When life doesn’t go as expected

I’m writing this morning out of a deep place of anguish for some dear friends of mine*. After some unexpected emergencies with their brand new baby girl, they are holding on and praying hard. They are a living example to me right now of walking through life's most unforeseen circumstances.

After getting some news for myself that wasn’t totally predictable, I’m beginning to wonder more about the unexpected.  Maybe the unpredictable has a degree of predictability to it?  I'm noticing this theme; that life doesn't usually look how we planned.  

But here is something so strangely beautiful that I'm learning from my sweet friends this week- the ones with the tragically unexpected news-they are being changed. I think it's safe to say that they would never have asked for the unimaginable heartache of watching their newborn baby girl fight for her life, but I also think they would say that they are forever transformed. Just from reading their daily updates, I am watching their faith and love grow and dig down into a place of such raw depth. They have allowed a space to be made in their hearts. A space to allow themselves to be molded, to be completely undone and made over by the unexpected work that's going on. I think they know God more today than they did 8 days ago. They told us that He has never felt closer than He does now.

So maybe your unexpected looks more like a move you didn't foresee, or marrying the guy that is nothing like you imagined in your childhood dreams, or hey- it could be the surprise of hitting the jackpot in the Florida Lottery. Maybe it's even just the unexpected, unpleasant cashier at Ingles or the disturbance of the traffic on Archer Road when all you want to do is get home. I don't know what ventures lie ahead for all of us, or if they are big or small, positive or negative, but I do think we will have the same opportunity to respond like my friends.  With open hearts, asking to know God more because of it.

I'm going to try really hard and learn something from my friends. I am going to say over and over that I know God is good, and that He is for me. I am going to try and remember that He’s not surprised by life’s surprises.

I'm finding hope in this today, maybe you will too.

Ashley

* Please pray for my friends, Ricky and Kelli Bell, and their sweet baby girl, Ari. Here is Ari's story:  www.caringbridge.org/visit/aribellupdates .