What are you going to do when your goals get interrupted this year?

With a vicious flourish I slammed the comforter off and stomp-tiptoed rapidly down the stairs to the kitchen, an earplug in hand, everything fuzzy, like looking through a camera with snowflakes covering the lens, for I hadn’t put on my glasses. One thing was flashing in my mind – Stop that incessant banging! My sleep-in morning had been cut short and my overly tired kids’ sleep-in morning was being threatened by the culprit.

My poor husband was standing at the sink making coffee, as quietly as he could I’m sure, while our exuberant puppy was whomping his new hard plastic blue bone underneath the table. It’s going to be a long day for puppy and I…

(A text later claimed it was the cat bonking the step stool over his food as he ate…)

I returned to bed hoping I could calm down enough to drop off to sleep but the damage was done, so I glanced at my phone for updates before heading back downstairs. There, a much greater interruption awaited my attention: school had been cancelled. Now, on top of the aggravation of being woken, I mourned the loss of my first quiet day in three weeks, the loss of my plan to spend as many hours as God and I liked being in His presence. This is something I do every January for the last few years, and I look forward to it all year. Now, it is postponed and I am sad to have to wait.

Interruptions. How I hate them. I am one who is not naturally imbued with a flexibility to bend with them, rather, I fight them. Knowing this has helped me over the years as I’ve been able to train myself, mind over matter, to often extend calm over the flame of frustration. I’ve had plenty of practice with three kids in the house! Still, I have to work on flexibility every day.

There are days that start like I recorded above and it is all too easy to lounge in that angry place, effectively dooming the day to darkness. The momentary interruption becomes a tool in Satan’s hands and my joy and hope is drained through the rift. The day is dotted with conflict and welded with grumble.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As much as I’d like to have things go my way, they won’t. I am not God. I am not sovereign. I have to accept that. Accept the fact that I am unable to change or control these interruptions.

If you surrender to the great I am, then accepting what is becomes easier. I am is in these moments, even the interruptions.

Sometimes He specifically sends interruptions; sometimes He uses them; always they are in His hands. Left in His hands, they can be tools to shape our character (think flexibility and grace), even tools to shape our footsteps.

When death and illness interrupted my life 20 years ago, God used it to drastically change my direction. I could have fought it to pursue the plan I had, which I felt God had given me, but during the days of decision I accepted the interruption and God’s help to follow his lead. I postponed the plan, and took a step on what I initially thought was a detour, but turned out to be a new path full of blessing. I was just going step by step as God met certain needs of the time. Little did I know that these interruptions would be the tools He would use to shape my family, my spirit and my future.

As we enter 2018 with our new and renewed goals, fresh plans and great hopes, let’s resolve to meet the inevitable interruptions with hope, knowing God is in them and will meet us even there. They may be there to shape your character or your future. They may be there for a divine appointment. Accept them and look for God in them. He is there, waiting for you.

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