Jeanne Takenaka

How do you handle change when the unexpected enters your life?

I may take ridiculous pleasure in creating plot twists for my stories. Maybe I’m a little mischievous because I enjoy watching my characters struggle. Mostly, I delight in the journey I know will help them learn and grow through the challenge.

Can I just be honest and say that I’m not fond of real-life plot twists? Torn ACLs, snow days in May, losing family members, and other challenges that force change into the rhythms of my days are not unexpected events I appreciate. They’re inconveniences to be dealt with and plowed through. 

A tree struck by lightning...a symbol of how we, like this tree, need to learn how to handle change and continue to grow

Perhaps, it’s that I don’t like not knowing what I can expect. Or, it could be (ahem) that I like being in control. Whatever it is, when a plot twist veers me from my anticipated path, I must decide how I’ll handle change.

Here’s the truth. It’s when God writes a plot twist into my story that I learn to seek Him and cling tightly. When we trip into unexpected circumstances, God knows what’s needed to help us grow through the challenges. He lifts our arms so we don’t completely smack the ground with our faces.

A rock-edged path through a grove of aspens with the sunlight shining through leaves

Choices We Make To Handle Change

When plot twists enter our lives, we always have options. We can try to control the situation and attempt to keep things the same. Or, we can choose to lean into the changes and look for God’s fingerprints in the situation.

When we strive to force things to stay the same, we will probably end up feeling frustrated, angry, and eventually, bitter. And here, again, we make a choice. Will we still believe God is who He says He is when we’re in that frame of mind? Or, will we give up on God and follow Frank Sinatra’s example of doing it our own way?

Meme that says: "When circumstances leave us confused and questioning, we always have One we can turn to" on a backdrop of fallen leaves on a stick

When the unexpected happens in our lives, and the things we thought we knew and believed are flipped upside down, that’s when faith is truly tested. When circumstances leave us confused and questioning, we always have One we can turn to.

The Best Way to Handle Change in Unexpected Circumstances—When circumstances leave us confused and questioning, we always have One we can turn to #tellhisstory #changes #perspective Click To Tweet

God knows the things we face will sometimes be painful. He also knows the beauty He desires to create through the pain if we choose to trust Him, to cling to Him. 

Knowing this doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to navigate the circumstance. But knowing our Father walks with us—guiding our every step—offers us peace. And, when we choose to trust God though we don’t understand—when the pain stabs sharp—our Father is blessed. And, He draws near to us. 

Three aspens, the lighting-struck tree with two others near by and a bigger picture of the lightning strike. Sometimes we handle change better when others walk beside us

Truth to Hold Onto

Chances are good most of us won’t be stuck in the “hard” forever, we will come through it. When we trust the Lord, we have the opportunity to grow . . . 

closer to our Father, 

as human beings, 

and in how we are able to help and encourage others. 

A wall of aspens in a forest

But we must choose . . . will we turn away from or pivot toward our Father? That one decision makes all the difference.  

The Best Way to Handle Change in Unexpected Circumstances—But we must choose . . . will we turn away from or pivot toward our Father? That one decision makes all the difference #tellhisstory #changes #perspective Click To Tweet

Turning away from God gives us perceived control and a whole lot of pain. Facing toward Him means we choose to relinquish control and lean into His strength.

The Author of our faith and lives knows what we need to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. 

Thankfully, He’s not mischievous or capricious in how He writes the chapters of our lives. 

A stump with berries around it . . . even when change comes, we can handle change in a way that brings beauty

Like my characters, I’m learning to lean into the twists in life and to trust my Father. And He graciously meets me in each unexpected happening. He enables me to handle change. And, He reminds me how much He loves me.

What about you? How do you handle change when plot twists happen in your life? What helps you to choose to trust God when you walk through painful circumstances?

P.S. This post first appeared on my other site a couple years ago. Also, next week the Tell His Story link up will be at Lisa Jordan’s place.

Most weeks, I link up with Grace and Truth, Anita Ojeda, Instaencouragements, and sometimes Let’s Have Coffee. Come join and read more encouraging posts!

Each week we gather here as storytellers, word weavers, and encouragers to make His name known. Our story is God’s story and this small corner of the blogging world, where we come together each Tuesday, needs you. This is a place where poetry, snapshots, prayers, and stories find a safe spot to nod in agreement that what we have to say matters. I am glad you are here and would love to have you join the #TellHisStory community. Add your own encouraging post through the link below. Spread some love by visiting your neighbor and leave your own encouragement. Click over here to read more about the #TellHisStory community and find a button to add to your site.

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