When April was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, her life turned upside down. She took early medical retirement and her family’s financial security abruptly changed. They relocated and changed schools and churches. The unwanted changes were discouraging as family members adjusted in individual ways.
Marilyn woke up one morning married, but by the day’s end, she took on the new status of “widow”. Her unfamiliar path held heavy grief. A clouded brain made navigating new responsibilities and pressing solo decisions difficult. Drinking morning coffee alone now after having the company of her husband for 42 years, compounded loneliness.
April and Marilyn are not alone in life plans going off course. Perhaps you’ve had a front-row seat to altered plans. Life isn’t going as you thought; dreams are shattered.
At one time or another, we walk an unexpected itinerary. Covid-19 proved that to us. Sometimes our changed plans are inconvenient, and we adapt. We move forward and learn contentment in our Plan B.
At other times, life alterations are permanent. We adjust, or we don’t.
What makes the difference between living in disappointment and defeat versus living in and with hope?
When we live in a circumstance and travel an unexpected path we didn’t seek or want, we need to regain our footing and change our focus to move forward. It’s not easy to do when our eyes are filled with tears or we are distracted by thoughts of what could have been. But if we want to thrive, not merely survive, we need to live intentionally with hope. How can we do that?
Detours, roadblocks, and changes in our life itinerary may be unplanned and disappointing, but we don’t have to be stuck, looking in the rearview mirror. Instead, we can change our focus to God’s perspective.
We can rely on His wisdom, grace, and power to move forward. We may find something different, or more, than what we missed or what we lost. When we trust God, we can live in and with the power of hope.
Devotion adapted from Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart, 2021, Ambassador International Publisher, used with permission.