Great Un-Expectations

A lot has happened in my family this year. And most of it has turned out differently than we expected. So my mom used this phrase, "Great un-expectations," to describe this year. It's crazy. I've never had a year of so much upheaval before.

First of all, in January, my sister Ashley was going to travel to Spain for a study-abroad, but she wasn't able to leave in time for the beginning of the semester because there was a hold-up with her student visa. I had gone out to visit her the week before she was supposed to leave and I had planned on seeing her to the airport, but I got to spend an extra day with her. The following week, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. In February, I started hemorrhaging and thought I was going to lose the baby, but I was placed on bed-rest off and on for about a month and a half. All this time, my baby sister, Alyssa, was planning her wedding for June. In my mom's life, a guy she used to know popped up out of nowhere and started paying her some unexpected attention. In the beginning of May, my water broke. I ended up in the hospital for a little over two weeks before I gave birth. My husband and I held our baby, Genesis Aria,  for an hour and forty-three minutes before she breathed her last. A few days before Ashley came home from Spain, one of her male friends professed his undying love for her. And it wasn't who we'd all thought it would be. They're now dating. And just last week, I went out to South Carolina for Alyssa's wedding, only we didn't go to a wedding. Alyssa had called it off the Monday before, for good reason. And as my dad said, if there's any hesitation, it's better to be safe than sorry. 

All of these situations had the potential to turn out differently. And not all of them were bad. But the unexpected has been startling my family this year, and we're only half-way through the year! 

The thing about the unexpected, though, is that it catches us off-guard. And when it does that, our true nature shows through. If circumstances turn out badly, our reaction shows our character. And while I don't believe that God is the cause of bad things, like my daughter dying, I do believe that He works through bad situations. Of course I wish I'd had the chance to hold my baby longer, to nurture her, raise her, spoil her. But she's not here. And I can choose to be mad at God and let this cause a breach in my relationship with Him, or I can fall on my face before Him and allow Him to hold me through this. I've chosen the second option. Sure, I don't understand why bad things have to happen to people who have real, deep faith in God. But we live in a fallen world, and because humans let evil into their hearts and minds thousands of years ago, we all have to live with the consequences of that choice. But the point is that God is still here for us. Jesus died to cover our sins, but we still live in the here and now, in this fallen place, and we sill have to deal with the results of sin and evil and death. And though we don't like that, we have hope in our Lord that there is coming a day when everything will be made right again: hearts will be restored, bodies renewed, and hope fulfilled. 

That's where I want to live my life. This mortal life is too short to get caught up in brooding over the bad. I've set my heart on the good, and I'm determined to find that good no matter what happens.

So bring on the unexpected! My God can handle it. And through Him, so can I.