As I sat on the hotel bed, my husband broke the news to me. One more week before the work on our home begins. I took a deep breath to fight the tears away. I laid my head against the crisp, white pillow. Hot tears trickled down my cheeks as quickly as I wiped them away.
One more week! But we’ve been living in the hotel for a month already.
Staying in a hotel is usually a fun experience for us. It typically means vacation. Not this time, though. A major plumbing issue forced us to find a temporary living arrangement. Without knowing how long “temporary” would be, we made the most of it.
The first two weeks did feel like a vacation in some ways. A hot breakfast awaited us each morning as we headed downstairs with backpacks in tow. Who wouldn’t like that!
We even squeezed in a little pool time after school one afternoon. That’s something we couldn’t do at home.
Yet, as days passed by, our house stood empty. Days turned into weeks as we waited patiently to return home.
With school uniforms, work clothes, and weekend attire hanging in the closets, we settled in. We had shoes for every occasion lined up against the wall. Our jumbo bottles of shampoo and conditioner sat on the shower ledge (you know those hotel-sized bottles are never large enough).
We made ourselves at home, because…well, this hotel became home for five weeks.
Talk about life interrupted!
Looking back, I can’t help but laugh at our circumstance. This situation was completely out of our hands.
Life doesn’t stop just because our plumbing is out of whack. Companies can’t rush a permit or make the work happen quicker just because we have four active children confined to a smaller living space.
Regardless, we found ourselves in an unwanted situation trying to keep a positive attitude with very little control over the process.
But in the middle of the mess, another process was taking place. Something internal. You see, God does not waste any hardship or inconvenience. He has a plan for everything we face. Knowing this, we can choose to engage our hearts in the process. Or grumble our way through it. The choice is ours.
When Life Takes An Unexpected Turn
Can you relate to a similar situation? Everything is going just fine in your world and then something major interrupts your rhythm. You didn’t plan for it, and you certainly didn’t choose it. That’s life, isn’t it? As much as you try to keep it all together, you simply cannot control everything that happens to you. Perhaps, it’s one isolated situation. But maybe you feel like you’ve been in a long season of challenges, and you’re beginning to lose hope of it ever improving.
Interruptions in life can easily throw us into survival mode. Our routines get disrupted and suddenly we’re off our game. But through every challenge, God is with us. Leaning into Him, we can bypass the “barely making it” mentality and find ourselves thriving even in the midst of chaos.
Three Ways To Thrive When Life Interrupts Your Routine
Regardless of what life throws at us, there is one thing we can control: how we choose to respond. Our response can make all the difference in how we thrive even in the roughest patches of life.
Let’s take a look at three ways we can choose to thrive when life interrupts our routine.
START YOUR DAY BY CHOOSING JOY
Psalm 118:24 says:
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
I can’t tell you how many times the Holy Spirit whispered this verse to me during our hotel stay. When we wake up and nothing changes from the day before, it’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset. As we rise, we must resist the urge to step out of bed grudgingly.
Rather, begin each day with a grateful heart. Spend a few moments with your Creator and thank Him for working in your life. Rejoice in the promise that He walks with you through the peaks and the valleys. He will never leave you. He doesn’t turn His back on you.
Knowing this, you can choose joy. Why? Because God has something special prepared for you every single day. Trust Him as you wake and rejoice in His goodness.
GAIN A LARGER PERSPECTIVE
Check out Isaiah 55:8-9:
The Lord says, “My thoughts are not like your thoughts. Your ways are not like My ways. Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
At times, we get caught up in our own little world, and we stop seeing the big picture. Yet, God’s plans are grandiose. He knows every detail from beginning to end. His ultimate desire is that every person receives redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ. As we surrender our lives to Him, we get to be a part of leading others to Him.
That’s the big picture!
What if we started viewing life’s interruptions as opportunities to bring the gospel to others? How could this mindset transform the way we live out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19)?
You see, Friend, in those interruptions God allows our paths to cross with people we may never meet otherwise.
He has a purpose. We have a calling.
God wants to use us to reach others with the gospel. Everywhere we go.
As we adopt a larger perspective, we begin to see how God is working through our lives to draw more people to Him.
I have to remind myself of this truth constantly: It’s not about me. Talk about realigning my heart all the time. When we think about God’s ways being so much higher than ours, we can grow a larger perspective.
LET GOD BE YOUR SOURCE OF STRENGTH
Psalm 61:1-3 says:
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
In the hotel room, I recall countless hours crammed at the tiny table doing homework with my kids. My exhaustion grew with each passing day. Regardless of how much sleep I got, I felt depleted.
At this same table, I cried out to the Lord. I shared my heart with Him. I sat quietly in His presence with worship music playing softly in the background. An incredible thing happened ~ He met me right where I was at. He knew exactly what I needed. God gave rest to my weary soul.
God wants to give you rest. As you open your heart to Him, He will refresh you in ways only He can do. Allow Him to be your rock. The Lord is higher than your circumstance. He is greater than your emotions. He is your place of refuge. Your strong tower. Spend time in His presence, and let Him replenish your soul.
You Will Come Out Stronger
My Friend, remember that God has a purpose for everything you walk through. Whatever you face today, know that you are not alone. Choose joy with each new day. Gain a larger perspective and live missionally. Above all else, let Jesus be your source of strength. Find rest in Him. As you respond in these ways, you will be able to thrive in every circumstance.
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