Chaos: 3 Things I Learned When Chaos Struck, Life, Mothering, Mothering Through Unexpected Events, Uncategorized

Chaos: 3 Things I Learned When Chaos Struck

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What does Chaos look like in your life?

I lived a bit of chaos last week. Hubby was sick with the influenza over the weekend. I cared for the boys while he slept to heal. On our way home from church, the three of us chatted while we sat at a stop light.

Our car was rammed from behind as chaos made its presence known. One boy screamed, the other fought to hold in the tears. I made sure they weren’t hurt. My mind whirred trying to take in too much information at one time.

Then I looked in the mirror. A young woman sat behind the wheel, her eyes teary. Desperation etched into every feature of her face. I walked to her car and asked if she was okay. She said yes, and couldn’t stop saying, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!”

I called 9-1-1 to report the accident. She called her parents.

When it was safe, we exited the car and dashed to the side of the road. The sun shone brightly, not caring that this collision of vehicles and lives had just occurred.

While we waited for the police to arrive, her parents and I talked. My guys had a spot of brown grass, snow and trees to occupy them, so they seemed okay.

The chaos in my mind eased to a dull buzz in the waiting. The parents and I exchanged information.

They thanked me for being “reasonable.” What do you say to that? I was beyond grateful no one was hurt.

My heart went out to their daughter. The consequences . . . . . the “could have’s” struck her full force. This young woman will live with the after affects of her mistake for a long time.

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My hope was to show grace to this young woman and her parents. The main thing was:

No one was hurt.

When the “main thing” is in focus, lesser things take a back seat. Chaos doesn’t have to reign if my thoughts and heart are focused on the main thing.

That night, chaos broke free again as one of the boys became very angry. We walked out a couple difficult hours working through thoughts, feelings, hurts and tears. I suspect the accident triggered the anger.

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A few things I learned when chaos enters my life:

1. I don’t always have to be the strong one. Relying on my own strength only goes well for a few minutes. Then I tend to fall apart, one piece at a time. Chaos wears me out. Breaks me down.

It’s in those times I need to lean hard on Jesus. I can’t face it alone.

2. Chaos enters our lives when we least expect it. We need to anticipate how we’ll to deal with it.

Will it be with anger?

Will it be with a sense of defeat?

Will it be by asking Jesus for strength, for grace?

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 3. When I cling tightly to Him, He gives me what I need in the moment. Each moment.

I need Jesus’ hand holding my own. His touch guiding me through the chaos.

His words filling my thoughts and my mouth.

It’s the only way to get through the chaos in this life.

What about you? What does chaos look like in your life? How do you deal with life when chaos makes an appearance?

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9 thoughts on “Chaos: 3 Things I Learned When Chaos Struck”

  1. Oh honey, I can hear and feel which one had it the worst. Give him a hug for me and tell him I’ve been in a few really wicked car accidents and I know exactly how he feels.
    Poor Jeanne’s hubby something tells me he might not have felt so awesome not being able to save his girl and his boys.
    I’ve always been to stay calm during the storm, but I meltdown after. Like, splat.
    God knows what is coming, I take refuge in that.

    And am I surprised that they said you were “reasonable”? No. You, girlfriend, are amazing when the heat is on!!

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    1. I usually melt down later too, Jennifer. Only thing was, I couldn’t last week. 🙂 Honey was sick and I had to stay calm for the kids. I’m so thankful nothing takes God by surprise. Even car accidents. 🙂

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  2. I think that the first thing to remember when dealing with chaos is that it’s a normal state. Living in order, expecting order only sets one up for shock, because order can’t last in this world. Accept the inevitability of random mayhem, and you’ll be prepared and composed when it comes.

    How? Learn not do demand the extremes of order and organization. Leave some ends of life unraveled, deliberately. leave some things unplanned, that you’d normally map out, and use these as training opportunities for action and attitude.

    Keep an overall sense of priorities. When in a car accident, get the people off the road and out of danger.

    When someone’s wounded, check breathing, check bleeding. The window of effective action can be small in both cases, and you have to focus on what’s important now. This also applies to spiritual and emotional wounds.

    Quickly develop a plan of action and stick to it. Don’t dither. An adequate plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan that will take another hour to deploy.

    It’s not about you. There will be time to be frustrated later.

    I write this from the perspective of a person whose job included the deliberate creation of chaos and mayhem. Knowing what works in creating disorder is one of the best ways to learn how to deal with it in your own life, and to overcome it.

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    1. GREAT thoughts, Andrew. I should have you write my post for next week, because you just covered some of my thoughts. 😉 Learning to live with chaos is an essential life skill. It’s one that I come by hard because I LIKE order. 🙂 But, God’s teaching me how to function in chaos too. There is much to be gained by knowing how to live in chaos.

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  3. What a blessing you were to that young girl who needed grace and mercy the most. She saw Jesus on Sunday, being displayed through your eyes, through your actions, through your heart. There was a reason she “bumped into you” that day. Thank you God for protecting you all, but thank YOU for being the voice and heart of God when she needed it the most.

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    1. Thank you, Reba. I hope she and her parents all glimpsed Jesus through the interactions. 🙂 I know He wasn’t surprised this happened. He showed me that He shows up. Always. For that I’m very thankful. 🙂

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  4. I love your example of showing compassion even in chaos. That is shining the light of Christ. Praise God that you are all okay. I’m in a season of not necessarily chaos but were I’m figuring out how to survive the year without my husband. And as expected things around the house have broken. I prepared myself for things to break and told myself I would not freak out. And I knew I needed to remember in those moments to ask Jesus for strength and grace. Which means I needed to cling tightly to him. There may have been a few moments were I didn’t come across all that pretty. 🙂
    Blessings to you.

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    1. Preparing for inevitables like things breaking when the husband is gone (been there too!) helps us gear our thoughts to handle it. But it can still be difficult to walk through those events when they happen. Thank goodness Jesus tells us we can ask Him for help when we need it, and He’ll give us what we need for each moment, eh? Thank goodness also, He doesn’t expect perfection from us when chaos strikes! 🙂 I hope broken things are a rarity while your husband is gone. May God give you His peace in this season. Thanks for stopping by today, Beth!

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