Unexpected “Blessings”

You know that cheesy song that Garth Brooks sang back in the early-199os, “Unanswered Prayers?” Well all I can say is that, it might be cheesy, but it is also dead on.

Seriously, dead on. Have you ever taken a moment to think about all the heartbreak that you have experienced? Heartbreak that was in fact a huge blessing in disguise? For some reason on my drive back from Birmingham, this is exactly what I was thinking about.

Unexpected Blessings

I came up with a long list full of unexpected “blessings.” Here’s a very short sampling –  job promotions deserved but not attained, relationships that ended too abruptly, loyalties betrayed.

A slew of things have happened that were terrible, tragic, and agonizing. Life-changing. A slew of things have happened that turned out to be what I never knew I wanted, what I needed, and the catalyst that forced me to make some long over-due decisions. Life-changing.

But these “tragedies” have brought me to where I am today. Even though in the midst of them, I prayed, begged, pleaded for a different outcome, now that I can clearly see that they are stitches in God’s amazing handiwork, I am so thankful for each of these unexpected “blessings.”

I always come back to this verse.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. – Jeremiah 29:11-12

I hope and pray that next time “tragedy” strikes, I will remain faithful knowing that I am in great hands.

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ali

    That is one of my all-time favorite Bible verses, Lindsey, and I have not even read the entire Old Testament yet because I am a newer Christian (five years), and I started with reading the New Testament first although I am now working my way through the Old Testament.

    I look at two instances in my life that turned out to have unexpected blessings. I got extremely sick in my late college years, and I would not wish my experiences on anyone. But that sickness formed me and made me more accepting and aware of others who are very different from me. And then about seven years ago I was fired from a very good job. At the time I was distraught, but I believe deep in my heart that God used this as the time for me to come to know Him through Christ. During my time of unemployment, God provided for all my needs, and this time of unemployment allowed me plenty of time to think and read–and finally come to know Christ in my heart.

  • Love it! I, too, have many instances of unexpected blessings in my life. There are so many prayers God answered that were not what I wanted, but they turned out better than I could have ever hoped. I love Isa 55:8-9 (His ways are not my ways, His thoughts not my thoughts. His ways and thoughts are higher than mine – paraphrased.) He knows far better than I do what I need and even what I desire! Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my faves, too, because it reminds me of God's character when I doubt my circumstances! Great post!

  • StephinLex

    Hooray! My life verse. Again your blog post resonates with where I am in life, too. And for your list of 'unexpected blessings.' I'm with you there, too, friend. How fantastic that you're in a place where you can reflect, be thankful, and your faith can be bolstered.

    Oddly enough, I tend to revisit this subject during Januarys:
    http://canteringon.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archiv
    http://canteringon.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archiv… (scroll down to 3rd)

    Thanks for sharing!

    • @StephinLex, I get thinking about this in January. It is a wonderful time of reflection, and getting new perspective on things that happened in the last year. Cuz sometimes when you are "in it" your perspective is a little off.

  • Rami

    What a resonating blog post. As I come off this weekend, the anniversary of the most prevalent tragedies in my life, your words offer comfort. Through my father's suicide, I have been forced to try to make sense of things that make absolutely no sense. I strive every day to not focus on the why, but the how. How do I learn from the heartache? How do I celebrate my father's life and not dwell on his death? Though I realize that the answer may never come, I also hold onto the fact that what you do with the tragedy is how you are able to define yourself in the aftershock. Thank you Lindsey for your honesty, openness and friendship.

    • @Rami, I wish I could do more for you. I wish I could take all this away from you. But I am glad that this post offered some comfort. It has been absolutely amazing walking through this with you and seeing your strength, determination, loyalty, and optimism.

  • WOW .. God is REPEATEDLY driving this message home to me. I've been fretting about a major life change that's coming, one I didn't choose, but one I can't avoid. No sooner had I created my blog (as one step toward preparing for this change) and posted about my trepidations, using this verse, than I began to find it seemingly everywhere. The change has been confirmed as of this morning. I don't have to worry if it's coming. It's here. With God, I'll deal with it.____Thanks, Lindsey, I met you at the Dallas WoF Tweetup, and began following many of you Thomas Nelson folks after that. .. what a blessing you've all been in these few short weeks!

  • This was a nice upper cut to add to the spiritual beating I'm taking today listening to The Nines. 🙂

    "Have you ever taken a moment to think about all the heartbreak that you have experienced? Heartbreak that was in fact a huge blessing in disguise?"

    I've tried to hang onto that when walking through those times. I've had more times than I want to count where things went south and I still don't know what the Lord is doing. You have to cling to that little nugget of hope that God is working something good out of it and even though you can't see a single break in the hurricane that at some point the storm ends.

    • Yep, there are times when I "cling to that little nugget of hope" for dear life!

    • @JasonWert, Yep, there are times when I "cling to that little nugget of hope" for dear life!

  • Definitely God working…strange…I am a co-worker of @JanNoelSmith and going through some of the same stuff…been focusing all my worries on that verse! And it's been popping up everywhere! I blogged about it over the weekend: http://notionsandnonsense.blogspot.com/2009/09/kn

    Normally I'd be really freaking out about the change to come, but He hasn't failed me in the past no matter what I thought at the time and He won't fail me now!!

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