Saying ‘Yes’ when life takes a sharp left turn

At the time of this writing, we’re nearly a month into spring. Dan put away the snowblower, we positioned the Adirondack chairs around the fire pit, and I arranged matching cushions. It was 78 degrees. We were expecting guests. And it was spring.

But at least three mornings this past week, we woke up to fresh snow.

Life is constructed from unexpected events. Waking up to snow on spring mornings is definitely on the lesser end. But there are curve balls that blindside us (I think I just mixed baseball and football metaphors) and they’re usually overwhelming—a cancer diagnosis, a job change that requires a move away from the familiar, loss of a loved one.

When that happens, we can choose to lean in, embrace the unwanted, and quit kicking against it. We can trust that God has this.

Leaning in and embracing simply means saying ‘Yes’ to our hard places. And saying ‘Yes’ dilutes the power we give to the devastating events in our lives.

It was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said:

The best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.

Getting off the couch and making the most of our hardest ‘Yeses’ means we trust God with the large and bewildering things of life. It means we accept the detours, the waiting. We accept not knowing what’s going on.

Michael J. Fox, who has struggled with Parkinson’s disease for 30+ years, said:

Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.

One of my favorite ‘Yeses’ came from Mary when Gabriel visited to say she would bear the Christ Child:

Mary said, “Behold, I am the Lord’s bond-servant; may it be done to me according to your word.”

– Luke 1:38

Mary was more than likely a young teenager, engaged to be married, and with a wild tale about an angel and how the Holy Spirit impregnated her.

Mary’s ‘Yes’ placed her in a vulnerable and dangerous position, which is why it inspires me.

When God hears all our resounding ‘Yeses’, I think it gladdens His heart because of what He can accomplish through our availability in this hard thing … and how it will change us.

Practice saying with me, “Yes, Lord. May it be done to me as you have planned.”

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2 Comments

  1. Rita Weick

    I LOVE the quote from Longfellow.

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