When Life Doesn’t Turn Out As You Thought It Would.

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If you’re reading this,

I think it’s safe to say that you’re feeling how a lot of us are,

Lost.

Now being lost isn’t always as bad as it sometimes made out to be.

For when life doesn’t go how you expected it to go,

When you didn’t get that teaching job you spend four years in school for,

That relationship didn’t end how you thought it would (in marriage),

Your husband lost his job,

A loved one passed away,

The list could go on and on,

You get to a point where you feel,

Well,

Lost.

All that you were working for,

Dreaming of,

Moving towards,

Is no longer there.

And we stand there,

Asking now what?

For your own self,

You know what it is that’s fallen short of what you expected it to be.

Whether it’s physically (health, your capabilities),

Externally (such as a job, finances, relationships),

Or Internally (you feel you don’t measure up, not good enough, a failure, etc);

We’re all feeling some sort of discontentment,

Some sort of hurt,

Some sort of missed expectations,

Crushed dreams,

Heart ache,

And it sucks.

It’s almost as if you hit a dead end,

Maybe even a T Intersection.

The road didn’t take you where you thought it was going,

And now you have to decide which way to go.

Maybe ways you didn’t want to go in the first place,

Maybe ways you still don’t want to go.

Whether it be steps as in going back to school,

Or working at a lower paying job,

Or taking better care of yourself.

Sometimes at that T Intersection,

There’s more than just the obvious happening,

There is something bigger that we’re choosing;

We can either choose to step up and adjust our sails,

Realizing life is never going to be perfect,

People aren’t perfect and make mistakes,

Unfortunately accidents do happen,

And it’s up to us to choose what we let define us,

How we’ll pick up the broken pieces of what use to be and make something new,

Or,

If we’ll let all that bitterness,

Hurt,

Anger,

Frustration,

‘What could have been’,

‘What should of been’,

Remain there,

Festering and rotting away,

Keeping us from moving forward,

Regardless of how hard it is,

And continuing to live.

When we face the disappointment of a life short of what we expected,

It’s hard to move past some of the things that comes our way,

I do get that.

And although I don’t understand exactly how you feel,

The pain that you feel,

The anger and hurt that you hold onto so tightly,

What I do know is you can find peace in it all,

But,

It’s all your choice.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church….a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

“The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we choose to express. It is not a gift delivered to our door each morning, nor does it come through the window. And it is certain that our circumstances are not the things that make us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never laugh again.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

I realized recently that I’ve spend most of my life trying to find my worth in busyness,

In productivity,

In being seen as a hard worker,

And it became my idol.

Finding my worth in all that I could accomplish,

Seeking to do all that I could,

Even if that meant burning myself out in the process.

However,

I found that when I didn’t have a job to be found in,

And life wasn’t going how I expected it to,

That life is more about who we are than what we have or what we do.

So often we get caught up in the doing,

In success,

In making a name for ourselves,

In finding someone to love us,

That we place all of our hope,

Our security,

Our sense of worth,

In things that are temporary,

The things that go bankrupt,

The things that can pass away,

The things that aren’t eternal.

It’s hard for me not to place all of my hope, security, provision onto Levi,

It’s had to not find my worth in all that I can get done in a day,

Most of all,

Allowing my attitude to depend on those things and how I feel about myself at the end of a day.

Rather than knowing who I am before God,

Knowing His love for me,

And what His hearts desire is,

Not that I would make a name for myself but make His name known,

Knowing that we’re not promised an easy, safe, luxurious life here and now,

But a life yielded to Him,

 A life where we can speak these same words that Paul said,

 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13

For when I came to realize that there is more to life than conforming to the busyness,

Striving and laboring of the culture we live in,

Trying to meet unrealistic standards,

Expecting life to go as planned,

And if not,

Being angry at God about it,

It set me free.

Allowing me to realize that I’m living with a perspective greater than just seventy years,

Even bigger than just my own life,

An eternal perspective where I’m living to make His name great rather than my own,

And a life where I can live worthy of the gospel,

So one day I may stand well before the King.

I’m not saying it’s easy,

What I am saying is it’s okay if life isn’t going as you thought it would,

And I’m sorry if you’re dealing with the grieving ache of heart break,

But there is a hope you can cling to,

Even in the darkest hours,

You can be still,

Grieve,

And know that you can walk through it,

It’s a matter of what you’re willing to choose.

For I heard a sermon the other day by Steven Furtick  : It Will Happen

You should give it a listen.

It really made me think about the things in my life that I place my security,

My hope,

Or what I think will hold me up and carry me,

And how if it’s not the Lord,

I need to let it go,

I need to let go of finding my worth and value in anything besides the Lord,

For anything that isn’t Him,

Can be lost,

But He remains.

I hope this encouraged you today,

That if you feel lost,

You’re not.

There is always another way,

It may not look how we thought it would but that doesn’t mean it’s not still good.

May you be reminded that you’re able to adjust your sails,

You’re able to make it out of this storm,

Keep persevering + fighting the good fight,

You’re capable to do something,

You’re able to do more, right where you are with what you have.

You’re able to be content whatever your circumstance because we’re living with a focus on what’s above rather than what we can see.

Press into the Lord,

Let Him hold you up,

Let yourself find rest in Him,

And even if need be, wrestling with Him about the heartbreak you feel,

Questioning why,

Bringing your doubts, fears and frustration to Him.

For God is strong enough,

Loving enough,

Gracious enough,

Merciful enough,

To meet you wherever you’re at.

May you no longer strive to be perfect but to be present.

“God never asked us to meet life’s pressures and demands on our own terms or by relying upon our own strength. Nor did He demands that we win His favor by assembling an impressive portfolio of good deeds. Instead, He invites us to enter His rest.”
Charles R. Swindoll

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