“I was expecting this to happen but I never expected this to happen.”Six years ago I was expecting. At twenty-one weeks we went to the doctor for our ultrasound. I was expecting everything to be great. We would see pictures of the baby, everyone would smile and we would go on our way. What I wasn’t expecting was twins. And to add even more to the situation, I wasn’t expecting the ultrasound tech to tell me she couldn’t find either of their heartbeats.
Eleven years ago my grandpa was having trouble swallowing. He went in for surgery and when the surgeon came to talk to us we were expecting him to say that everything went well. What we were not expecting was for him to tell us that he had cancer, they could do treatments, but the cancer was not curable.We have a lot of expectations in life. Sometimes good expectations that turn out seemingly bad and bad expectations that turn out better than we could have imagined.
Although in these stories we were expecting the best and they seemed to not turn out so great let me explain them more closely for you.
God desires a relationship with us and uses things in our lives to draw us closer to Him. We have two choices we can draw near to Him or turn away from Him.
In the first story, when I was actually expecting, God used that experience to completely turn my life around. You can read more of the story in He Can Move Mountains.You see until that moment I was living the “good girl” Christian life meaning I was playing it safe. I was going to church on Sunday and I could talk a good game but I was really living life for myself and the way I wanted to live.
God used this experience completely for my benefit. Through His Word so many realities sank straight into my heart. Here are just a few.Jeremiah 10:23 reminds us: I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. I was planning how many kids I wanted. How far apart I wanted them. How everything was going to go according to my plan. As a Christ follower I wasn’t doing much following. I was not consulting God in my life and He knew He needed to redirect my course.
I praise God for drawing me closer to Him and producing a more steadfast faith. James 1:2-3 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.My faith was shaky and wavering at best. This trial brought me to my knees. It brought me to my face. It brought me to the point of surrender that Christ knew I needed in order for Him to use me.
I know it is often difficult to count your blessings when you are in the midst of trials but James tells us to count it ALL joy because the result is a firm, determined faith. The kind of faith that requires submission to a God who is Greater than all our trials.In all my shock I kept saying why did this happen, I don’t understand. I thought with all of the modern technology, why couldn’t anything have been detected before this point. James 4:14 reminds us: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Some lives end sooner than we expect or than we want. Our days are numbered and not by our own calendar. We are but a breath, but a vapor, but a mist, and then our life is over. The choice then lies with what we are going to do with this time.
In those moments I realized all God has given me. So I give it all back to him in every way I can.
My grandpa was amazing man. You can read more in a tribute I wrote for Father’s Day in A Life Like His.My grandpa was a WWII veteran. He was stationed on the aircraft carrier the USS Lexington. The Lexington was stationed in Pearl Harbor. Two days before Pearl Harbor was attacked they went out to sea to do practice exercises and the Lexington missed all the attacks on that dreadful day.
Lexi, however, didn’t escape the war unscathed. She was later attacked, was sunk, and the men had to abandon ship. My grandfather told how he floated in open water for hours before being rescued by another ship.
At the time my grandfather was not a believer but God had plans for him that he could not have seen. My grandfather came home from the war, later met my grandma, and they both became saved. My grandpa spent his life serving the Lord even to the end.
Four weeks after my grandfather passed away, my soon-to-be husband accepted Christ. He saw the life my grandpa had lived but more importantly he saw how my grandpa died with an overwhelming peace and the security that he would soon be home in the loving arms of his Father.
My husband wanted that kind of peace. While my grandpa would be dearly missed, God changed the course for my life with my husband. I wasn’t expecting out of his passing my husband would gain life.
This has made all the difference in our marriage. We expected on our wedding day to vow to each other through it all. Beyond our expectations, our marriage covenant with God has become the glue that binds us together.
Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. Not many people need to be told that.
With Christ we can expect the unexpected because he can do far more than we ask or can imagine.
The real question is, what are you going to do in life’s unexpected moments?
Please encourage others in the comments below with your unexpected moments.
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