Flourish in the Unexpected

Originally published Monday, 06 April 2020.

Flourish in the Unexptected

In a few weeks’ time, our world has turned upside down.

That’s the thing about crises — they come unannounced and settle right over the plans and dreams we’d scrawled into planners and calendars. 

Stores have sold out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and our best plans have cancelled like bad Christmas tree lights – conferences, speaking engagements, church services, ballet lessons, senior class trips, weddings, sporting events, and more.

In the days since, we’ve seen this virus escalate globally, then nationally and then like a London fog seeping into our towns and cities.  We’ve isolated to protect the vulnerable and ourselves, working from home and schooling from home and we don’t know how long this will last.

Both the world at large and our personal worlds have turned upside down.

I hear all around the weight we’re carrying in crisis.

  • We’re weary before the day’s even over as we prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
  • We’re grieving that once-in-a-lifetime events won’t happen or certainly won’t look like we dreamed.
  • We’re adjusting to massive change and upheaval to our day-to-day normality.
  • We’re watching markets tumble, layoffs happen and businesses struggle, wondering what kind of economic repercussions are down the road.
  • We’re overwhelmed with headlines and predictions and anxious for the unknown that lies ahead.

It’s all leaving us confused, fearful and vulnerable.

While I’ve never been through a time like this — none of us has – I’ve been through the kind of crisis that upends every part of life. Several years ago, I became a sudden widow and single mom to 7 and our world as we knew it completely imploded.

I know despair. I’ve grieved once-in-a-lifetime events that will never happen for me or my children. I’ve grappled with massive change to our day-to-day normality and wondered what the future looks like without the single income that supported us. I’ve feared for my children and worried for the unknown the lies ahead. I’ve felt confused, fearful and vulnerable.

And here’s what I know.

We are not victims in this.

No matter how grim the circumstances, God enables us not merely to survive this season – lots of people will do that.

God enables and intends for us to flourish DESPITE this season and IN this season as he leads us through.

I’ve put together a FREE and simple workbook called Flourish: Find Your Footing, Tame Your Fear and Bloom in Unexpected Difficulty. This study is based on Jeremiah 17:7-8, where God reveals four steps to flourish in the unexpected.

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord
  whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
  that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.

Isn’t that what we want? To be stable when the life rocks, to be deeply nourished when life is barren, to disarm fear when we face the unknown and to bud and blossom even in the hard.

Listen the current crisis may have come unnounced but we can stay steady in the unexpected.

This workbook is a short 5-day study unpacking each verse of Jeremiah 17:7-8 to see how God tells us we can flourish in the unexpected.

Get yours here. 

I pray this blesses you mightily!

This post originally appeared at LisaAppelo.com.