What do we do when life doesn’t go as planned? Job loss, bankruptcy, a report from the doctor that wasn’t what we wanted, a friend’s betrayal. When difficult times come, where do we put our trust?
Little did I know that the drive that should have taken seven or eight hours to get home, and ended up closer to thirteen, was a foreshadowing of the long and exaggerated hours that would punctuate the next week. Other events not originally on our calendar became emergent and non-negotiable, and left us trying to figure out how to cope—each of us individually, but also collectively as a family.
We had stopped part-way through our drive home on a holiday weekend to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants with friends in a city I previously called home. Conversation flowed easily and it warmed our hearts to catch up. We ended our time together with each family asking the other, “How can we pray for you?” We parted company eager to make the last leg of our drive home but looking forward to seeing them again whenever God opened a way.
Within moments of getting back on the interstate, and stuck in traffic (apparently everyone else was driving home after the holiday weekend too!), my husband mentioned chest discomfort. But he is NOT a complainer, so any mention of discomfort or pain is something I know to take seriously with him.
“It’s probably just heartburn,” he said, trying to allay my concerns.
In our 29 years of marriage, I’ve never known him to have heartburn. I messaged my three closest friends and asked them to pray for our travel safety and for his well-being. When we finally pulled into the driveway at home, exhausted, he went straight to bed, still not well.
When he changed the description from “discomfort” to “pain” the next morning, we called his oncologist who had been treating him for cancer over the last several months. She wisely advised him to go straight to the emergency room. By then he had chest pain that radiated up and over his shoulder and down into his back, and he couldn’t get a full breath of air without discomfort.
Blood work was immediately taken, and scans and imaging were run. Staff ran in and out of his room, checking, double checking, and conferring, before he was ultimately diagnosed with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms, probably due to the chemotherapy thickening his blood. He didn’t care for the treatment but acquiesced: more medication and a multiple day stay in the hospital.
He looked discouraged as he relayed, “I’m sorry Honey.”
Tears formed in my eyes. “You have nothing to be sorry for. You are right where you need to be. I’m thanking God right now that you are here. This could have happened while we were out of town and landed you in a hospital out of state. Your doctor could have listened to you, assumed it was heartburn, and not sent you to the emergency room to be assessed in time. You could have thrown a clot to your heart or your brain. Don’t be sorry. Be thankful. God has taken care of us and we will trust that He will continue to do so.”
What do we do when life doesn’t go as planned?
What do we do when the diagnosis isn’t what we wanted?
What do we do when the month is longer than the paycheck?
What do we do when the pain and heartache seem too painful to bear?
What do we do when we have more questions than answers?
What do we do when people let us down?
We trust. We trust in a Sovereign God.
- We trust in the One who knew the situations that would arise before they ever came to be.
- We trust the One who knows all the answers, and who provides all our help.
- We stand on His word, we rely on His promises, and we trust His truth.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
The first and best option is always to trust God.
What do you need to trust God for today? I’d love for you to share in the comments below.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
I am thankful for God’s guidance and love always and especially when things don’t go as planned. 🙂
Today I need to give my worries about my husband’s dementia (and hearing issues) over to God…I need to trust He has it already taken care of, and I don’t need to worry; yet, I do worry! What should I do? Can he – should he – still be driving? How will he react when the doctor tells him he probably should not? What will his actions be to me? I must trust God, and seek his refuge and strength…
BUT IT IS HARD!
So thankful I saved this to read today! Your words have helped; though I know there is a LONG road ahead of us!
Thank goodness you made it home safe and he got the help he needed!
Thank you for this post. One thing I have learned is that nothing ever goes according to plan.
I will pray for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your insight. You are an inspiration to me. God bless you.
continually startles me that the deepest growth in trust comes from deepest trials. our human penchant for self-reliance must make it so. blessings on you and how God is allowing such stretches for your family. may today you find rest in your soul and body! sue
Trust in God is about all we can do when life does not go as we planned. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.
Thank you for sharing. It is comforting to know that God knows our needs before they even come to be.
Visiting from #teachingwhatisgood
My dad who was once full of laughter and life is… well, not the man he used to be. I never imagined that an unknown and diagnosed malady would steal his voice and vitality. I’ve had my last conversation with him. There are no answers as to “why” but only that God is in control and He sustains us even when the answers never come. Thanks for your honest and encouraging post.
I remember this all unfolding ‘live’ on facebook… so glad we know the One to whom turn to! Praying for you both! xoxo
I am so glad your hubby is OK and I hope he will continue to recover–even have a miraculous healing from cancer. I often think of the quote (attributed to multiple people) that “life is what happens when we’re making other plans.” And it’s true–all we can do is trust God, believing He will do what’s best for us in His timing.
I hope everything is ok with your hubby? It’s awesome that you got home and to the doctor in time!
Such truth here, Dr. Michelle. I’m in the midst of a wait right now and I’m daily reminding myself that God is big enough and He is so very trustworthy. Thank you for more confirmation today. Glad to have visited you from #thoughtprovokingthursday. I’m tweeting and pinning too!
So much did NOT go as planned in 2016. Too many losses, too much uncertainty, too many instances that took my breath away. It was excruciating. Painful. Heartbreaking. Losing my mom was one of them….and your husband’s episode was much like one we had earlier in 2016 with my mom, so I was reliving it as I was reading your words. But the one constant…the one thing that has never changed…is Jesus. He is still there, ruling over all, knowing the answers before the questions are asked, and I have to remember that every moment of every day. It’s the only thing that gets me through….believing and trusting and having faith that He has a purpose for all things. Thank you for sharing your story/your husband’s story. Even in the bad, God is still so very good….
I pray for your husband and that all is well. I admire your faith and courage to share your story to uplift others. Thank you for sharing on the #LMMLinkup this week.
That sums it up, doesn’t it, “We trust in a sovereign God.” Praying for you and your family. Blessings!
Wow! I’m so glad to hear that you caught it and yes, God knew. Thank you for sharing your story of trust to encourage the rest of us.
Grateful that the health issue was caught in time! I try to look at “interruptions” or unexpected events as something that did not catch God off guard and I need to listen to Him and trust His wisdom and direction.
I am learning to trust Him for each day, each moment and even down to each second. Our world today is very dis-functional and could be called ‘frightening’ BUT for the fact that our God Reigns. That truth is non negotiable. I know it and I will believe and walk in that truth. As I pray and seek His wisdom, Father keeps saying ‘TRUST ME’ and I keep saying, YES, LORD, I WILL. So I have to put that statement into action. I love this message, Michelle, and I love how you take your life circumstances and share ‘real life stories’ with us. Helps us relate to you in a deeper way. This is so encouraging. Thank you!
As usual, Michelle, you offer such wonderful advice drawn from your own faith journey! Thank you for the heartfelt encouragement.
And thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!