Expecting the Unexpected   

I used to think that if you did a, b would follow, closely tailed by c. That belief was blasted into smithereens by the time I hit my third decade of life. I’ve learned that doing a MAY bring b, or q, or something not even remotely related. I’ve learned in my life, my career, and my faith to expect the unexpected.

So why am I telling you this?

Well, a couple of weeks ago I promised you a blog about what editors do. And that blog is coming. But the last week and a half here we’ve been balanced on the raw edge of chaos. We no sooner avert one crisis than another rears its ornery snout and we find ourselves immersed in yet ANOTHER scramble to do whatever new thing needs to be done. All of which is why (a) there was no blog from me last week and (b) the blog on what editors do is still rattling about in my beady little brain and not on the page.

But here’s the thing…

As I was whining to God about all this, He reminded me that life isn’t interrupted by chaos. Life IS chaos. It’s messy and unexpected and custom-designed to decimate any schedule or expectation you may have set up in your effort to gain that ever elusive fable called “control.” And while that can be frustrating, and even a bit frightening (as we duck the falling rocks only to step into quicksand),  not being in control means it’s not up to us to fix everything. It’s not on our shoulders at all. It’s on God’s.

He’s the only one Who sees everything from beginning to end. He’s the only One who knows what coming and how we’ll each survive our part of it. AND—this is the really good news, so listen up—He’s at work FOR us. Not against us. Not in spite of us.

FOR us.

To refine and strengthen us, to create in us so sparkly a reflection of His son that we will dazzle those looking on.

So when your world seems to go off the rails, don’t try to jump out of whatever you’re riding in. Just HOLD ON. To the One who made the tracks, and your car, and you. And know that He won’t let you go.

Not for one second.



19 Responses to Expecting the Unexpected   

  1. Jackie Layton April 6, 2016 at 4:23 am #

    Life is chaos. Amen to that. Here’s the verse I’ve focused on during this week’s chaos. “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Isaiah 49:23

  2. Ane Mulligan April 6, 2016 at 5:18 am #

    Thank you for the reminder that life IS chaos. I actually feel better! ?

  3. Cleo A. Lampos April 6, 2016 at 5:28 am #

    You have no idea how much I needed that blog.

  4. Beverly Brooks April 6, 2016 at 6:22 am #

    Good focus. Thanks Karen!

  5. Dianne April 6, 2016 at 6:28 am #

    Needed your words today. Thank you!

  6. Christine Henderson April 6, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    Thanks! This is what I needed to read today, as my b following a hasn’t been working out. You nailed it when you said life is chaos. God does have a plan for us and our focus needs to be on him, not our control issues.

  7. Dineen Miller April 6, 2016 at 7:19 am #

    Amen and amen. Romans 8 is my go to chapter for comfort in chaos. Loved reading this, Karen. So so good.

  8. Ann Shorey April 6, 2016 at 7:53 am #

    Perfect timing for this post, Karen. A couple of days ago, after countless interruptions and redirections in my a, b, and c plans for the day, I actually whined out loud, “My life is not in my control.” Well, duh. No it isn’t. As a Christian, my life is in God’s hands. Why can’t I remember that?
    Blessings and prayers to you.

  9. rochellino April 6, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    Expecting the unexpected. Adopt and adapt. In the U.S. Army this was termed “field expediency”. In Vietnam it was an all too frequent occurrence.

    In the spiritual realm I relate to this as “training and testing”. I cannot immediately recall an adversity, many times painful, where I did not ultimately profit (learn or gain) from it. I have learned to accept, examine, pray for assistance from Our Father and then go on and “overcome” the challenge with His assistance. No weapon formed against us has prospered. No chain placed upon me has ever held.

    As for me, you were missed Karen and I felt you may have been having to deal with “chains” (adversities) placed upon you that were more dire than the blog. I am extremely glad to see you back and hope you have your current challenge “under control” (with Our Father of course).


    God Bless!

  10. Jeanne Takenaka April 6, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Karen, I needed your words this morning. My chaos has looked like a torn ACL, surgery and a slow recovery process. Writing disappointments, crazy kid schedules, and other life surprises. I’m learning to navigate a slower pace of life as I recover from surgery, but I don’t always have the right attitude. 🙂

    I LOVED the reminder you shared that God is working FOR us. I need to remember this. Thank you!

  11. Mark Rhyne April 6, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    And in the midst of the chaos, you can be an encouragement and inspiration to others. As you have been with this post. Thank you for the reminders and words of wisdom.

  12. Leslie Payne April 6, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Oh this is wonderful! I had just told a dear friend this exact thing a few weeks ago, but today I needed someone to tell me. How wonderful to know for certain we have a God who rules over all. Thank you, Karen!

  13. Georgiana Daniels April 6, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    Karen, your words are precious and timely. Your image of ducking the falling rocks only to step in quicksand….our family has been there too many times to count!

    So thankful for God and His promises.

  14. Judith McCormack April 6, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Thank you, Karen, for the reminder that God, not us, is in control. I tend to forget that from time to time!

  15. Janet Ann Collins April 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    Karen, I’m praying for you. Obviously, from the previous comments, you’re not the only one going through challenging times. (I am, too.) God is using you in the midst of it all.

  16. Betts Baker April 6, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    Thanks for sharing with us. True words, encouraging to hear again.

  17. Janetta April 7, 2016 at 10:13 am #

    God bless you for figuring this out in your 30s. I think I learned it at the end of last year at 59. Yikes! Thanks for your message. A great reminder to all!

  18. Athena Dean Holtz April 8, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    Such a good reminder… thank you for being faithful to write authentically … the words resonate deep within as He uses you to strengthen us. May He continue to be felt right beside you in the chaos… 🙂

  19. Jerrie Hosford April 12, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Dear Karen, your comments were oil on turbulent waters for me this morning. We have been in a period where chaos has dropped on us like a parade of masked trouble makers. But every loss, disappointment or failure has turned my attention to my Lord. He tells me, “Peace, be still.” He washes away my self-criticisms. Hope and patience return. Thank you for your encouragement.

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