Life is unpredictable, but it doesn’t have to leave you disheartened (even when you’re experiencing unforeseen circumstances.) I recently had the opportunity to talk with Jillian Benfield on an episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast about how to cope with unforeseen events. In today’s post, Jillian shares five starting points to help you when you’re undergoing unexpected circumstances. Life doesn’t always go as planned, but we can navigate those unexpected circumstances with a fresh perspective.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
5 Starting Points to Help You Undergoing Your Unexpected Circumstances
By Jillian Benfield
These 5 starting points will help you navigate through unexpected circumstances with a renewed outlook.
1.) Read John 10:10. Jesus says he doesn’t come to kill or destroy. He says He comes to give us life to the full. Jesus doesn’t promise a perfect life but an abundant one.
- How does this sit with you?
- Have you been taught that God is the force behind all of your circumstances?
- Or, perhaps that if you believe in God enough, that you will be protected by God?
Allow this verse to lead you deeper into your theology about God’s will and role in our unexpected circumstances.
2.) In this 2021 poll, most churchgoers believe God want them to prosper financially. This is called the Prosperity Gospel and this idea has infiltrated our views about the Divine. With this line of thinking- God becomes transactional.
- When examining your unexpected circumstances reflect on your views about God’s role in them.
- Did you blame yourself- that maybe if you would have believed more- God would spare you of this?
- Did you blame God- that You had been “good” enough- why would He do this to you?
- Ask yourself- What is maybe a better way to look at the Divine’s role in your unexpected circumstances?
- Ask yourself- do I have an Americanized version of Jesus?
3.) Listen to this podcast on Hedonic Adaptation. “How can winning the lottery ruin your life – while contracting an incurable disease feel like “a gift”? This podcast is about hedonic adaptation and I find it both fascinating and hopeful about how God wired us to experience the best of circumstances and also the worst.
Hint- our lives our never 100%. I believe God purposefully designed us this way because it keeps us longing. Only, we are supposed to long for what He longs for- living in Him.
4.) We may never get our old lives back. Watch this short video of me explaining how we may never get our old lives back after the unexpected, but we can get a new life. God promises resurrection- that promise is not just about the next life, but it is intertwined in the small deaths we experience in this one. God may not give us the circumstances we want, but he does make all things new, including us if we are willing.
5.) The power of ‘And’. I go more in-depth into the power of ‘And’ in the Gift of the Unexpected (Chapter 10). But here is a quick Instagram video about how we can hold our current struggles and current joys in the same hands- we don’t have to choose. While we undergo the unexpected, we can grieve what has happened and be grateful for the beauty still present and new beauty we will one day find.
How do you cope with unexpected circumstances? We’d love to hear in the comments below!
About Jillian Benfield
Jillian Benfield is a former journalist and news anchor. She holds a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Georgia. As a freelance writer, her essays about living an unexpected life have appeared on sites such as TODAY, Good Morning America, Yahoo! News, and ABC News. Jillian regularly advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in her writings, community, and as a part of the National Down Syndrome Congress’s National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition. Jillian and her husband, Andy, and their three children make their home on Florida’s Space Coast.
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Jillian is giving away a free copy of her book, The Gift of the Unexpected: Discovering Who You Were Meant to be When Life Goes Off Plan.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about how to navigate unexpected circumstances and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of his book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, February 5, 2024. Continental United States only.