When things don’t turn out how you expected

At the beginning of this year, I made plans and goals for the year, like so many people do. 

I am a planner, I love planning things. I planned to read a book a month, I planned to loose weight, I planned to start exercising and doing yoga (emphasis on start..) I planned to start writing a blog, and manny other things. 

person writing on white book

But plans no matter how you start them or try to start, don’t always turn out as planned.

Write now I am writing this from the hospital where my daughter has been admitted for a bacterial infection. She has been here 7 days now, along with me and my husband taking shifts and I don’t know when she will be allowed to go home. I’m thankful that it’s nothing serious. But this was not part of my plan…

It’s nearly Christmas, I love Christmas and I had so many plans to do together that we cannot do now, unless I become incredibly creative! (Which I am trying…!)

It wasn’t just my plans that were interrupted that were annoying, it has also been a heartbreakingly hard experience. From not knowing what was wrong with her, to seeing her condition worsen, to CT scans and her screaming through checks and doses of medicine, to coming into her room after I’d been away, to see her quietly sobbing into her pillow, silent tears because she thought she was alone in a big strange hospital and I had left her.

My daughter is incredibly brave. 

But all these kind of things are hard for any parent.
I wasn’t planning for it to get harder. I wasn’t planning for this. But sometimes things don’t turn out how you expected. 
In truth this has been one of the harder years than most. It wasn’t that exactly many bad things happened, but a lot of the things I had planned or always taken for granted turned out to not be the case anymore. And a lot of them are still not resolved.
I am not writing this to dwell on the negative, I am writing it to share that sometimes, there are these seasons in life. When what we expected, what we had held onto, what we believed would always be a constant, doesn’t quite turn out to be that way anymore! What we thought would be easy or natural suddenly becomes hard.
And what do we do when we things turn out harder than we thought? 

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Well, we can try to handle it, we can go over the edge trying to work it out, trying to pull the pieces back together again,  trying to make it fit or we can hand it over to God and let him deal with it. 

If I learnt anything this year it is that.
None of this is in my control. I cannot be a control freak and work this all out. And I don’t want to just sit in my room and have a pity party.
God has given me this season to grow, to lean into him, to let go of ‘the plan’, my plan and trust his plan. To stop relying on my strength and rely on his strength to bring me through. To stop carrying the weight of it all
I have come a lot closer to God in this season, knowing that through it all he is making something more beautiful. And that is necessary for the next season of my life.
So much of me wants to push all trouble away, ignore the things that hurt and try to patch it up the best way I can, but I know that the best thing for me is to push into God and give my troubles to him.
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Coincidence or not, I have also had a lot of body pain this year, from carrying the baby, the child, the shopping, and all the other heavy weights I have been carrying around. It could be that I am just getting old, but this kind of body pain is often a sign our body is telling us you are just carrying too much. Sometimes we need to recognise the signs when we are carrying too much weight around and adapt.

Of course, not just physically, emotionally I carry so much around too. Isn’t that true for all of us, we think we need to carry all these problems, issues, things that are happening to us around. And it gets heavy and tiring.
But that wasn’t part of God’s plan. He wants us to surrender, let go of the weight we are carrying around and let God take care of it. 
For me that meant not trying to control things when they didn’t turn out how I expected. The decisions people around me made, how people around me thought about things, how things that happened would affect our future, even how my children would turn out, (I’m still grappling with the fact that my daughter doesn’t want to wear dresses).

How do we let go of that weight and surrender?

By having a bigger perspective than our current reality. A GOD PERSPECTIVE. 
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I don’t know about you but when I see the news nowadays (and maybe because it’s more available on every kind of application) but I often feel consumed with worry, like what is happening to the world. It’s easy to just look at the facts on the news and just loose the plot (to use proper British English).

The same is true in many area’s of life, we can look at the facts, our situations and freak out. BUT that’s when we need to look at Gods truth. What is God saying about your situation? 
God is saying – I’m faithful, I will keep my promise, I am with you, I am the truth and the life.
Whenever I feel like I can’t take it anymore, the weight is too much, I let go and I give it to God and I take in his truth, and his promise.

This year through every hard moment and every weight – the truth I held onto was “God will use it for good” the more I reminded myself of this, the more apparent it became in my life.

I’m not holding onto my hardships, I’m holding onto Gods truth and promise.
When I let go of this weight and surrender it to God, and fill myself with Gods word and it’s not just a one time thing, it sometimes has to be daily. I feel freedom. Freedom from the hardness, freedom from feeling that it’s not going to work out how I wanted, freedom in knowing that Gods got this. 
He always had this. 
He always knew it had to be this way. 
He always wanted to give me a chance to grow through this more. 
And he’s got you too! 

I don’t know whether this has been a hard year for you, or the best yet. But however the next year is going to be – the best way to start is by holding onto his truth!

And an update on my daughter: She is much better and can finally be released from hospital on Sunday after 10 days in the hospital! Just in time for Christmas… Perfect!

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