Expect: When The Unexpected Happens


+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—EXPECT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

***I went a wee bit over five minutes this week. Just had to confess it.***


I headed into the week with a lot on our plate. The boys were done with school (already?!). One had two days of band camp. We had house guests arriving. And my three guys were getting ready to head to Boy Scout Camp in another state.

I knew I had a lot on my plate, but I knew what to expect. I also knew I’d be able to breathe at the end of all the chaos.

What I didn’t expect was for one of my boys to pass out. At the breakfast table. And tumble from his chair. I knew he couldn’t be joking around (he’s a jokester). He would have stopped himself from falling onto the floor.

I had nothing in my repertoire of experiences to tell me how to handle this. So, I got him to the couch.

And waited.

And prayed.

And texted wise friends.

And was pretty much a wreck for the next few hours.

I didn’t know what to expect. We got a doctor’s appointment later that day. I knew God was in control, but I didn’t know what that meant? Epilepsy? Something worse?

The kiddo was tired for a few hours after he came to. He rested and I paced. What did one do with a child who passed out?

I worked on breathing, trying not to expect the worst when we met with the doctor. They ran tests, asked questions, took my son’s side of the event and then mine.

Of all the things I had planned for that week, having a kid pass out wasn’t on the list.

I don’t like when these kinds of unexpected things happen. Surprise birthday parties? Okay. Surprise faintings? SO not okay.


I had to come to God with my fears, with my concerns, and my worry. He knew exactly what was going on with the boy. Even though I had to wait a few days to hear the results of the tests.

I couldn’t live each moment, hovering over my son, expecting him to pass out again. Though that was my inner prompting.

We followed up with the doctor, who said the tests came back normal. Good news, yes. I had to choose whether or not I was going to trust God or expect the worst. Living with the mindset that we expect the worst to happen only leads to a stressed out life.


Living out the choice to trust God when the unexpected happens? To choose to rest in Him and trust that He’s doing/allowing what’s best for accomplishing His will? This sometimes feels harder in the short term, but making this choice each day enables us to live in peace in the long-term.

What about you? When did something unexpected derail your “normal?” How do you respond when the unexpected happens?

I’m linking up over at the Five Minute Friday site. Come join the fun!

Click to Tweet: I had to come to God with my fears, with my concerns, and my worry.


41 thoughts on “Expect: When The Unexpected Happens

  1. I initially freak out with the unexpected and then chill out and become miss calm and reasonable… usually after God steps and says “hey girl, I got this relax!”. 🙂


    • Annette, depending on the situation, I can be of the “freak out at first” club too. I guess I have to let the initial shock roll through me and then remember that God really does have it, and He holds us in the palm of His hand. Thank you for stopping by!


  2. Oh my goodness, I would have been pacing right there with you! In fact, my daughter passed out once in our kitchen while pouring herself some milk one day… oh the panic at something so unusual!
    Turns out she needed extra iron in her diet, that was all… but you know it took me a while to totally turn it over to God and leave the incident in His hands!
    Even after I knew she was okay, lol.
    Thankful for good results and a Father who knows us better than ourselves and is ready to issue His peace at a moment’s notice. 🙂 So glad I was able to visit the blog today! Thankful for your reminder to lean on him, we can expect him to be faithful!


    • Christine, that must have been so scary to watch. I am thankful it was a relatively simple “fix” for your daughter. I know what you mean about it taking time to turn things over to God. I knew he was in control and He knew what had caused my boy to faint. But, I didn’t know if it was serious and what it would mean for our family. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything serious. And even if it had been, we would have leaned into God. Thanks for sharing your story. So glad I’m not alone. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry you and your boy had to live through this, Jeanne.

    Love the pictures, as always . Too ill to say much more, except that when I was young I had a friend who passed out, one time – in my presence. The doctor who was called said it wasn’t uncommon for adolescent boys, that different parts of their bodies grew at different rates, and in this case one system ‘outran’ another.

    You’re in my prayers.


    • Andrew, I always appreciate you sharing your energy to comment here. I haven’t heard about passing out being common among teenage boys. And the reason why is interesting. I’m glad you shared that. 🙂 Thank you so much for the prayers. Please, please know I am praying for you throughout each day. Gentle hugs, friend.


  4. Oh my goodness. I’m so glad the tests came back normal. I would have been super anxious if one of my people passed out. Definitely not what you had in mind for the morning, right? Love your pictures and your perspective.


    • Me too, Heidi. DEFINITELY not what I had in mind for that day.But God . . . even though our day took a drastic turn, He still allowed me to accomplish what had to be done. And, He gave me what I needed as I paced my way through those hours. Thank you so much for stopping by!


    • Oh, Susan. I LIKE GAKAT. It’s interesting, even walking through that morning, God reminded me that this event hadn’t taken Him by surprise. That made it a little easier to hand over my worry to Him. Thanks for your reminder!


  5. Wow! That would be scary! Praying for you all and hoping it’s nothing serious. I like a clear plan and don’t like it when something unexpected happens. But, I’m always amazed at how those detours can reshape my own plans for something better.


    • Thank you, Annie. The doctor didn’t think it was anything serious, thankfully. You and I are cut from that same “Likes-her-plan” cloth. God does have a way of shaking us up and reminding us that His plans, though often different, are always better, doesn’t He? And yes, those detours do reshape our plans for something better. Thanks for sharing your insight!


