How do YOU deal with the unexpected in your life?

Do you remember the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? At the end of the movie, the ground has spilt open and Indiana Jones is dangerously dangling between the cracks. Sean Connery is losing his grip on Indiana’s hand because he is desperately trying to grab the holy grail, but it’s inches from Dr. Jones’ reach. And in an authoritative yet gentle voice, Sean Connery says, “Indy, let it alone.”

My mom and I say this phrase to each other all the time when we find ourselves in a state of resistance.

The Mental Makeover Memo this week talked about Advent as the season of preparation for the coming Savior. We can prepare for Jesus and make room in our hearts in a couple ways: 1) Stop resisting change and 2) “let it alone.”

 A HUGE unexpected change in my life

About five years ago my brother-in-law announced that he accepted a job to start up an International School in Hanoi, Vietnam. Amy (my sister), my niece, nephew and brother-in-law with whom I was very close and lived only 25 miles away, was now going to be living 12,000 miles away in a country that wasn’t even on my top 25 places in the world to visit.

For a good month I struggled with such resistance in my heart. My focus was on everything Katie was losing. I struggled with trying not to blame my brother-in-law for taking my loved ones away. I wouldn’t get to see them in their school plays or sports activities. I would be missing out on seeing them grow and mature (in hindsight I realized I dodged a bullet by not being around for their middle school years).

Every time I thought about them leaving, my heart felt like it was being squeezed and I would burst into tears. I know it’s not like they died, but for me, it was a loss. And I resisted.

Talk about making room in your heart? It was like God snatched all that love in my heart I had for my family, and he turned it upside down and emptied it.

 Let it Alone, Katie

 So I took it up with Jesus and let him know just how unhappy I was with him and the plans he had for my sister and her family and how he certainly did not consult the Black’s on his decision! But then I came across an excerpt from a Christian devotional I’ve saved over the years. It said this:

 Often what I perceive as unexpected disorder-even chaos- is actually things shifting so that I can make a new beginning with someone or something.

Amy and the family moving to Vietnam? TOTAL unexpected disorder! But when I really let those words sink in to my mind and heart and chose a perspective of gain and not of loss, I began to let go. I stopped resisting and started hoping. And what is hope? Positive expectation!


This picture was taken at Halong Bay, Vietnam. Last Christmas my family and I traveled to Vietnam and spent the holidays with my sister and her family. The best vacation I ever had with my family!

Those months leading up to my sister’s departure, I clung to the hope that God’s hand is purposefully guiding this. Every time I had those feelings of resistance to this huge change in my life, I reread that devotion. I needed to constantly remind myself that this “shifting” of my family to a new country is making space for more wonderful blessings and experiences in my life and in the lives of my sister and her family.

So how did he fill that empty space in my life?  With Amy and the family absent, it was when God and I went to work on me. I partnered with God and began taking an active role in my life, not reactive. I started taking charge of my health, going to work on my spiritual self which all prepared me to discover my “why,” my purpose.

So what about you?

What are you resisting? Maybe you are in a relationship that needs to end, and God is giving you signs, but you are hanging on, clinging. Are you resisting your new boss or coworker? Are you resisting giving up destructive habits? Maybe your job changed or you were laid off. Are you resisting the fact that your children are teenagers and need to start making their own decisions?

Or are you clinging to resentment?  Maybe a loved one or a family member has wronged you, and while your anger may be justified it is ultimately taking up precious space in your heart. What do you need to “let go?” Look what Jesus promises in Matthew 5:4 (MSG):

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what’s most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

If there is unexpected disorder- or chaos in your life right now, think of it as God shifting things around! He is trying to make room in your heart. YOU are being prepared for some amazing things to happen in your life.

I leave you with 4 commands! Stop resisting. Start letting go. Prepare him room. Get excited-Jesus is preparing YOU.








4 thoughts on “How do YOU deal with the unexpected in your life?

  1. Katie~ This post made my heart ache and I actually cried. To see how my move affected you while all the time I focused on how it affected me and my family. And now I can totally see one of the reasons I moved to Vietnam, so YOU can help me when my unexpected change in life happens. I am so blest to have you as my sister!

  2. What a great blog! I never our decision would have such a significant impact on the events of your life (both good and bad). Kind of amazing how God use those experiences from our past to prepare us for the future He has for us. Makes me think of a quote from Steve Jobs – “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

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