Posted by: jude49 | March 5, 2014

Be Grateful for the Unexpected!

Hello All,

Much research and many posts points to the healing and calming practice of giving thanks, of counting our blessings.  There are other kinds of blessings we need to count as well.

Example 1.  In early December, I was travelling on the Port Mann Bridge to attend an early morning choir practice that started at 9 a.m.  I’m rarely up at that time of morning, and as I was driving on the bridge, my eyes wandered briefly to the beautiful sky.  Almost immediately, my eyes were on the road again.  I realized that the car I was quickly approaching was not moving!  It was stalled.  Thankfully, I was able to maneuver around the car, and safely move into another lane.

As I started to breathe again, I realized my good fortune.   So much bad could have happened.  But, it didn’t. I quickly said a prayer thanking Heavenly Father for this tender mercy.

Example 2.  Some years ago, I applied for an Assistant Professorship in Drama Education (another life) at a university in Ontario.  I wanted the position badly.  I knew the Dean, and I had worked in another Education Department with him before.  I admired his forthrightness, his integrity, his work ethic and his approach towards Education.  However, it was not to be.  After I heard their decision, I was crushed.  We talked about it.  And, begrudgingly, I could understand, at least intellectually, that this job was more suited to her than me.  But, oh, I grieved not getting that position for a long, long time.  It was only recently that I was able to let the grief go.

Shortly after I received notification that I hadn’t received the position, I discovered that my health was precarious, and I was told to take at least one year off work.  For years, I had rationalized that working in such a supportive environment would have “magically” made my health better.  Unfortunately, I clung on to that erroneous belief longer than was healthy for me.

As I recently reflected back on that time in my life, I realized that there was a different direction for me.  After taking a year or so off, I started an 18 month accelerated program in Social Work.  The joy that helping people, particularly women and youth, has brought me has been more than I could have ever anticipated.  I am blessed, and, yes, I am thankful.

And there were other blessings…  After a few more years in Ontario, I returned to the West Coast to help my sister take care of both my parents.  Had I been “tied” to an academic position in Ontario, I would not have the sweet and tender memories of my parents last days.

What is the meaning I make?  Life happens.  It twists and changes in unexpected ways, and sometimes those changes can’t be understood at the time they occur.  However, that doesn’t mean that the winds of change are negative.

My challenge to myself and you is, “Can you allow open-mindedness and flexibility to take precedence over worry and fear when life throws you challenges that “spin” you out of your comfort zone or away from cherished plans?”

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Warmly,

Judith

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