I never expected 2020 to become the crazy, unique year that it has been. On December 31st, 2019 I was surrounded by family members and my sweet husband. Love and laughter abounded as excitement grew for the new year. I stood there counting down the seconds until 2020. What a remarkable year it would be? I’m sure thats what we all thought…
Now, looking back, we might all agree that the events of 2020 thus far have been nothing but unexpected. We might even agree that it is not our favorite year and can it just be over now? But there is no growth, nor fun in that.
It was unexpected that we would all have to cancel our travel plans.
It was unexpected that thousands of missionaries would have to return home for an intermission.
It was unexpected that schools would close down and teaching would take place online, through zoom calls, google classrooms, and packets.
It was unexpected that graduates wouldn’t be able to walk like they normally do and celebrate in ways that they had always imagined.
It was unexpected that weddings had to change and couldn’t be celebrated as normal.
It was unexpected that we woudn’t be allowed to go to the theater, the park, Disneyland, restaurants, or even to visit our relatives.
It was unexpected that toilet paper and food would go out of stock and that people would go shopping in masses to stock up.
It was unexpected that face masks had to be worn at every event outside the home or that life as we knew it would change.
Every bit of this worldwide pandemic has been unexpected. This virus has taken us out of our comfort zones. Although, most would agree that the comfort zone is the place we like to be, there is no growth or change there. There is no progress and no happiness. Because we were all content with that comfort zone, God- our Heavenly Father- decided to teach us all many incredible lessons.
We shouldn’t take what we have for granted. We should often tell people how much we love them. We should be going about doing service and helping others in need. We should be thanking people that are essential in everyday normalcy. We should think creatively to enjoy time with loved ones. We should take what time we have, and enjoy it. Quarantine should have taught us that we should NOT go back to the way things used to be.
As I was thinking of all that is unexpected, I began to think about how God ALWAYS works in unexpected ways.
It was unexpected that I would marry a man from a different country and fall in love with him through a long distance relationship.
It was unexpected for Isaac to leave his home and culture to come and be with me.
It was unexpected for me to go on a mission when it wasn’t a requirement and when it was something that would put my career on hold.
It was unexpected of my family to do foster care for 12 years and end up adopting 3 more daughters to our already big family.
It was unexpected for me to find the hobby of painting, which I deeply love and enjoy.
And just like that, I began to think of all of the unexpected miracles and blessings in my life.
But the unexpected didn’t start their either. Heavenly Father has been giving us unexpected, yet beautiful experiences ever since the world began.
It was unexpected for Adam and Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit. It was unexpected for the world to flood even after Noah had warned the people. It was unexpected for Jonah to be swallowed up by a whale and to survive that experience. It was unexpected that people would reject and kill God’s prophets. It was unexpected that Heavenly Father sent his son, Jesus Christ, knowing full well that he would suffer and die. It was unexpected for Jesus to be baptized even when he was the only human being to walk the earth that had no sin. It was unexpected for Jesus to heal the blind man or for him to heal a paralyzed man. It was unexpected that Jesus forgave the adulterous woman and that he raised Lazarus from the dead. It was unexpected for Jesus to give his life for us-sinners- and then to rise from the dead.
So instead of fretting when things don’t go according to plan. Or instead of doubting and fearing that things aren’t what you expected- Think to yourself:
“What miracle is God going to perform in my life through this unexpected circumstance?”
“What is God trying to teach me because he has given me this unexpected blessing?”
“What am I going to do to grow through this unexpected experience?”
And when you do just that, you will be surprised to see the touch of the master’s hand in your life. You will be surprised to see that God is the mastermind and that he is creating a life for you that has so much more meaning and purpose than the life you could create for yourself. You will be surprised to see how it transforms your life into something truly beautiful– how it transforms YOU into something truly beautiful!