was waiting for me to surrender that over to Him and roll with what had happened. It was time for me to let go of the disappointment and frustration and cling to what He was offering: an abundant life, rest for the weary, fresh mercy, hope for the brokenhearted.” AMEN! And when I did that HE FILLED me with HIS LOVE. It was incredible and out of that moment, I could just love on my daughter…it changed everything.
Love this comment. Thank you for sharing!
Samantha Krieger says
Thanks for sharing your heart Brandy. I felt this way so much lately in the home, raising our kids. Daily, I have to draw upon His strength and surrender my agenda (which I love to hold tight to).
I love your line about God being unpredictable. I’m reminded of the verse in Proverbs that says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps.”
You are balancing a lot and doing an amazing job at it! xoxo
Jenny ojala says
Love this….it’s so easy to be overwhelmed by the big picture and the stress of all we have weighing on us. But it’s amazing how, when I spend time recognizing the ‘small’ gifts and things I often overlook, I’m reminded of how faithful God is, even if I may not be able to understand why He’s orchestrating things as he is. Thanks for the reminder, Brandy!
What a beautiful post. I am in such a season; one that began with my mom in and out of the hospital starting in September and ending the year with me and my boys being sick–everything from pneumonia, to strep, to bronchitis, infections, and all the lovely symptoms that go with it. I’m down an employee at my non-profit job; there’s just too much to do and feelings of being overwhelmed can drown me. How good to reminded of the faithfulness of our loving God!
Pam Taylor says
What a beautifully transparent and redeeming post. A friend forwarded it to me. I can relate to so many of the comments and trials you have ALL shared.
But this comment, Brandy, that you shared is something I have to RE-learn over and over and over again…through every season of my life. (though once I was young and now I am old)Through all the seasons of my “kids'” lives. (They are grown with their own families now.)
This is what you shared that resonates with my soul: And that is what He wants. For us to be STILL before Him. He is there waiting. Always waiting for His Beloved!
I certaintanly empathize with so Many of your words. we seem to go through different seasons, and as soon as we pass through one affliction; it seems as if we are faced with yet another trial .
I have been a Christian a long time, and really do try to stand firm on the word of God. but, it does really bring comfort knowing that we are not alone , of course we have Jesus, but, our sisters, such as all of you: are such a blessing and encouragement to me , particularly when you are alone or isolated . thank you
Kirsten Holmberg says
Life has so many twists and turns, none of which is a surprise to God, yet so quickly can upset my “plans.” My prayer, as a result, is to be always in step with the Spirit, in hopes of being less entrenched in my own agenda and more able to embrace what He has in store. Whether or not I find it convenient, God has ordained (or permitted) that it will be good for me. Thanks for your words — I needed to remember this today!
Holley Gerth says
I love how you said it–God is unpredictable but always faithful. YES. Thanks for reassuring my heart today!
Nancy Ruegg says
You’re right, Brandy. Stillness, prayer, and a cup of coffee do make a difference! I’m also helped by turning my mind to praise when I catch myself focusing on the negative. Keeping a blessings journal has also been a positive influence in my life.
As for God’s surprises, I think he likes to keep us on our toes and keep our faith fresh! Becoming too comfortable might lead to laziness. And as uncomfortable as his unpredictability can be, I don’t want to become apathathetic.
Beth WIlliams says
Yes yes yes. Life can take many twists and turns. I have had a few of my own.
My job of 6 years suddenly changed and not in the direction I thought it should. I was mad at first, very frustrated. Over time I prayed about it asking God to show me the good in my position. I also have a thankful journal, rather large main list, and add to it daily. This helps me keep perspective on what is truly important!
Sometimes I feel that God sometimes intentionally slows us down or allows interruptions to our plans to get out attention and make us bring our focus back to Him!
God Bless 🙂