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3 Key Takeaways When Life Interrupts Your Plans

By April 3, 2024April 6th, 2024No Comments
life interrupts

How do you cope when life interrupts your carefully made plans?

Last fall, God brought a shake-up to our lives. Another one. And let me tell you, change isn’t exactly my cup of tea. I’m more of a cozy-comfort-zone kind of gal.

Transitioning isn’t my forte. As we settled into this new adventure, God whispered, “Ready for the next adventure?” Spoiler alert: I wasn’t. I still hadn’t fully processed this current change.  But life has a funny way of nudging us out of our comfort zones, doesn’t it? Over the next several weeks, I continued to sense God wooing me, inviting me into another, deeper adventure with him—one that required a new level of trust and waiting.

Almost two decades ago, God allowed Dave and me to face a devastating interruption in our relationship.

You can read the full story in my book Choosing A Way Out. While I wasn’t sure I’d survive the discovery of my husband’s struggle with porn, I faced a deeper crisis. Could I trust this God who didn’t keep my husband from watching porn to take care of me and heal my heart?

God hadn’t followed my carefully made plans for my life and marriage.

Marital betrayal wasn’t part of the plan, yet there we were. I was not equipped to handle this chaotic transition in my life.

So, how do you navigate life’s interruptions of your plans without losing your marbles?

Here are three key takeaways I’ve gleaned from my journey with God over the past two decades:

1. Change is a Gift.

It makes sense to view change as an unwelcome intruder disrupting your carefully crafted plans. But what if, instead, you saw it as a gift?

James 1:2-8 urges us to consider trials as opportunities for growth, a chance to lean into God’s wisdom and provision. Joy—true joy—stems from your relationship with God, not your circumstances. So, when life throws curveballs, lean into the adventure, trusting that God has something beautiful in store.

Trust God to show you every step of the path. That’s what he did for Dave and me in our most recent transition. Even though we feel off-kilter, we know that God directed us to our present circumstances. As dear friends said to us recently, “The path was crystal clear.” Therefore, we know this change is a gift from God, and we’re excited to walk this new adventure with him.

2. Pressure Wash Your Faith.

Ever used a pressure washer? It’s a powerful tool, stripping away layers of grime and revealing the pristine surface beneath.

Dan Miller, a man I highly respected and looked up to as a business mentor, often asked, “What does this make possible?” When you face change, transition, obstacles, or unexpected crises, you have choices. You can look for the adventure and possibilities in that current change, or you can fight it, moan about it, and adopt a victim mindset.

Life’s challenges act as spiritual pressure washers, revealing the depths of our faith. James 1 challenges us to embrace trials with joy, knowing that they produce endurance and refine our character. Changes or transitions force us to look at what we believe about God.

What are you facing today that brings up fear, sadness, anger, angst, anxiety, or disillusionment? God allowed this faith pressure washing to clear away everything that holds you back from becoming the person God created you to be. How you deal with this crisis is up to you. Pressure washings quickly clear away the grime to reveal what’s beneath. What will you find?

3. Build Character.

Change isn’t just about adapting to new circumstances; it’s about building character.

Think about the person you most admire. What characteristics do you recognize in that person? He or she wasn’t born that way. Building character means dealing with disappointment, transition, obstacles, changes, crises, learning the lessons from each one, and living life differently because of that transition.

Like a master gardener pruning his vines, John 15 tells us that God shapes us through life’s transitions, cultivating resilience and trust. Embracing change means surrendering our fears and insecurities, allowing God to mold us into who he created us to be for his honor and glory.

Pastor Eugene Peterson translates James 1:6 this way in The MESSAGE: Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves.

What does it mean to “worry your prayers”?

It means asking God to deal with the problem but then doing everything you can to ensure the outcome is the way you want it to be. Let me provide an example.

Dave agreed to counseling, marriage counseling, working with coaches through a Restoration Team, and anything else to overcome his struggle with porn. While that provided some peace of mind, I continued to diligently watch and analyze his every word and action. I often asked God to heal him and our relationship. But my daily thoughts, words, and actions revealed I “worried that prayer” by trying to control Dave’s healing process. It wasn’t until I truly took my hands off what his healing process looked like and brought every worry, fear, disappointment, concern, and more to God that I began to see the changes in Dave.

Worrying my prayers hindered the healing God wanted to give Dave and me.

Adversity reveals our true character, illuminating the depth of our faith and resilience.

How do you navigate any life interruption?

Consider change as a gift.
Power wash your faith.
Allow the change to build your character.

That new transition God invited me to?

I’m still in it. Here’s what I know right now: God remains faithful each day. I don’t have all the answers, but I know the one who does, and he hasn’t failed me yet. He won’t start now. I also know that I will come through this new transition with greater joy, faith, peace, and strength because God promised to do that work in me. I can trust him.

Do you struggle to find your way through when life interrupts your plans?

Let’s talk. The best thing I’ve done in difficult transitions is to get the help I need from a coach or counselor. If you’re dealing with betrayal trauma from your husband’s struggle with porn, I’ve been there. Please reach out. I promise to listen well, hear your pain and heart, and show you how God brought me through.
May you embrace change as a divine adventure, trusting in God’s provision and sovereignty, finding joy in the midst, and allowing perseverance and resilience to grow. You can trust the one who never lets go.

  • Kirsten D Samuel

    I empower Christian wives to discover they are seen, loved, and heard. These women find the freedom to be who they are beyond their partner’s struggles, and find hope that there is a life worth living.