A photo of a black woman in a vest looking over her shoulder as she stands outside

It’s easy to get discouraged when life doesn’t go according to plan. When the seasons of your life start to take longer than anticipated. When you suddenly realize that you won’t make the deadlines that you’ve set (based on your expectations and those of others.)

What happens when the unexpected—like a global pandemic—hits and completely shuts down the normalcy of life? The rush stops. Society and people take a pause in real time. Suddenly, you can’t control the progress of your career or resume life as normal, but what you can control is your response. You can control your choices, and you can choose to stay committed to your journey and not succumb to fear or comparison.

Even in 2020, you can succeed in your lane. Although, sometimes that looks like making peace with the fact that life doesn’t always go according to plan. The pain may be a necessary part of the journey. Rest assured that there is always purpose to the pain, just as there is a purpose for the good parts too. 

The pain may be a necessary part of the journey.

Overcoming difficult seasons adds substance and wisdom to our lives. It adds depth to our stories and stretches our capacity. We’re often pleasantly surprised with how much we can endure.

Remember the last time you thought you were drowning in challenging circumstances, and how you emerged stronger? Well even this time, you will emerge stronger, bolder and more agile. However, how you emerge and become the woman you believe you’re meant to be depends on the habits you cultivate. It’s all about the seeds you sow in the waiting.

You can still be steadfast, committed and disciplined in the midst of the blurry crossroads. The dots might not always make sense, but they do connect.  That is the beauty of seasons, the mystical tension of anticipatory preparation and secure surrender. I’ll openly admit that it is difficult to embrace the seasons that not only feel slow but like a potential detour, but even then we have the choice to grow toward the light. 

The dots might not always make sense, but they do connect. 

For the sake of your fierce pursuit of growth, choose to untangle yourself from the chains of expectations from yourself and others. When life seems slower than you’d planned, it’s often easy to fall into the crippling trap of comparison or to go down the “should’ve, could’ve” route instead of pressing forward. Instead of looking around at those that seem to be winning at life, choose to do the best you can in this moment, your moment.

The world needs your voice, and it needs what you bring to the table. The world needs life-givers and hope-carriers. It need’s authentic courage. It needs you. 

As 2020 rolls on, things might not look the way you thought they would. Yet, you owe it to yourself to remember that you are enough, that you have a place in this world and that your purpose is significant. Your value isn’t tied to timelines that are populated with expectation.

As you choose to live untethered, choose hope and peace and dare to dream again. Choose to trust that your process of flourishing will be brought to a beautiful finish, and oh what a story it will be!  

How do you respond when things don’t go according to plan? Do you struggle with the unexpected?

Image via Jim Jordan, Issue No. 8

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