Finding Hope in God When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned
Sitting in the hospital waiting room as a new bride, only a year and half into our marriage journey, I didn’t realize that my life was about to change. Little did I know, hope in God would be my anchor and lifeline for the trials ahead.
I didn’t know my new husband would be diagnosed with cancer, and that it would forever alter the course of our lives.
I didn’t know that in a few short years, my dream of being a mom would be shattered, as we unsuccessfully battled infertility.
I didn’t know when we adopted the two beautiful children God gave us, that we would parent children with Autism and a Behavior Disorder.
While I didn’t know that my fairy-tale life included a road marked with hardships and uncertainty, God did, and these “unexpected detours” did not take Him by surprise.
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Like many who experience life altering circumstances, I’ve wrestled with a journey I didn’t choose. Though I’ve struggled through the twists and turns my path has taken, God has revealed it to be a place of peace, hope and worship.
Friend, as mysterious and rocky as the terrain of the new path may be, you can experience life-changing peace and get a glimpse into the heart of God because of these new circumstances.
How to find hope in God when life doesn’t go as planned
Grieve your dreams and move towards acceptance.
When life takes an unexpected detour and dreams vanish in the blink of an eye, give yourself permission to grieve. You don’t have to be brave, pretend you’re fine or even have a solution to your troubles.
Instead, in your heartache and in your brokenness, cry out to God, laying your unrequited dreams at His feet.
Seek His face for strength to keep going and to find a sense of balance on a rocky new terrain.
Seek His healing as you pray for His love to bind up your brokenness and to cast out sorrow.
Seek His guidance as you search for direction and explore God’s purpose for your new path.
While in the darkness, don’t put a time limit on your grief; expecting to be “fixed” by a certain date. Instead, let yourself mourn the loss of your best laid plans and dreams, and seek to find God’s plans for your new, uncharted path.
Watch God move.
While on a new path in life, especially one you never planned, it’s not uncommon to feel alone as you try to navigate your new normal.
Your Heavenly Father goes with you every step of the journey, and this is HIS time to shine as you let Him guide you through new waters.
This is YOUR time to experience His presence in a fresh way, and to get a glimpse of His unwavering character and promise of protection.
Accept His promise of comfort.
“Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.” Isaiah 49:13
Rely on His promise of peace.
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
Trust that He is near.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18.
Rest in the hope of God and choose His joy.
When the storms of life rage around you and you’re left with a life you didn’t choose, it can be overwhelming to think of joy. You may wonder if you will ever experience it again or how to find hope when all seems lost.
When you have a relationship with God and you have placed your trust in Him as Lord and Savior of your life, you have more hope and joy than you could possibly imagine.
There is hope that God is working in your life to draw you closer to Him and to refine your character through your struggles. (Psalm 66:10)
There is joy knowing that God loves you no matter what you’ve done and His grace covers all sins. (John 3:16)
There is hope that God will draw near to you during our suffering and become the anchor for your soul. (Hebrews 6:19)
There is joy knowing that this world is not your home, but that God is preparing a place for you with Him in Heaven. (John 14:3)
Friends, while there is disappointment and heartache when life doesn’t go as planned, your new normal can be a time of worship and praise to the God who has never left your side.
As you seek His face and will, you’ll discover a deeper relationship and a sensitivity to His presence like never before. No matter how scary at first, God’s best for your life is a beautiful place to be!
Has there been a time or season of your life where life didn’t go as planned?
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Ahh yes… Choose JOY! Thank you for sharing this! Looking back over the past couple years, there have been some things that totally did NOT go as I planned. I can see now that God’s way is so much better – but it is still hard to trust sometimes and let go of previous dreams and plan.
Thank you again for sharing this, and for the reminder to accept God’s plans and choose joy!
Absolutely! I agree that it can be hard to come to terms with letting go of what we had planned, but I am so thankful God walk this journey with us!
My marriage and childhood haven’t been easy, there has been much trouble and difficulty but I continue to lay down my dreams and future at the Lord’s feet, praying and trying to pour out my heart to Him. He is in charge!
I completely understand that life is just so very hard for many! May you cling to Jesus through it all and trust that when you have a relationship with Him, your reward is in Heaven. You WILL find peace and rest in His presence!
I love this! I think many of us don’t live out the life we think we would. I know that to be true many times over as well. Yet God is always in control. I love to remind myself that He makes all things beautiful in His time. Not ours.
I agree, Ana! But when we focus on His plans, life suddenly becomes beautiful even if we end up where we never thought we’d be!
Yes, Sarah Ann, I’ve been through things I didn’t plan MANY times. This is great wisdom and encouragement. Love the idea of letting God comfort us and taking joy in His nearness. (Pinning this today!)
Thank you, Betsy! I find that when I’m in those seasons, clinging to God makes the whole process worth it!