When Things are Going Wrong

Is everything going your way?

Is anything?

It’s okay to say “no.” Life is full of twists and tangles, and we all are bound to hit some bumps along the way.  I received two emails recently that got me thinking about how we deal with life when things aren’t going our way.

The first note was from my friend Linda.  I wrote a few months ago about Linda and her family’s “6,000 mile bump in the road.”  Her military husband was unexpectedly stationed in Korea for two years, at a time when they expected him to be home for a while and when Linda couldn’t accompany him.  It could have been devastating, but instead Linda and her husband treated it as a challenging adventure.  She trusted that God was big enough to handle the worst.  AND HE IS!

And God has blessed Linda’s faithfulness.

Last week she sent me an email from Korea where she was visiting her husband! Her note was so joyful that it made me smile. She was plainly thrilled and thankful to be with her husband and to be sharing experiences with him. It brought home for me just how hard the news of his overseas posting must have been for her back in May and made her response that much more inspiring to me. Even now, knowing that she will have to return to the U.S. alone all too soon, there’s not a hint of bitterness. Linda doesn’t like the situation they’re in, but rather than waste time and energy on dissatisfaction, she takes joy where she can and trusts that God is at work and that He is sovereign.

The second email was from a young woman named Maggie who had just read Work, Love, Pray.  She just moved to a new city for her first “real” job after college. Like a lot of first jobs, hers isn’t that great. She doesn’t love her job, but she’s not giving up. Maggie feels God has called her and gifted her to serve Him in the business world. She’s choosing to “seek the Lord first and trust His guidance.” She said that she’s already been “surprised by the conversations and opportunities” that have come her way.

I think Maggie is wise beyond her years.  I just love what she said about seeking the Lord first.  Having done that, Maggie feels convicted that God’s place for her, now, is in a new city, at a job she doesn’t love.  And so Maggie is diving in.  She’s looking for opportunities to engage with her co-workers and seeking out a Christian community.

If life isn’t going your way right now, that’s okay.  It’s okay if you don’t like your job or you don’t like your romantic situation (or lack thereof), or your church situation or any number of things about your life. There’s no need to pretend otherwise, but don’t waste your time and energy and talents on dissatisfaction.  Seeking the Lord and trusting his guidance means accepting that that God sometimes wants you in situations you do not like.