  6. Yes, that would be so unexpected! I have a daughter who faints from time to time. One of my unexpected moments was to have a son born with club feet and later a diagnosis of developmentally delayed (although delayed is an odd word there is not catching up so to speak). One of the blessings is I see how I have learned to flow with the unexpected more. The unexpected can strengthen resilience and faith.


    • Lynn, the first time your daughter fainted must have been a shock to you. I’m thinking (knowing this could happen to my boy again) that the spike in the heart rate eventually doesn’t spike so high when it happens again? Not sure, just guessing.

      God does have ways of teaching us how to let go of what we are expecting, doesn’t He? I can imagine your son has taught you a lot about leaning into God when the unexpected occurs, and the expected does not. You’re so right. The unexpected can strengthen resilience and faith. I appreciate you sharing a piece of your story here. Thank you, friend.


  7. So sorry your son and you had to grow through that. Thank you for the reminder to trust in HIM. As my 18 year old called home from river guiding camp in CO with the “I almost drowned today.” story, it is a reminder I needed to hear. I know that the Lord is watching him and keeping him safe. Thank you for sharing.:)


    • Emily, that phone call must have sent your adrenaline reeling. I’m so glad He’s okay! And you’re right, God does watch over our kids. I think it’s a constant choosing on our part to trust that God will watch over them and keep them. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story and for stopping by!


  8. Oh, Jeanne, I know that was terrifying for you. Glad to hear all came back normal and pray it stays that way. You are right: nothing comes out of worry except a stressed-out life. When I find myself heading down that hole, I have to remember it’s burying me and the light God has intended to shine. May we trust Him more and worry less together, sweet friend 🙂


  9. Wow, Jeanne, we really were so on the same wavelength today, weren’t we?
    Love this: “I had to choose whether or not I was going to trust God or expect the worst.” Yes, I so understand! And it’s a choice to return to that place of quiet trust in a Daddy that truly can fix all of our problems. “Paste it, Daddy!”

    Courage, my friend! He loves taking care of you AND your boys.
    Love you tons! Shauna


    • Yes, we were on the same wavelength, Shauna. May we both choose to return to the quiet trusting in a Father who loves us and has the answers we need to our problems. I’m going to think about “Paste it, Daddy!” in a whole new light from now on. Oh, and I’m going to think it in ZuZu’s voice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jeanne, i totally agree. that kind of surprise is no fun:( blessings as you recover from this surprise and move toward others! the process of his (and his brother’s) growing up will include other surprise experiences I’m sure.


    • Thank you, Martha. Thankfully, he hasn’t had this happen again. I know you’re right. There will be many other surprises as our boys enter and walk through the teen years. I’m sure they won’t all be the happy kind either. 🙂 I’m so glad we have a God who walks us through each and every circumstance. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!


    • Hi Tondra, I think I’m glad you were surprised. 🙂 I am very grateful that God has placed women in my life who pray for me, and who take my crazy “What do I do?!” phone calls. And I’m especially thankful for our Father who hears my pleas and answers. Thank you so much for stopping by!


  11. Oh, how scary! I hope that all is well now. I could write a book about my unexpected moments ;). But I DO know that each of them has helped me see things differently, grown closer to my Savior, and realize that I am NOT alone.


    • Thank you, Anita. Yes, he’s been his usual self since that day. I thank God for this, even when the mouth is in full gear. 😉 And you’re right. Those unexpected moments do teach us a lot and help our perspective. And God definitely reminded me that day that I am never alone. Such a great truth to cling to, isn’t it?


  12. Good to hear your son’s tests came out well.
    My daughter was working at a mission orphanage in Haiti. The kids had been running, falling, scrapping their knees and experiencing other small injuries. It wasn’t until near the end of the first week that one little girl cried after a fall, My daughter commented, “That’s the first child I heard cry since being here.” A worker responded, “That’s because she is the pastor’s daughter. The other kids are orphans, they don’t cry because unlike her, they have no one to run to for comfort.” One huge benefit of being a Christ follower is that we have a Comforter to call on when we experience pain or the unexpected.


  13. Jeanne my youngest passed out at church one Sunday morning. It was a bit of a freak out moment for sure. I never expected to catch him as he fell. Turned out he was dehydrated. So glad your boy’s tests came back okay.


    • Christy, that must have been scary! You were fortunate to catch him when he fell. It’s surprising how many reasons there are to pass out. I’m glad your son’s experience was “just” because of dehydration.


  14. Our summer plans were derailed two weeks ago when my father in law was admitted to the hospital in another state. He is not doing well, but has rallied some much to the doctors surprise. He will be getting palliative care now though, so there’s been a lot of unexpected travel, cancelled house guests, etc. As I grow older and a little wiser I try hard to see what God wants me to gain from these sorts of unexpected change in plans. I’m glad your son’s tests were good, and hope your boys enjoy scout camp. Visiting from FMF today.


    • Joyce, I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. Yeah, family health scares trump most other things in life, don’t they? I like your perspective of looking for what God wants you to gain from unexpected changes in plans. My guys did enjoy Boy Scout camp. Lots!


  15. That was, indeed, quite the unexpected. Whether or “unexpected” is major or just a twist in our plans for the day – giving God our fears, worries and our stress is always the answer. And nothing is unexpected for Him! Wonderful to hear that your son’s tests came out well…and hoping this new week is much less “unexpected.”

    Visiting from FMF – so glad to have found this community.


    • Jennifer, you’re spot on. When we give God our fears, worries, and stress, we can move forward in a healthier way than if we try to bear it all on our own. And yes, NOTHING is unexpected for Him, thankfully. 🙂 Thank you so very much for stopping by!


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