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The Unexpecteds

Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27

My husband and I have been married almost 13 years. We never had children — perhaps that was a mistake. I don’t know. Maybe having a baby would have drawn us closer together.

It hasn’t been a good marriage, but we’ve not argued or been hateful to each other. We’ve both worked. He’s had his life; I’ve had mine. Oh, we’d go out for a meal every so often, it’s just that we didn’t seem to have time for each other; and we didn’t especially have anything in common.

Saturday was generally our only day together. (That’s a strange word — together.) I’d fix breakfast and then work around the house while he did different things. We still weren’t together I guess.

Last Saturday I was in the kitchen fixing breakfast. I had just looked at the clock — it was 9:30. When he came in I noticed that he wasn’t in his casual Saturday clothes, but was dressed to go out.

He said, “Laurie, I have filed for divorce and there’s nothing to discuss. I know this will upset you, so I’m leaving for the day.”

At 9:29 A.M., I had a husband — I was fixing his breakfast, remember? At 9:30 A.M., he was gone.

And an unexpected circumstance has come into Laurie’s life over which she has no control, a person she cannot control. Devastating! Oh, yes, she still has her job, sympathetic friends, and some material possessions. And, after all, she and her husband weren’t really that compatible. But you don’t casually wipe thirteen years off the blackboard. She’ll be starting a new lifestyle — a lonely, insecure, demanding, stressful, scary lifestyle.

What to do? She might choose to take the route of anger or self-pity, feel insecure, be plagued by thoughts of “what did I do wrong” and feel guilty, believe herself to be unlovely and undesirable, and struggle with every moment of the day, asking, “What can I do? Where can I go? What does life hold for me now?”

Or she might go to her therapist and — after cutting through all the big-sounding psychological phrases — be advised to do the same thing you used to do when your dog died — get a new puppy. “Build a new life. Find a group of people with similar experiences and attach yourself to certain ones who seem to fill the void. Indulge yourself. Stay busy.”

Practical steps, but not what Laurie needs.

You see, we “life out” certain identities, getting our security from them. Laurie’s identity just walked out the kitchen door. But then, she still has friends and an identity at her office, doesn’t she? Yes, but those identities are fragile, too, just like her identity as Mark’s wife — and they could be gone just as quickly.

The emotional stress won’t go away — we can’t control those slippery emotions. But we can certainly keep them from controlling us! How? By setting our minds on the truths God has given us for just such unexpected tragedies that come into our lives.

What are those truths? Well, Laurie has an identity that can never be taken away and will never walk away — it was given to her when Christ burst forth from that dismal tomb. She is a new creature in Christ Jesus. She is loved beyond her wildest expectations. She is altogether lovely and lovable. She is righteous. She will never, ever be alone. And she is forgiven.

And then, Laurie has a power living inside of her which cannot be defeated, which is undaunted by the world and its pain and which meets every moment with head held high, shoulders back and chin up. It’s the Holy Spirit and He’s ready to take over anytime she says, “After you, Friend.”

You have the very same set-up for the unexpecteds that come into your life uninvited — you just agree with these truths, accept them as your own, and walk in them, head held high, shoulders back, and chin up with a smile on your face. You see, the unexpected can never destroy you if you are secure in your new, true identity and have turned your every day over to the Power that lives inside of you, Jesus Christ.

SCRIPTURES: THE UNEXPECTED

II Cor. 5:1
Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature –

I John 3:1
See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are –

Eph. 3: 17-19
So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpassed knowledge, that you may be filed up to all the fullness of God.

II Cor. 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

II Peter 1:4
For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature –

Deut. 31:8
And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you’ He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed.

Col. 2:13-14
And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.