In May, I participated in a twelve-day Instagram writer’s challenge. It was both stretching and fun. We were given a different word each day and created posts about those words relating to our writer’s life.
As I contemplated each word, I discovered correlations between writing life and real-life. I’ve expanded on the original posts, and I’d love to read your thoughts on these words as they relate to your life as well.
I might take ridiculous pleasure in creating plot twists for my stories. Maybe I’m a little mischievous because I enjoy watching my characters struggle. Mostly I enjoy it because I know they’re going to learn and grow through the challenge.
Can I just be honest and say that I’m not fond of real-life plot twists? Torn ACL’s, snow days in May (yes, we had a snow day on May 21st this year, with three days left in the school year), and other challenges that force a change to the rhythms of my days?
Perhaps, it’s that I don’t like not knowing what I can expect. Or, it could be (ahem) that I like being in control. Whatever it is, when a plot twist turns me from my anticipated path, I must decide how I’ll handle change.
Here’s the thing. It’s when God writes a plot twist into my story that I learn to seek Him and cling tightly. When the unexpected happens and Hubs has to travel on a surprise business trip, or we find out about loved ones’ health failing, or something serious is happening with one of our boys, or we face disappointment . . . God knows what’s needed to help me grow through the challenges.
When plot twists enter our lives, we always have a choice. We can try to control the situation and keep things the same. Or, we can choose to lean into the changes, and look for God’s fingerprints in the situation.
When we try to force things to stay the same, we will probably end up feeling frustrated, angry, and eventually, bitter. And here, again, we make a choice. Will we still believe God is who He says He is when we’re in that frame of mind, or will we give up on God and follow Frank Sinatra’s example of doing it our own way?
When the unexpected happens in our lives, and the things we thought we knew and believed are flipped upside down, that’s when faith is truly tested. When circumstances leave us confused and questioning, we always have One we can turn to.
God knows the things we face will sometimes be painful. He also knows the beauty He can create from the pain, if we choose to trust Him, to cling to Him.
Knowing this doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to navigate the circumstance. But knowing He walks with us—guiding our every step—offers us peace. And, when we choose to trust God when we don’t understand, when the pain stabs sharp, our Father is blessed. And, He draws near to us.
Chances are good most of us won’t be stuck in the “hard” forever, we will come through it. When we trust the Lord, we have the opportunity to grow . . .
closer to our Father,
as human beings,
and in how we can help and encourage others.
But we must choose . . . will we turn away from, or toward, our Father? That one decision makes all the difference.
Turning away from God gives us the perceived control and a whole lot of pain. Turning toward Him means we choose to relinquish control and lean into His strength.
The Author of our faith and lives knows what we need to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Thankfully, He’s not mischievous or capricious in how He writes the chapters of our lives.
Like my characters, I’m learning to lean into the twists in life and to trust my Father. And He graciously meets me in each unexpected happening and reminds me how much He loves me.
What about you? How have you handled the plot twists in your life? What helps you to choose to trust God when you walk through painful circumstances?