Unexpected Changes

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Usually on Fridays I share and link up a Five Minute Friday post, but that link-up is taking a holiday break for three weeks. Oddly, as it turns out, I discovered that I missed writing on three words way back in February when I did the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge. My theme was Coping With Change, and it also turns out those three words are perfect for the most recent changes in life that I've been coping with. Bonus words to write about for five minutes (or more) during the holidays.


One word. Five minutes to write about it. This is the idea behind Five Minute Friday and this is today's free-writing post.

this is unexpected
an unexpected blessing

Back in February, when I started the Write 28 Days challenge, my husband had just unexpectedly lost his job, and to our surprise he was able to find something else that allowed us to stay in our house and not move. An unexpected blessing! But once again, we faced an unexpected job loss at the end of September, and at that time, we did accept a new job offer that meant a move. And all of that was unexpected. A lot happened, and a lot changed, and all very quickly! A lot of change to cope with!

Often the most unexpected, unpredictable moments in life are the ones that leave the biggest impression and that teach us to roll with the punches. ~Natalya Neidhart

Although the suddenness presented a lot of challenges, in some ways I think it did make it easier for me as well. I didn't have time to mentally and emotionally prepare for it, so the feelings of grief and loss hit hard and sometimes at unexpected moments. But I also didn't have the dubious luxury of indulging in long pity parties or wallowing in my sorrow at moving away from my kids and friends and beloved home. We didn't have time to do a lot of planning and preparation for the logistics of the move either, so we've had to just complete moving tasks as we thought of them or as they came up. That has been unsettling and worrisome, but again, without time to overthink and second-guess everything, we've just gone ahead and got it done. It also forced me out of my default position of procrastinating on tasks that intimidated me.

If you so choose, even the unexpected setbacks can bring new and positive possibilities. If you so choose, you can find value and fulfillment in every circumstance. ~Ralph Marston

I won't sugarcoat it - I have cried more tears than I thought possible, because I am not a crier by nature. The feelings of loss and loneliness have been overwhelming at times. This has been HARD. But my family and my friends - and most importantly, my God - have been proven faithful and loving. Because I've learned to trust God, I've been trained to be willing to follow his leading and to look for the good he has for me. The unexpected blessings.

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected, unplanned by me. ~Carl Sandburg

Sometimes life drops blessings in your lap without your lifting a finger. Serendipity, they call it. ~Charlton Heston

 Most of us are celebrating Christmas this week, and thinking about how the Son of God entered the world as a baby. How unexpected! For his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph - what unexpected hardships and challenges, but what blessings and honor! The shepherds were given a very unexpected announcement from the angel, and their astonishment at finding everything just as the angel said must have been great. The wise men who traveled so far to find a new king must have been surprised to see the star stop over an ordinary house in which there was a humble young couple and their little child. How unexpected! 

God often doesn't do things the way we expect. But he always does things the way he has planned. It's unexpected to us, but never a surprise to him.

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts;
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.
"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and bed led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD's renown,
for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever."

~Isaiah 55:6-13~

Whatever unexpected challenges or blessings come your way this season, remember that you are in God's capable hands. Trust him to lead you through the challenges, and give him glory for the blessings.


For the recent Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge, I had decided to explore the theme of living well and with purpose during times of change. A few years ago, as I neared the end of my years as a homeschool mom, I realized my world would change when my youngest graduated. My roles in the homeschool community and in my social circles were affected. Things changed in the workplace. Things are ever changing at church. And as my children grew up and the nest has begun to empty, family dynamics are changing. To our surprise, my husband's job ended at the very beginning of 2022, which brought another round of changes to consider! (He started a new position in February, and moving was a change we did not have to deal with after all!) Fast forward to the fall of 2022, and the new job ended, and we did have to make a move and cope with a lot of changes! I know very well that writing about coping with change is not the same as having all the answers. I'll do my best to share what I'm learning and experiencing, and I'd love to hear from others in the comments. I didn't finish writing and posting everything at the tail end of the challenge, so I think maybe these last couple of prompts were serendipitously left for me to write about now, as I'm reflecting on the most recent changes I've had to cope with.

This post is part of the Write 28 Days Blogging Challenge hosted by Anita Ojeda. Find all my posts for the 2022 challenge here: 28 Days of Coping With Change

Although not linked at Five Minute Friday due to the holiday break, this post more or less follows my usual Five Minute Friday format.

This post will be linked at Inspire Me Monday and at Let's Have Coffee hosted by Joanne Viola: Days and Thoughts

 Joanne Viola

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